The Samurai

The Samurai One of the late Shusaku Endo s finest works The Samurai tells of the journey of some of the first Japanese to set foot on European soil and the resulting clash of cultures and politics

  • Title: The Samurai
  • Author: Shūsaku Endō Van C. Gessel
  • ISBN: 9780811213462
  • Page: 174
  • Format: Paperback
  • One of the late Shusaku Endo s finest works, The Samurai tells of the journey of some of the first Japanese to set foot on European soil and the resulting clash of cultures and politics.

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      174 Shūsaku Endō Van C. Gessel
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      Posted by:Shūsaku Endō Van C. Gessel
      Published :2018-04-26T11:34:33+00:00

    1 thought on “The Samurai”

    1. The Samurai is even better that Endo’s better known work, Silence. As much as I was moved by that novel about Spanish and Japanese martyrs, it was hard to imagine another book which could be so good. The Samurai starts off very slow and the characters seem one-dimensional. The samurai of the book’s title is a simple peasant farmer. He and his companions hardly know why they’ve been chosen for this expedition and yet they also know better than to argue. The Catholic priest assigned as inter [...]

    2. This novel was published in 1980 and is considered by some to be the best of the work of the Japanese writer, Shusaku Endo. It is a book that I review hesitantly and with some trepidation, since it is a narrative that I am sure will appeal to many readers. It did not to me.The plot is complex but can be rather simply summarized, although I leave the ending undisclosed so as not to spoil it for those who want to read it for themselves. The story takes place in the early 17th century during a time [...]

    3. In The Samurai, Endo tells his story from the point of view of two different characters: Father Velasco, a Spanish Franciscan missionary, and Hasekura, a minor Japanese warrior, who is generally referred to in the text as “The Samurai.” Father Velasco is attempting to spread Christianity in Japan in the 17th century. He convinces the local shogun to send a delegation of Japanese to Nueva Espana (Mexico) for the stated purpose of opening up trade relations, but also to give Velasco more autho [...]

    4. It's about these samurais,and their other guys.There was also this priest,who's not important, not in the least.Okay I kinda lied,cause for this priest some guys died.They were on an awesome mission to Spain,but they failed, it all went down the drain.They even became Christian for the mission,but none of the samurai did it of their own volition.Back in Japan they be persecutin,and all the Christians were in hidin.The priest guy didn't go back,cause Japan was all whack.The samurai totally feared [...]

    5. DNF @ 56%. I decided to DNF this when I noticed that I wasn't looking forward to carrying on at all but was just forcing myself to because I'd chosen it for a challenge book. I think I need a break from reading challenges while my life is challenging!This feels very similar to Silence (which I read last year) but without the same emotional energy I felt with that book.

    6. 3.5 starsAcclaimed as "one of the late Shusaku Endo's finest works" (back cover), this novel was a bit disappointing to me due to its misleading title "The Samurai" which should have depicted a brave samurai in a battle like Miyamoto Musashi or any famous one from "The Tale of the Heike" (Viking, 2012). Having read its synopsis at the back cover, I had no choice but kept going because, instead, it is a story of a low-ranking warrior named Rokuemon Hasekura chosen in 1613 in the Tokugawa Period t [...]

    7. Excellent HF book based on a true story: the voyage of four Japanese envoys in the early XVIIth century to Nueva España, Spain and Rome, and from there all the way back to their homeland. The story is told from two PoV: Rokuemon Hasekura, a samurai whose family eagerly want to have their lands back (were taken because they fought for the wrong side during a war), is probably the 'stereotype' we have in mind when thinking about a samurai (except there's no martial arts involved, or flying and no [...]

    8. An amazing book. This novel is consummate historical fiction, taking the reader into another time with details and humanity presenting a very specific and strange era as understandable and unforgettable. Endo is often called "the Japanese Graham Greene" because he is Catholic and his topics deal with Catholicism/faith and the modern world. In this book he goes so deep into showing some religious history and Japanese history and how they intertwined in the age of exploration (and actually some Me [...]

    9. Possibly best of Endo's novels, the best I've read this far anyway. It has all the things characteristics of him, ambiguous and unorthodox, instense personal emotions, insight and an effective historical backdrop. Because of his peculiar situation, as a Japanese Catholic, the novel again offers a unique perspective on both the Japanese culture and their country as a whole and Catholicism, not shying away from the good or the bad. The characters were I think the strongest point of the novel, with [...]

    10. If you have never read anything by Endo Shusaku, stop reading this and go get one right now. Seriously. At this point, if you are still reading, I assume you are either familiar with Endo or you are just bad at following directions. Either way, here we go.Japanese novels are very different from American novels. In America, we tend to like an ending where the bad guy dies, the main character gets the hot girl, they have lots of kids and die happy at the age 109. In Japan, books tend to be more re [...]

    11. Shusako Endo was a member of a religious minority in Japan, leaning neither to Buddhism nor Shintoism nor to an effort to meld them. He was a Catholic who spent part of his early childhood in Japanese-occupied Manchuria before World War II. In "The Samurai" Endo took up a story from early seventeenth century, when a low-ranking vassal--the translator calls him a lance-corporal--was sent in the company of a Franciscan to New Spain to open trade and wound up traveling as far as Rome. (Those lookin [...]

    12. "Do you think He is to be found within those garish cathedrals? He does not dwell there. He lives not within such buildings. I think He lives in the wretched homes of these Indians."In the Postscript, Endo indicates that The Samurai is autobiographical in a sense, since he matches his travel experience aboard a ship with the travels that the Japanese merchants and the Samurai trudged through. Indeed, the story can be read allegorically as an account of one's spiritual pilgrimage, and the origina [...]

    13. Excelente. Este livro conta a estória verídica da longa epopeia de 4 samurais japoneses pelo México e Europa, em busca de acordos comerciais como moeda de troca da entrada de missionários católicos no Japão. Este livro é extremamente crítico da evangelização europeia feita de espada na mão, com toda a sua arrogância e hipocrisia. Foi uma surpresa e recomendo.

    14. This morning, after checking the presidential election result's , I finished Endo' powerful story, one to long be remembered. Then went to the store, where the clerk commented "you look sad" Long ago discarded the vague Catholicism of my youth. After reading about the samurai's perception, I continue to be bemused, impressed by Shusaku Endo's combination of Japanese and Catholic. Further impressed with Japanese spiritual after reading this.Thoughts of a couple other books come to mindShogun's Re [...]

    15. This novel does a great job of looking at how convoluted faith in God can be. Velasco the priest has faith in God to convert fully by baptism even adults without personal faith in Jesus, but at the same time cannot bring himself to believe that God can bring about the conversion of Japan without his lying and scheming. The contradiction points to the same sort of inconsistencies in our own faith in Christ. Some "big" things we have no problem trusting Him for, but in some smaller areas of life w [...]

    16. Endo is the Dostoevsky of Japanese literature. He has an uncanny ability to portray the human experience in such a manner that deeply convicts his reader. He takes you on a journey of time, space, and spirit, one that is both autobiographical for he the author and enrapturing for we his reader. Where Silence shows the heart and struggle of a devout man who has spent his whole life doing good, The Samurai depicts the soul and suffering of two men who know not the heart of God but are forevermore [...]

    17. Magistral autobiografía de Endo e historia de la Historia. Presente y pasado son uno aquí: el autor, sus vivencias y sentimientos; y al mismo tiempo, personajes ficticios que sin embargo se inspiran en aquellos que vivieron en el siglo XVII la expulsión y martirio de los cristianos en Japón. Un viaje de Oriente a Occidente, una travesía que existió y se refleja en "El samurai" de forma ajustada y bien documentada. Un viaje en el espacio, el tiempo y el interior del alma de todos cuantos to [...]

    18. Fine book that transcends cliched depictions of Japanese culture and clandestine religious orders. At first Endo's style seems so straightforward you wonder if he's laid all his cards on the table, but there's much more going on underneath the surface. Has the feel of a parable.

    19. Δεν το πιστεύω ότι έκατσα και άκουσα ένα βιβλίο χριστιανικού περιεχομένου! Αλλά πολύ καλό!

    20. Το είχα γενικότερα για 4 αστεράκια αλλά ως είθισται σε πολλά βιβλία το καλύτερο το φυλάει ο συγγραφέας για το τέλος. Επάξια λοιπόν το πέμπτο αστέρι για το τελευταίο κεφάλαιο. Μέχρι την τελευταία σελίδα και μέχρι την τελευταία λέξη.-

    21. Updated Review:I enjoyed The Samurai for different reasons than I usually enjoy books I take to. I had to spend a lot of time in the book to find what I valued and empathized with in the characters.This was a required text for an intro world history class I'm taking at a private Christian liberal arts university. The novel sparked a self critical conversation about mission and colonialism / assimilating culture and gospel. I'm looking forward to reading more of Endo's work. His writing is well p [...]

    22. I was not expecting to like this book when I first started reading it. I certainly wasn't expecting to feel moved by it. By like it I did and moved I was; Endō's mastery of the written language (and Van C. Gessel's superb translation skills) make this novel a masterpiece. Each landscape is vivid, each character is nuanced, and each plot is exquisitely executed. The struggle of the Catholic missionaries in Japan in the early 1600s is the primary plot pushing Samurai's characters forward, against [...]

    23. O socotesc mai buna decat predecesoarea citita-Tacere.O scriere simpla,fara artificii literare,insa atat de captivanta si patrunzatoare incat o vei purta in gand mereu.O poveste despre staruinta unor samurai in a-si duce misiunea încredințată la bun sfarsit,in ciuda vicisitudinilor;despre inversunarea unui misionar de a crestina un popor potrivnic;despre nesansa acestor oameni de a fi prinsi in vartejul jocurilor politice,a mai-marilor Japoniei,respectiv,carmuitorilor Bisericii catolice;despr [...]

    24. Shusaku Endo's fictional account of the embassy of four Japanese samurai in 1614 to Mexico is a wonderful dramatization of the encounter of one ancient, mysterious, and largely continuous culture in Japan, with the missionary faith of the Christian West. Endo's depiction of the zealous and in some ways unscrupulous Velasco shows the pathology of one who thinks he is chosen by God, but does not reduce him either to being a manipulative foreigner nor an overly pious fool (though he is also both). [...]

    25. Endo follows the true story of a group of Japanese envoys sent from a provincial Lord to Mexico, Spain, and eventually Rome in the hopes of gaining access to trade with the Spanish empire in the early 17th century. Hasekura, one of the low-ranking Samurai leaders of the group, struggles with his feelings of betrayal by Father Vasquez, who has convinced his masters in Japan to embark on this mission. He also struggles to understand his new surroundings, how his life in Japan's marshlands fits int [...]

    26. He dudado mucho de si ponerle a esta novela 3 o 4 estrellas pero considerando que se me ha hecho larga y algo pesada al final, he decidido dejarla en 3. Aunque es una obra de ficción está basada en hechos reales pero con bastante aporte personal del autor. La historia de una misión de japoneses en Nueva España y España es interesante pero, como comentaba se hace larga y por momentos es mucho más una novela psicológica de tintes bastantes oscuros y deprimentes. Al final queda un regusto ne [...]

    27. I thought after Silence this would be a letdown and it did seem to drag a bit at the beginning. As it progressed, I couldn't put it down As a big Graham Greene fan and a xenophobe of unparalleled Arizona nastiness, I was surprised at how much I came to love Shusaku Endo. What an amazing writer! The book is written from two perspectives, that of the samurai and that of a Franciscan priest. The latter, flawed as he is, demonstrates a sacrificial love for the Japanese he initially hoped to use for [...]

    28. "The world was very wide. But I can no longer believe in people."Certainly Endo's most "perfected" novel.

    29. Many of the initial readers of The Samurai focused on its sense of adventure, where a low-ranking Japanese samurai (think knight, for those of you less familiar with medieval Japan) travels to Mexico, Spain, and ultimately even Rome in the hopes of developing trade between Japan and Spain.And who can blame them? Adventure tales are adored for good reason—oceans are traveled, mountains are crossed, rivers are forded—they grab hold whether every pebble passed is described in delightful detail [...]

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