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Synopsis

The fierce loyalty and self-sacrificing attitude of the Samurai have made them both a legend and a cult. Yet although their military prowess and skills in the martial arts have been studied exhaustively, an understanding of their belief system still eludes many. This original and exciting work examines the spiritual world of the samurai, from their attachment to Japan's mainstream religions of Shinto and Buddhism, to their involvement in Confucianism, Christianity and folk religion. Samurai expert Stephen Turnbull examines important topics such as Zen and the martial arts, modern militarism, the cult of the sword, revenge and suicide, hara kiri and the kamikaze pilots the suicide bombers of their day. He also looks at the fascinating issue of Japanese religious terrorism, as well as the growing cult status of the Samurai both in Japan and in the West.

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