The Samurai and the Sacred

The Path of the Warrior

The Samurai and the Sacred cover


A comprehensive study into the spiritual world of the Samurai, from the cult of revenge and suicide, to Zen and martial arts.

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.

Table of Contents


The Way of the Gods
Buddha and the Bushi
The Gods Go to War
Warriors of the Pure Land
Onward, Christian Samurai!
The Samurai and the Secret
Zen and the Samurai
The Ways of the Warrior
From Samurai to Spirit

Select Bibliography

Product details

Published Aug 20 2011
Format Ebook (Epub & Mobi)
Edition 1st
Extent 224
ISBN 9781849089944
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 138 col
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Stephen Turnbull

Stephen Turnbull is widely recognised as the world…


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