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Publisher's Summary

17th Century Europe, the first Japanese ever to set foot in Europe, travel to Rome on a diplomatic mission. All are baptised, but upon returning to Japan they discover that the Shoguns no longer wish to forge links with the West, nor will they tolerate the Christian religion. The Samurai who have until now reviled their adoptive religion, begin to find it may be all that is left for them. The events in the story actually took place.
©1980 Shusaku Endo; (P)2009 Audible Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 01-21-10

Well Written History Novel

The erudite writing suggests deep historical research, coupled with a sensitivity to realistic human motivations and emotions.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Mark C Flynn on 07-23-10


This was an interesting view of a part of history I knew very little about. I was surprised by the religious theme running throughout until I read moreabout Mr. Endo. To be honest, the book was a little slow and lacked action. I am sure someone would argue that the glimpse into Japanese culture and the realness was amazing, but I found my interest waning.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By rascallybear on 02-18-11

beautifully crafted

A beautifully crafted book and audio novel. Expertly read by David Holt. Also of merit are the Preface and Epilogue, which explain the translation and context, as well as the underlying historical facts which (in part) inspired the story.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jem on 08-09-16

Front page should be Jesus on the cross

What did you like most about The Samurai?

The sample

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)


Which scene did you most enjoy?

The sample

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I really felt the mood of the characters as they went through mental anguish, pain and suffering from which there was no relief.

There were also quiet shows of compassion and comradeship.

Any additional comments?

If you are drawn by the title and cover picture this book is probably not for you; it is steeped in religious fervour and is about a zealous Catholic missionary and four peasant Samurai who reluctantly go on an epic voyage to Europe as envoys for Japan.

I found the sample of this book the best and happiest part of the story. It is set mostly outside of Japan and based on true events, probably why I found it so gloomy. All five face hardship and disappointment with fortitude, the missionary via his religion and the Samurai through their culture.

I found it very depressing and kept expecting something good to occur, even something small but for me it didn't, perhaps for a religious person (Catholic Christian) it would.

It is a deep book that has left a deep mark on me but if you want to learn about Japan, it's culture and the Samurai, try another book like "Shogun".

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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