• A Brief History of the Samurai

  • Brief Histories
  • By: Jonathan Clements
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-07-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (141 ratings)

Regular price: $19.62

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $19.62

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Add to Library for $0.00

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

From a leading expert in Japanese history, this is one of the first full histories of the art and culture of the Samurai warrior. The Samurai emerged as a warrior caste in Medieval Japan and would have a powerful influence on the history and culture of the country from the next 500 years. Clements also looks at the Samurai wars that tore Japan apart in the 17th and 18th centuries and how the caste was finally demolished in the advent of the mechanized world.
©2010 Jonathan Clements (P)2014 Audible Ltd
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Joseph on 12-30-14

Well narrated

Absolutely loved this audio book. The details of the samurai and the period associated with certain characters were accurate and well presented.

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 08-08-14

An Excellent History of the Samurai

Well told and superbly narrated this book is an excellent overview of the Samurai. From the start to present day we see the history, the development, and finally the demise. The book shows how the idea of Samurai was used and abused in the 20th Century for political, social and media goals. Jonathan Clements has opinions and views but generally the book covers the topic in a level handed way to make the reader (listener) feel it is balanced and objective. Just over 12 hours long, it is a brief view of the Samurai which if this subject interest you, you'll fly through and find fascinating.
Loved the book and the narrator is excellent.

Read More Hide me

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Tweetingcheetah on 07-27-14

Anecdotes bring life to samurai history

Any additional comments?

As a Japanese school child, Japanese History was just dates and names, but this audiobook brought these historical people and incidents to life for me. Samurai are all too often depicted through rose tinted glass, but Clements delivers the stories of human foibles with a dry sense of humour, and he got me laughing out loud often.

I have been a massive fan of European history but not of my own country, because of the way history was taught in Japan when I was a child. If this was my History textbook, I would have read it in bed.

The only reason why I gave four stars, not five, for the performance is because Keeble's pronunciation of Japanese words are often incorrect. Otherwise his delivery lets you suck into the drama of Japanese history.

It is well researched, and quotes and anecdotes are so well chosen that you cannot help but be interested in these historical characters and incidents. It is not a long book, but Clements achieves a lot, telling the story of the long era of samurai concisely, and educate and entertain you at the same time. I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in Japan or History.

Read More Hide me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Mr S.M.R.Plocki on 01-03-16


Would you try another book written by Jonathan Clements or narrated by Jonathan Keeble?

Yes, but I would read any reviews first.

Who was your favorite character and why?


What aspect of Jonathan Keeble’s performance might you have changed?

None really.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was interesting in places but it listed lots of facts without being thought provoking.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews