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Sunday, December 03, 2017

The Courage of a Samurai by Lori Tsugawa Whaley

About the book:

The Courage of a Samurai is a Japanese American's journey into bushido, the samurai's code of ethics. Each chapter features a timeless message about Japanese and Japanese Americans who applied the principles of courage, integrity, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty to overcome life's challenges, and emerge stronger individuals. The Courage of a Samurai provides the reader a look 'inside' this ancient code through the lives of inspiring individuals.

Why did Chiune Sugihara, aka the Japanese Schindler, save the lives of Polish and Lithuanian Jews during World War II against the orders of the Japanese and Lithuanian governments? Understand the meaning of Honor in Saigo Takamori's, aka The Last Samurai, determination to preserve the samurai's way of life. Learn why "Go for Broke!" was the motto of the famous World War II all-Nisei 100th/442nd RCT, and discover why this simple motto reflects the essence of the way of the warrior.

The Code of Bushido can guide us through the challenges we all face, and inspire us to live a life of honor, courage, and integrity in today's fast-paced and changing world. Sharpen your sword, and let the journey begin!

My review:

I enjoyed this book. I don't typically read much non-fiction (though it seems like I have been reading more these past few years.) I decided to read this book because it featured Japanese culture and values and I wanted to learn about those things. Many of the examples used came from WWII heroes. That was a dark time in American history when we put people in internment camps simply because of their national origin. America put people in prison (even if they were born as American citizens) based on their racial background "just in case" they were Imperial Japan sympathizers. I enjoyed reading about those heroic events, then I set the book aside and forgot where I placed it so a few months went by... and recently I found it and finished it.

I do find WWII era stories interesting when they are based on real events and real people. I read a book in the series for children called "I am America" and they shared historical information that children need to know. Until I read that book for my son's library at his school I didn't know anything about the internment camps. Then I found out some were still around and can be seen today (though no longer used) like the one in Arizona near Gila River.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the examples the author used. In some ways the way the book was written was simplistic enough to understand, yet deep enough to be meaningful. The takeaway value in this books is self-sacrifice for honor is a beautiful thing. I hope to remember that the next time I want to put myself first and am feeling self-centered. We all have our days since we are human, but there is a part of me that wants to embody the traits of the Samurai that are outlined in the book. 

The Courage of a Samurai: Seven Sword-Sharp Principles for Success was published by and released in October 2016. You can buy a copy HERE

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