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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
Samurai and Ninja: The Real Story Behind the Japanese Warrior Myth by Antony Cummin

I was sent details of this book in a press release by Tuttle (the publishers) and it looks very interesting. I’ve read other works by Antony Cummin and greatly enjoyed them (his book on Viking Martial Arts is a fun read!) so I’m looking forward to this. My copy is ordered and should be with me tomorrow.

Samurai and Ninja: The Real Story Behind the Japanese Warrior Myth that Shatters the Bushido Mystique By Antony Cummin

The myths of the noble Samurai and the sinister Ninja are filled with romantic fantasy and fallacy.

Samurai and Ninja expert Antony Cummins shatters the myths and exposes the true nature of these very real—and very lethal—medieval Japanese warriors. The Samurai and Ninja were in fact brutal killing machines trained in torture and soaked in machismo. Many were skilled horsemen and sword-fighting specialists, while others were masters of deception and sabotage. Some fought for loyalty, others for personal gain. What these warriors all shared in common was their unflinching personal bravery, skill and brutality.

In Samurai and Ninja, Cummins separates myth from reality and shows why the Japanese were the greatest warriors of all time:

He describes the Samurai and the Ninja as they really were in earlier times when battles raged across Japan—not in later times when war became obsolete and Japanese warriors became philosophers, scholars and courtiers.

He describes the social context of the day and the feudal world into which the warriors were trained to fight and die for their lords.

He exposes the essentially brutal nature of warfare in medieval Japan.

This book is illuminated by many rare Japanese manuscripts and texts which are translated into English for the very first time.



Gareth Piper
Gareth Piper's picture

I'm a big fan of Antony Cummins' work! The classical Budo place I train at has a loose affiliation with the Bujinkan, my instructor was a Bujinkan guy for a long time, until he decided the ninja thing was a bit...silly and not really what we do, and researched more along the samurai lines (in a nutshell). The amount of flak Antony seems to pick up from hardcore Bujinkan supporters is insane, but I particularly liked his work on the Banzenshukai (which is a tough read in of itself).