Copyright date: 2016
Topic: Early Samurai
Time period: 1100s
Setting: mostly western Japan
The most important person in this book is Minamoto Yoshitsune, the protagonist. He is important because he is what the whole book was about, and revolutionized the samurai and Japanese culture.
The most important event that happened in this book is the death of Minamoto Yoshitsune. Well not death, but more suicide. The death of Yoshitsune meant Japan at that time would be ruled by tyrants and thrust into chaos, but it also meant the memory and standards of Yoshitsune would live on in infamy.
1: the samurai did not use the katana, a shorter more precise weapon (and what they are most known for) until much later in this time period
2: the word "samurai" originally meant servant.
3: the "shogun" is the imperial leader of all of the millitary and armies in Japan
4: the leader or any high ranking samurai wears extremely bright armor and clothing; the brighter the better
5: samurai (or at least the Minamoto) mainly rode horses and shot arrows at enemies, and they were exceptional shots.
6: the ritual samurai suicide was not used until two members of Yoshitsune's family used it, but when he used it in his last seconds, the ritual became famous and almost necessary.
7: samurai armor was actually very uncomfortable and large, as well as unwieldily.
I would rate this book a four. It is not that it could have been better, it is just that it can be a relatively dry subject, and the author goes off and talks about things that are something very uninteresting and sometimes even off topic. It is also a very old subject, so who knows if the things in this book are even accurate, and the author addressed that, and the story was pretty much only speculation for a while.