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Cover for The Book of Bushido

The Book of Bushido

The Complete Guide to Real Samurai Chivalry

Antony Cummins


List Price: 40.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This is the book on bushido, the much-cited but widely misrepresented samurai code of honour. Drawing on authentic historical texts, it is a detailed and accurate exploration of medieval life in Japan and the samurai, a must-have for anyone with a love of martial arts or Japanese history.

This is the go-to volume on bushido ("the way of the warrior"), drawing on a wide range of historical sources to paint a vivid picture of the samurai in action and separating the truth from the myth of samurai chivalry. It offers a long-overdue update to the attractive but inaccurate portrait of the samurai painted in Bushido: The Soul of Japan, which has been a bestseller ever since its publication in 1905, and the equally idealistic Hagakure (c.1716). 

In The Book of Bushido, Antony explores the reality of warrior behaviour versus the idealistic depiction created for an Edwardian audience by the author of Bushido: The Soul of Japan. He reveals the truth of how the samurai really behaved and of what they considered to be a warrior ethos. He replaces the image of the perfect eastern warrior with the much more interesting reality of hardened, bloodstained military leaders with human failings and a complex set of ideas about the world, who engage in ritual, magic and ceremony, who lead their followers in war and peace and who, above all, are fighting a battle between addiction to power and morality. This is the story of bushido – the way of the samurai.

Watkins Publishing, 9781786786050, 496pp.

Publication Date: February 8, 2022

About the Author

Antony Cummins is the author of The Ultimate Art of War and many other books on Eastern martial culture. He is the founder of the Historical Ninjutsu Research Team, which has previously published The Book of Ninja and The Book of Samurai series (Watkins), and is spearheading a project to resurrect the authentic 17th-century samurai school Natori-Ryu. The Official Tourism Ambassador for Wakayama, Antony has been recognized by peers as a leading expert in the discovery of military arts of medieval Japan. Find out more at: