The Japanese Samurai

In: Historical Events

Submitted By krc10c
Words 1139
Pages 5
The Warriors of ancient Japanese legend have transcended the traditional image of war-tales and myths. For Japanese culture, the men who are regarded as one of the three types of heroes in Paul Varley’s book, Warriors of Japan: As Portrayed in the War Tales, have proven to be much more than the subject of a bedtime story, but rather a national treasure in which Japanese culture and wisdom is portray through. It is the victories, and failures of these heroes that teach the world of Japanese traditions and honor. However, these men were not created for the education of the world, but rather for the centuries of Japanese people whom these figures represent. Warrior tales of Minamoto no Tametomo, Minamoto no Yoshitomo, Minamoto no Yoshinaka, and Minamoto no Yoshitsune have a greater purpose than to provide entertainment to the people of Japan, these men provide a Japanese education on personality, values, morals, and Japanese customs. The three types of heroes that Varley examines in his book differ from each other slightly, but contribute greatly to the history of Japan in an exciting narrative of the honor and customs of the ancient Japanese warrior. The greatest loser-hero in Hōgen Monogatari is Minamoto no Tametomo (Varley, 56). A real life Japanese warrior, Minatomo was contributed with a number of attributes that are believed to have been not true in the effort to immortalize him as a warrior. Said to have stood two feet taller than the normal Japanese man, and endowed with a left arm six inches longer than the other – making his ability to shoot a bow an amazing and powerful feat – Tametomo was a grand character of Japanese imagination. His ability to wage battle made him an esteemed Japanese warrior, and this is important in regards to Japanese war customs in which many times the most elite warrior of each side would battle each other mano a mano (Varley, 54).…...

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