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Book Title: The Samurai|
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Reader ratings: 6.4
The author of the book: Shūsaku Endō
Edition: Peter Owen
Date of issue: 2010
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 870 KB
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Considered one of the late Shusaku Endo's finest works, The Samurai seamlessly combines historical fact with a novelist's imaginings. Set in the period preceding the Christian persecutions in Japan recorded so memorably in Endo's Silence, this book traces the steps of some of the first Japanese to set foot on European soil.
Rokuemon Hasekura, a low-ranking warrior, is chosen as one of Japan's envoys to the Viceroy of Mexico and Pope Paul V. The emissaries set sail in 1613, accompanied by an ambitious Franciscan missionary who hopes to bargain trading privileges with the West for the right to head his order in Japan. The arduous journey lasts four years, and the Japanese travel from Mexico to Rome, where they are persuaded that the success of their mission depends on their conversion willy-nilly to Christianity. In fact, the enterprise has been futile from the start and the mission returns to Japan where the political tides have shifted: the authorities are pursuing an isolationist policy and a ruthless stamping out of all Western influences. In the face of disillusionment and death, samurai Rokuemon's only support and solace come from the spiritual lord he is not even sure he believes in.
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Read information about the authorShusaku Endo (遠藤 周作), born in Tokyo in 1923, was raised by his mother and an aunt in Kobe where he converted to Roman Catholicism at the age of eleven. At Tokyo's Keio University he majored in French literature, graduating BA in 1949, before furthering his studies in French Catholic literature at the University of Lyon in France between 1950 and 1953. A major theme running through his books, which have been translated into many languages, including English, French, Russian and Swedish, is the failure of Japanese soil to nurture the growth of Christianity. Before his death in 1996, Endo was the recipient of a number of outstanding Japanese literary awards: the Akutagawa Prize, Mainichi Cultural Prize, Shincho Prize, and Tanizaki Prize.
(from the backcover of Volcano).
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