Good reading with a Japanese twist

I have recently been reading the Young Samurai series by Chris Bradford.

These were advertised in Matside a few years back, and come highly recommended by Jack and Jonty.

The books follow the adventures of Jack Fletcher, an Elizabethan teenager sailor shipwrecked in feudal Japan. Adopted by a Japanese samurai family, he is sent to samurai school where he makes friends and enemies in equal measure.

His main adversary is the ninja Dragon Eye, who is employed by the anti-foreigner factions of Japanese society and the anti-Protestant Jesuits, to steal Jack’s prized possession, his father’s rutter or sailings instructions.

Much death, mayhem and martial arts mayhem ensues. Great lessons are learnt about loyalty, love and loss by all involved.

In many ways, the books are a mix of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and James Clavell’s Shogun, but none the less an exciting read for teenagers.

Readers who are interested to explore the true story behind both Jack Fletcher and Shogun‘s hero, John Blackthorne, should read Samurai William, by Giles Milton.

Milton’s book tells the story of William Adams, british pilot to a Dutch fleet, who arrived in Japan in 1600 and rose to the highest levels in the Shogun’s court, fighting off scheming Catholic priests and assassination attempts… sound familiar?

Stephen Turnbull has written a whole series of scholarly books explaining the military history, arms, politics and key characters of the samurai era.

All of the books mentioned above are available to buy through Amazon – and if you use the Easyfundraising website, you raise money for the Club – a win-win!

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