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Samurai Archives Japanese History Podcast


Follow your hosts on a trek into Japanese history, from ancient Japan to the end of the Samurai and all points in between - culture, warfare, literature, and interviews. Simply stated, our mission is to bridge the gap between the popular and the academic, and to bring the world of academic Japanese history accessible to a wider audience through discussion of topics and authors in an informative but informal manner. We encourage those listeners who want to know more to seek out works by the historians and authors we reference and interview, and to contribute to the conversation. Conversely, we hope scholars can view us as a way to reach a broader, non-specialist audience and raise the bar for general understandings of Japanese history. The Official Podcast of the Samurai Archives Japanese History page.

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Nov 20, 2014

In part two of our philosophical musings on Samurai, Bushido, and death, Chris and Forest look at how one's perception of reality constrains and shapes thier outlook and actions, and would have surely shaped the views and actions of the Samurai.  The intent in going off to battle as a Samurai wasn't to valiantly seek death, but to survive and prosper.  However, since death was always on the table, the goal was to, if nothing else, gain utility from their death - furthering their name, their family, and thier clan - because cowardice in battle was a sure way to get your family put to the sword during the Sengoku period.  But, above all, Samurai were human, and whatever their personal plans were for combat, as Mike Tyson once said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face", and snap decisions ruled the day in the heat of battle - some men rose up and brought glory, and others folded in a messy heap.

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