‘Samurai Wisdom Stories’, an Anthology of the Code of Honour

This collection by Pascal Fauliot combines legends and true stories about one of the most emblematic Japanese figures: the samurai.


WordsClémence Leleu

© Seuil

Anonymous or renowned swordsmen, samurai achieving dazzling victories or ronin, fallen warriors: all of these appear in Samurai Wisdom Stories, a collection of legends and true stories carefully selected by Pascal Fauliot.

The texts, comprising tales, poems and maxims, reveal the habits and customs of these warriors who ran feudal Japan for almost 700 years. 


Men of letters

Throughout the pages of these Samurai Wisdom Stories, the reader discovers through an original approach that these gentlemen were not just warriors, but also men of letters. The book also shines a light on their everyday existence, including practising martial arts, zen or developing strategies, all guided by respect for the code of honour. Featured alongside anonymous samurai are the three unifiers of Japan: Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Ieyasu Tokugawa. 

With an elegant layout, punctuated by reproductions of prints, each short story has a moral, forming a whole in which some of the tales respond to each other and others contradict each other, but all of which allow the reader to discover or rediscover this warrior caste that continues to fascinate.


Samurai Wisdom Stories (2011), a book by Pascal Fauliot published by Shambhala Publications.