Bushido Explained: The Japanese Samurai Code: A New Interpretation for Beginners

Alexander Bennett (Author) Baptiste Tavernier (Illustrator)


This seminal work by historian Alexander Bennett presents a broad overview of the Japanese "Way of the Warrior" as it is expressed in scores of classical Japanese texts written by famous Samurai themselves.

Bennett's analysis of these writings shows that the essential meaning of Bushido, the Samurai's code of conduct and ethics, evolved significantly over time--from the 12th century when the warrior class was elevated to become an elite group, to the 19th century when the Samurai class was suddenly disbanded.

Bushido Explained takes a visual approach to presenting important concepts and terminology, helping readers easily navigate the complex world of the Samurai. The text is written in a highly accessible style, with sidebars presenting interesting concepts, facts and important Samurai figures who were central to Bushido's evolution. The different types of Bushido--which vary by region, time period and Samurai rank--are presented with over 300 informative diagrams and illustrations.

No other book offers such a wide-ranging, yet clear analysis of Bushido--debunking myths and misconceptions about who the Samurai truly were. Bushido Explained presents a precise overview of Samurai ideals and culture in a logical, chronological order.

Author Alexander Bennett--a professor of Japanese history, martial arts and Budo theory at Kansai university in Japan--uses this information and teaching methods in his Japanese Studies: Introduction to Bushido class. Now, readers all over the world can sit in on the unique lesson.

Product Details

$16.99  $15.63
Tuttle Publishing
Publish Date
March 10, 2020
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About the Author

Alexander Bennett is a professor of Japanese history, martial arts and Budo theory at Kansai University. He co-founded and publishes Kendo World, the first English-language journal dedicated to Kendo. He holds black belts in several martial arts--Kendo Kyoshi 7-dan, Iaido 5-dan and Naginata 5-dan. His published works include Japan: The Ultimate Samurai Guide and Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai.

Baptiste Tavernier is an artist and martial artist based in Japan. He has studied martial arts at the International Budo University in Chiba for 7 years and has written several articles and books on the topic of martial arts. He has exhibited his artwork in cities worldwide including Tokyo, Taipei and Miami.


"Alex Bennett is a stalwart of martial arts and Bushido in Japan. He is one of the very few who can convey the wisdom of the samurai to the rest of the world." --Yasuko Kimura, headmaster of Tendo-ryu (a 400-year-old classical martial arts school)
"Dr. Bennett possesses a profound knowledge of, and deep insight into, the world of Japanese bushido. This expertise has been enhanced by his extensive practical experience of the traditional martial arts of Japan, and his proficiency in this domain is highly acclaimed." -- Tetsuo Yamaori, former Director of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies
"No other study of Japanese history and culture offers such a wide-ranging, yet clear analysis of Bushido...Exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, [it] is an extraordinarily informative and unreservedly recommended introduction to the Japanese warrior code known as Bushido..." -- Midwest Book Review
"...a beautiful introduction to the world of the Japanese Samurai and their way of the warrior...If a reader is looking for an overview of key aspects of Bushido, this is likely the book for them. The integration of visual resources will likely appeal to many readers..." -- Martial Journal