Thursday, 24 December 2009
In Our Time this morning, as ever hosted by Melvyn Bragg, explored the history and 'myth' of the samurai throughout Japanese history. This is a 45 minute radio show in a discussion format with analysis from experts in this field: Gregory Irvine author of The Japanese Sword, Nicola Liscutin of the Japan Research Centre (SOAS), Angus Lockyer lecturer at SOAS.
This was a good, broad history of the samurai from early settlement and warring tribes in Japan through to the Second World War with some emphasis on the samurai's chief weapon, the sword. The talk also covered the symbolism of the sword within the Japanese culture as well as its effectiveness as a fighting weapon and how it adapted with the changing methods of warfare.