[read online pdf] Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto YoshitsuneAuthor Pamela S Turner – Circuitwiringdiagram.co

GrUpMinamoto no Yoshitsune, the th century Heian hero who defeated the rival Taira clan only to be undone by another member of the Minamoto group, is a samurai legend His rise from obscurity, reckless brilliance in battle, and gruesome end which helped establish seppuku as part of the warrior code are irresistible features of a life that ended at ageA near contemporary chronicle, Heike monogatari, and a nemesis s history, Azuma kagami, reporting Yoshitsune s deeds were too thin for the popular imagination, which immediately began embroidering on the sources Turner unpicks some of the yarn but brightens the colors of what remains so that Yoshitsune, physically a small man, leaps from the pages, larger than life and twice as active Everyone diesviolentlybut the famous ends of Atsumori, Antoku, Kiyomori, and others are moving rather than grim The text rips along, skillfully engaging teens in many swift turns of events Historical and cultural references are impressively accurate, and Hinds s fluid brush and ink drawings and battle maps add useful detail Although Turner often uses the word probably, the compelling narrative never strains credulity, and expert tricks help readers navigate Japanese names and sort out relationships Students will find thepages of endnotes equally fascinating and lively a seven page bibliography attests to the serious research behind the vivid but never simplistic writing VERDICT Japanophiles, action lovers, and future historians will all find this book grippingPatricia D Lothrop, St George s School, Newport, RIWithbeheadings than you can shake a katana at, this account of the life of twelfth century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune is pure excitement While he is known mostly through legends, Turner plumbs the archives to figure out who Yoshitsunethe man who redefined the samuraireally was Beginning in , her account describes the clan rivalry between the Minamotos and the Taira, particularly Yoshitsune s father s failed power grab, which lost him his head and tipped the scales to favor the Taira Yoshitsune was sent to a Buddhist monastery, but as a teenager, he snuck away to pursue a warrior s life and seek revenge Throughout, Turner uses modern language and points of reference to draw meaningful comparisons to historic events For instance, she likens Yoshitsune s sudden decision to undergo samurai training to that of a boy who never had played Little League showing up for spring training with the Yankees In short, fast moving chapterseach with opening art by Hindsreaders witness the rebellious, brave Yoshitsune s formative battles, rise to fame, and eventual fall in , while gaining an understanding of the changing role of samurai in Japanese society Every bit as exciting as fiction, Yoshitsune s saga is supported with extensive chapter notes, a time line, a character list, and an explanation of how Turner recreated his world Kids who think history is boring will lose their heads over this one Booklist, starred review The life of th century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune unfolds in this compelling and often shocking nonfiction accountThe opening warning doesn t lie very few people die of natural causes Even as a baby, Yoshitsune s life is tied to war and honor After Yoshitsune s father, the leader of the Minamoto samurai, kidnaps the Retired Emperor as payback for favoring rival samurai leader Taira Kiyomori, Yoshitsune is taken from his family to live at the Kurama Temple His father is later beheaded Although he grows up among monks, his warrior heart leads him to escape and seek out samurai training Soon, he learns that his half brother Yoritomo is rebelling against the Taira How can Yoshitsune refuse an opportunity to reunite with his kin, avenge his father s murder, and conquer Japan Turner describes how, with skill, brilliance, and mental toughness that borders on insanity, Yoshitsune attacks the Taira in infamous battles, including an audacious over the cliff attack on the fortress Ichi No Tani He becomes a war hero to some, a loathsome figure to others, entering the lore with unforgettable consequences, including institutionalizing the ritual suicide known as seppuku and figuring in art from contemporary medieval songs all the way to modern manga Samurai life isn t pretty References to beheadings and seppuku are plentiful and may make some wince The cast of characters listed becomes a handy guide in keeping up with the Minamotos and TairasA well researched narrative told with true grit Kirkus, starred review Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the th century Heian hero who defeated the rival Taira clan only to be undone by another member of the Minamoto group, is a samurai legend His rise from obscurity, reckless brilliance in battle, and gruesome end which helped establish seppuku as part of the warrior code are irresistible features of a life that ended at ageA near contemporary chronicle, Heike monogatari, and a nemesiss history, Azuma kagami, reporting Yoshitsunes deeds were too thin for the popular imagination, which immediately began embroidering on the sources Turner unpicks some of the yarn but brightens the colors of what remains so that Yoshitsune, physically a small man, leaps from the pages, larger than life and twice as active Everyone diesviolentlybut the famous ends of Atsumori, Antoku, Kiyomori, and others are moving rather than grim The text rips along, skillfully engaging teens in many swift turns of events Historical and cultural references are impressively accurate, and Hindss fluid brush and ink drawings and battle maps add useful detail Although Turner often uses the word probably, the compelling narrative never strains credulity, and expert tricks help readers navigate Japanese names and sort out relationships Students will find thepages of endnotes equally fascinating and lively a seven page bibliography attests to the serious research behind the vivid but never simplistic writing VERDICT Japanophiles, action lovers, and future historians will all find this book gripping School Library Journal, starred review Its not often that biography and page turner come together in one thought, but Turners tale of the twelfth century warrior Minamoto Yoshitsune is just the work to draw samurai fans from the manga and movie aisles into the nonfiction shelves Murder and mayhem, intrigue and ritual suicide, family treachery, stolen royal regaliaYoshitsunes story has it all, as rival Taira and Minamoto families vie for control in a power vacuum left by a weak Retired Emperor Raised in a secluded monastery, Yoshitsune ran away and trained to be a samurai at fifteen, well past the age when boys usually acquired their skills Under the aegis of his elder half brother Yoritomo, Yoshitsune won a string of battles against the Taira but instead of lauding his victories, Yoritomo saw his brother as a threat and often subtly but publicly berated him This only seemed to make Yoshitsunefocused on earning the honor due him, and by the tragic end of his career, he had become a popular figure bound for history and legend Turner navigates the complex family and court relationships with commendable ease, occasionally tossing in a wry remark that supplies a touch of comic relief in so gory a tale When your half brother sends assassins to kill you, its a strong hint that your relationship is beyond repair Plenty of support is also offered to readers making their first foray into the samurai world a list of characters and places is located before the introduction timeline, glossary with pronunciations , and index can be found at the end Annotated chapter notes state whether information is drawn from history or legend, and they remark on where traces of Yoshitsunes adventures can be found in present day Japan Hand this to long faced kids whining that they have to write a history report The Bulletin of the Center for Children s Books, starred reviewTurner The Frog Scientist, rev is best known for her science books for children here she delivers an excellent biography of Japan s legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune Because he livedthan eight hundred years ago and few reliable sources for the facts of his life exist, it s not the sort of biography that leaves you intimately acquainted with the subject Of course, the basic outline of Yoshitsune s life is present, and Turner has worked assiduously to add some color to the outline, speculating where appropriate However, Samurai Rising has great appeal as military history Turner s action packed accounts of Yoshitsune s daring and courageous feats in battle, both as a fighter and as a leader, and his ensuing meteoric rise through the ranks of the samurai make for compelling reading She s taken full advantage of the story s inherent politics and intrigue, treachery and betrayal to write a rollicking good work of narrative nonfiction, and Hinds s digitally assisted brush and ink illustrations heighten the mood and atmosphere throughout More than seventy pages of back matter which includes author s notes, source notes, timelines, glossary, bibliography, and index provide further support for the reader The back cover warns Very few people in this story die of natural causes Turner delivers on the promise of that hook, and it will leave lovers of military history clamoring forof this type The Horn Book Magazine Exiled to a Buddhist temple as a child in retaliation for his fathers botched attempt to kidnap the emperor, Minamoto Yoshitsune ran away at , eager to train as a samurai and avenge his familys honor His military campaigns were as unexpected as they were triumphant, and his legend endured For almostyears, Pamela S Turner informs us, samurai navigated by him as if he were a fixed star In Samurai Rising, Turner, the author of several nonfiction books for young readers, traces the brutal and thrilling path of this most famous samurai Currents of intrigue, revenge and glory run so strong in his story that reading it feels like being buffeted by history Yoshitsune came of age in an era when two clans of samurai Yoshitsunes own Minamoto family and the Taira clashed over control of Japan The Tairas tactics were stunning child emperors abducted, the imperial regalia held hostage, sons of defeated rivals murdered with Herod like ruthlessness But equally reckless are Yoshitsunes own military maneuvers It is difficult not to wince in anticipation as he attacks Taira forces from impossible vantages, outnumbered by nearly half Before he was a legendary warrior, Yoshitsune was called a small, pale youth with crooked teeth and bulging eyes He began learning archery and swordsmanship almost a decade later than was customary How he overcame such hurdles is mostly unanswerable Turners fascinating descriptions of samurai armor, weaponry and strategy help mask an inevitable haziness in the undocumented years of Yoshitsunes training, and probably begins to emerge as a tiresome word Probably he practiced first with wooden weapons probably he first took aim at birds and deer Yet balancing the gaps are carefully chosen details, such as the practice of blackening ones teeth so as not to appear barbaric, that offer enticing glimpses into the larger culture as well as individual personalities When Minamoto and Taira forces come head to head, the narrative ignites, and Turners prose is by turns pithy and evocative News of severed heads travels fast, she remarks of a swift military response Later, riding through the night, Yoshitsune and his men set fire to trees and houses, their way illuminated by the misery of others Such violence is part of a warriors life, and Turner portions out just enough to satiate Heads topple, limbs are severed, arrows pierce eyeballs, yet these facts are relayed cleanly and directly The artwork is just as restrained With flowing brush strokes reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy, Gareth Hinds enhances each chapter with maps and illustrations at once graceful, spare and muscular Occasionally, the modernity of an otherwise apt metaphor is jarring comparing the Kyoto nobility and the samurai to cool kids and dumb jocks, for instance Just as often, these modern inflections inject a moment with instant accessibility No pressure, Yoshitsune, Turner wryly remarks after detailing the exploits of his barbarian killing great grandfather That a biography for young readers can be simultaneously as compelling as an action adventure film and meticulously researched may come as a surprise It shouldnt Authenticity and excitement arent mutually exclusive, as evidenced bypages of endnotes the print equivalent of the directors commentary on a DVD detailing the process of reconstructing Yoshitsunes life Some believe Yoshitsunes story has been burnished to impossible brightness over centuries Turner takes the opposite view, suggesting that what little is accessible is nothingthan the fossilized remains of an impossibly complex human experience If her stirring portrait is of a ghostly shadow, the living, breathing Yoshitsune must have been truly dazzling The New York Times Book Review