‘Genius . . . makes the imagination take wing.’ — Mail On Sunday
In 1613, four low-ranking Japanese Samurai, accompanied by a Spanish priest, set sail for Mexico on an unprecedented mission: to bargain for a Catholic crusade through Japan in exchange for trading rights with the West.
Among the first Japanese ever to set foot in Europe, they travel to Rome and gain an audience with the Pope. All are baptized, hoping to curry favour with their European hosts. But upon returning to Japan, they discover a country with a hostile attitude to the Christian religion and a deep suspicion of the West. What does this mean for their seven-year mission? Disgraced and tormented, the Samurai begin to identify with the crucified Christ they formerly reviled.
The Samurai is a powerful and thoughtful work of historical fiction.
Translated from the Japanese by Van C. Gessel
‘The kinds of shock experienced by the Samurai can be transposed into Endo’s own coming to terms with the world outside Japan. He has been called “the Japanese Graham Greene” and indeed Greene is a great admirer. But Endo is really like no one else.’ — Anthony Thwaite, Observer
‘A wry and sometimes bitter meditation on the nature of cultural values . . . Sensational events or powerful images are pictured rather than expressed, so that they come to resemble Japanese haiku. It is because of Endo’s restraint that The Samurai is in the end so convincing.’ – Peter Ackroyd, Sunday Times
‘Entirely successful . . . a narrative of austere power.’ – Adam Mars Jones, Financial Times
Widely regarded as the most distinguished of contemporary Japanese writers and several times shortlisted for the Nobel Prize, SHUSAKU ENDO (1923—96) won many major literary prizes in his lifetime. His books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and include Silence, The Sea and Poison, Deep River, Scandal and The Samurai.
|Date Published||5th August 2010|