30. Book Review: The Courage of a Samurai


Note: This book was sent to me. All opinions are my own.

Firstly to Lori Tsugawa Whaley, I apologise for this review taking so long to go up. I had a breakdown prior to returning to university, then major issues with the SSRIs I was taking before I returned to university, and am currently going through regular crying episodes over meeting deadlines for the final year of this degree. With that said, let’s get on to the review!

If I waited until I got to the very last page of The Courage of a Samurai to write this up, it’d take even longer to get it online than it already has. Not only am I a slow reader, but I have to put my┬áhealth above everything. I often have different books on the go depending on term time and the like, but I feel so passionate about the stories told by Whaley that I had to talk about it now!


The book features the stories of several influential people in Japanese history, many which, from a western mindset, I imagine are people that we’re less aware of/ unaware of altogether. It was greatly useful to have the people’s stories divided by the principles mentioned in the title, that being:

  • Courage
  • Integrity
  • Benevolence
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Honor
  • Loyalty

Living by each of these principles is an interesting concept to think of, although it does remind me of words used in a school’s ethics code! We don’t think on a day-to-day basis on whether we are applying these principles to how we live our lives, but instead, focus on getting through each moment as it approaches us. I’d like to think that with each decision made, rather than reacting with impulse, I should instead see if I’m applying these actions to the way I want to lead my life.

My favourite story was of Chiune Sugihara, a man who helped many Jewish people escape the Nazis and flee from Lithuania to lead a new life in Japan or in parts of China that were occupied by the Japanese. The work he did to bring so many people to safety wasThis was the first time for me to have even heard the name ‘Chiune Sugihara’, so I’m thankful that Whaley has made the people in her book known, as they’re certainly not people that I would have come across in a secondary school history class!

Thank you once again for allowing me to review your book Lori, and also my deepest apologies for it taking so long to get that review out.


If you’d like to support Lori Tsugawa Whaley, you can buy her book using the link below:

Leave a Reply