Samurai Rising : The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune
by Turner, Pamela S.; Hinds, Gareth (ILT)

Characters and Placesvii
Map of Japan
1 Disaster in Kyoto--Kyoto, 1160
2 Headless Ghosts--Kurama, 1160-1174
3 Samurai Boot Camp--Hiraizumi, 1174-1180
4 Brothers-in-Arms--Kamakura, 1180-1184
5 Perilous River--Kyoto, 1184
Map of the Battle of Uji River
6 Midnight Strike--Ichi-no-Tani, 1184
Map of the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani
7 Hooves Like Hailstones--Ichi-no-Tani, 1184
8 Into the Storm--Kyoto, Shikoku, and Yashima, 1184-1185
Map of the Battle of Yashima
9 The Dropped Bow--Yashima, 1185
10 The Drowned Sword--Dan-no-Ura, 1185
Map of the Battle of Dan-no-Ura
11 Assassins in the Dark--Dan-no-Ura, Kyoto, and Koshigoe, 1185
12 Shizuka's Song--Kyoto, Kamakura, and the Yoshino Mountains, 1185-1186
13 The Fugitive--Locations Unknown, 1185-1187
14 Feast of Arrows--Hiraizumi, 1187-1189
Epilogue: The Samurai Weeps
Authors Notes
A Note on Names
A Note on Dates
A Note on the Status of Women
Re-creating Yoshitsune's World
Time Lines
Yoshitsune and the Wider World
Major Periods of Japanese History
Time Line of Samurai Rising
Glossary of Japanese Words178(1)
Chapter Notes179(46)

Documents the true story of the legendary samurai who was raised in the household of the enemies who killed his father before being sent to live in a monastery where, against the odds, he learned and perfected his fighting skills.

PAMELA S. TURNER is the author of Life on Earth—and Beyond, The Dolphins of Shark Bay (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and the Orbis Pictus Honor Book The Frog Scientist (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Pamela lives in Oakland, California.

Back in college GARETH HINDS sketched legendary scenes from Yoshitsune’s life—just for fun. Today he is the creator of highly acclaimed graphic-novel adaptions of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, Beowulf, and other classics (Candlewick). Gareth lives in Washington D.C.

*Starred Review* With more beheadings 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 Yoshitsune-the man who redefined the samurai-really was. Beginning in 1160, 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 chapters-each with opening art by Hinds-readers witness the rebellious, brave Yoshitsune's formative battles, rise to fame, and eventual fall in 1189, 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. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

The life of 12th-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune unfolds in this compelling and often shocking nonfiction account. The 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 Tairas. A well-researched narrative told with true grit. (author's notes, timeline, glossary, chapter notes, bibliography) (Biography. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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