Mochizuki Kotaro is a mild-mannered, unmanly high school student. One day, he visits a library and meets the mysterious librarian Himiko, who recommends to him an ancient book about a heroic general from the Sengoku period 400 years ago. Kotaro notices that he has the same name and age as the general described in the book, and he experiences a flashback... Kotaro later mentions the book to his father, who tells him that he may be the descendent of a powerful samurai. At that moment, Kotaro receives a message from his childhood friend Ai telling him that their classmate Nakamura Tsuyoshi is in trouble. He rushes to the scene but doesn't have the guts to help, until another flashback transforms him into a samurai!
Runtime: 54 minutes
Samurai High School - Samurai - Netflix
Samurai (侍) were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are usually referred to as bushi (武士, [bɯ.ɕi]) or buke (武家). According to translator William Scott Wilson: “In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning 'to wait upon', 'accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean 'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb.” According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū (905–914), the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi, and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai were usually associated with a clan and their lord, and were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of then Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Samurai High School - Religious influences - Netflix
The philosophies of Buddhism and Zen, and to a lesser extent Confucianism and Shinto, influenced the samurai culture. Zen meditation became an important teaching, because it offered a process to calm one's mind. The Buddhist concept of reincarnation and rebirth led samurai to abandon torture and needless killing, while some samurai even gave up violence altogether and became Buddhist monks after coming to believe that their killings were fruitless. Some were killed as they came to terms with these conclusions in the battlefield. The most defining role that Confucianism played in samurai philosophy was to stress the importance of the lord-retainer relationship—the loyalty that a samurai was required to show his lord. Literature on the subject of bushido such as Hagakure (“Hidden in Leaves”) by Yamamoto Tsunetomo and Gorin no Sho (“Book of the Five Rings”) by Miyamoto Musashi, both written in the Edo period (1603–1868), contributed to the development of bushidō and Zen philosophy. The philosophies of Buddhism and Zen, and to a lesser extent Confucianism and Shinto, are attributed to the development of the samurai culture. According to Robert Sharf, “The notion that Zen is somehow related to Japanese culture in general, and bushidō in particular, is familiar to Western students of Zen through the writings of D. T. Suzuki, no doubt the single most important figure in the spread of Zen in the West.” In an account of Japan sent to Father Ignatius Loyola at Rome, drawn from the statements of Anger (Han-Siro's western name), Xavier describes the importance of honor to the Japanese (Letter preserved at College of Coimbra):
In the first place, the nation with which we have had to do here surpasses in goodness any of the nations lately discovered. I really think that among barbarous nations there can be none that has more natural goodness than the Japanese. They are of a kindly disposition, not at all given to cheating, wonderfully desirous of honour and rank. Honour with them is placed above everything else. There are a great many poor among them, but poverty is not a disgrace to any one. There is one thing among them of which I hardly know whether it is practised anywhere among Christians. The nobles, however poor they may be, receive the same honour from the rest as if they were rich.
Samurai High School - References - Netflix