Unlike with the ninja, books on the samurai are nearly always of a high standard so you won't go wrong with any of these. Hence they are not reviewed. The bibliography is in two parts.

  1. Books about Samurai
  2. Translations of books written by samurai for samurai

Books about Samurai

Allyn, John, The 47 Ronin Story Tuttle, 1970

Benneville, James S. Tales of the Samurai. Dover Publications, 2004 ISBN 0486437469

Blomberg, Catharina, The Heart of the Warrior: Origins and Religious Background of the Samurai System in Feudal Japan Japan Library, 1994 ISBN 1873410131

Bottomley, I & A. P. Hopson, Arms & Armour of the Samurai. Bison Books, 1988 ISBN 086124415X

Brinckley, F. Samurai: the Invincible Warriors. Ohara Publications, 1975 ISBN 0897500431

Cleary, Thomas, The Japanese Art of War: Understanding the Culture of Strategy. Shambhala, 1991 ISBN 0877736537

Clements, Jonathan, A Brief History of the Samurai: the way of Japan's Elite Warriors. Robinson, 2010 ISBN 9781845299477

Conlan, Thomas D. Weapons & Fighting Techniques of the Samurai Warriors, 1200-1877 AD. Amber Books, 2008 ISBN 9781906626075

Cook, Harry, Samurai, the Story of a Warrior Tradition. Blandford, 1993 ISBN 0713724323

De Lange, William, Famous Japanese Swordsmen of the Two Courts Period. Floating World, 2007 ISBN 9781891640476

De Lange, William, Famous Japanese Swordsmen of the Warring States Period. Floating World, 2006 ISBN 1891640437

De Lange, William, Famous Japanese Swordsmen of the Period of Unification Floating World, 2008 ISBN 9781891640544

Ehara, Tadashi, Shogun & Daimyo: military dictators of samurai Japan. Different Worlds, 2011 ISBN 9780975399958

Friday, Karl F., The First Samurai: the Life and Legend of the Warrior Rebel Taira no Masakado. John Wiley & Sons, 2008 ISBN 978047176085

Friday, Karl F. and Seki Humitake, Legacies of the Sword: the Kashima-Shinryū and Samurai Martial Culture. University of Hawai'i Press, 1997 ISBN 0824818792

Fujioka, Michio, Japanese Castles. Hoikusha, 1973 (c. 1968)

Hillsborough, Romulus, Ryoma: Life of a Renaissance Samurai. Ridgeback Press, 1999 ISBN 9780966740165

Hillsborough, Romulus, Samurai Sketches from the Bloody Final Years of the Shogun. Ridgeback Press, 2001 ISBN 0966740181

Hillsborough, Romulus, Samurai Tales, Courage, Fidelity and Revenge in the Final Years of the Shogun Tutttle, 2010 ISBN 9784805311233 (new edition of above with some new material)

Hillsborough, Romulus, Shinsengumi: the Shogun's Last Samurai Corps. Tuttle, 2005 ISBN 9780804836272

Hirai, Kiyoshi, Feudal Architecture of Japan trans. Hiroaki Sato and Jeannine Ciliotta. Weatherhill/Heibonsha, 1973

Ikegami, Eiko, The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan. Harvard University Press, 1997 ISBN 0674868099

Kanzaki, Ryuto, Samurai Confidential. Manga university, 2008 ISBN 9784921205218

Katsu, Kokichi, Musui's Story: the Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai trans. by Teruko Craig. University of Arizona Press, 1988 ISBN 0816510350

Kure, Mituso, Samurai Arms, Armor, Costume. Chartwell Books, 2007 ISBN 9780785822080

Kure, Mitsuo, Samurai, an Illustrated History. Tuttle, 2001 ISBN 0804832870

Kure, Mitsuo & Ghislaine Kruit, The Samurai Recreated in Colour Photography Crowood Press, 2000 ISBN 186126335X

Louis, Thomas and Tommy Ito, Samurai, the Code of the Warrior. Sterling, 2008 ISBN 9781402763120

Mabire, Jean & Yves Breheret, The Samurai Wyndham, 1976 ISBN 0427000122

Mitchelhill, Jennifer, Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty. Kodansha International, 2003. ISBN 4770029543

Mol, Serge, Classical Weaponry of Japan: Special Weaponry and Tactics of Martial Arts. Kodansha International, 2003 ISBN 4770029411

Motoo, Hinago, Japanese Castles. trans. and adapted by William H. Coaldrake. Kodansha International, 1986 ISBN 0870117661

Newman, John, Bushido, the Way of the Warrior Bison, 1989. ISBN 086124530X

Ooms, Herman, Charismatic Bureaucrat: a Political Biography of Matsudaira Sadanobu, 1758-1829. University of Chicago Press, 1975. ISBN 0226630315

Ratti, Oscar & Adele Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: a Survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. Tuttle, 1973 ISBN 0804809178

Ravina, Mark, The Last Samurai: the Life and Battles of Saigō Takamori. John Wiley & Sons, 2004 ISBN 0471705373

Sadler, A. L. The Maker of Modern Japan: the Life of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Tuttle, 1981 (c. 1937)

Samurai War Stories, Teachings and Tales of Samurai Warfare. Translated by Antony Cummins and Yoshie Minami. History Press, 2013

Sato, Hiroaki, Legends of the Samurai. Overlook Press, 1995 ISBN 0879516194

Schmorleitz, Morton S., Castles in Japan. Tuttle, 1974 ISBN 0804811024

Seward, Jack, Hara-kiri, Japanese Ritual Suicide. Tuttle, 1968

Sharpe, Michael, Samurai Battles: Japan's Warrior Lords in 700 Years of Conflict. Compendium, 2009 ISBN 9781906347178

Sharpe, Michael, Samurai Leaders from the Tenth to the Nineteenth Century. Compendium, 2008 ISBN  9781906347307

Shiba, Gorō, Remembering Aizu: the Testament of Shiba Gorō trans. by Teruko Craig. University of Hawai'i Press, 1999 ISBN 0824821572

Shioya, Sakae, Chūshingura, an Exposition. Hokuseido Press, 1956

Sinclaire, Clive, Samurai, the Weapons and Spirit of the Japanese Warrior. Lyons, 2004 ISBN 1592287204

Sinclaire, Clive, Samurai Swords: a Collector's Guide to Japanese Swords. Chartwell Boos, 2009 ISBN 9780785825630

Storry, Richard, The Way of the Samurai. Orbis, 1978 ISBN 0856133027

Sugawara, Makoto, The Ancient Samurai.  East Publications, 1986 ISBN 4915645037

Sugawara, Makoto, Lives of Master Swordsmen. East Publications, 1988. ISBN 4915645010

Till, Barry, Samurai, the Cultured Warrior. Sono Nis Press, 1984 ISBN 9819203450

Turnbull, Stephen, The Book of the Samurai, the Warrior Class of Japan. Bison Books, 1982 ISBN 0861240618

Turnbull, Stephen, Fighting Ships of the Far East: Japan and Korea AD 612-1639. Osprey, 2003 ISBN 1841764787

Turnbull, Stephen, Hatamoto: Samurai Horse and Foot Guards. Osprey, 2010 ISBN 9781849082518

Turnbull, Stephen, The Lone Samurai and the Martial Arts. Arms and Armour Press, 1990 ISBN 0853689679

Turnbull, Stephen, The Samurai: a Military History, Osprey, 1977 ISBN 0850450977

Turnbull, Stephen, The Samurai and the Sacred.  Osprey, 2006 ISBN ISBN 9781846030215

Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai Armies 1467-1649. Osprey, 2008 ISBN 9781846033513

Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai Commanders, 940-1576. Osprey, 2005 ISBN 1841767433

Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai Commanders, 1577-1638. Osprey, 2005 ISBN 978184167444

Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai Heraldry. Osprey, 2002, ISBN 1841763047

Turnbull, Stephen, The Samurai Sourcebook. Arms and Armour Press, 1998  ISBN 1854093711

Turnbull, Stephen, The Samurai Swordsman. Frontline Books, 2008 ISBN 9781844157129

Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai, the Story of Japan's Noble Warriors. Collins & Brown, 2004 ISBN 1843402076

Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai, the World of the Warrior. Osprey, 2003 ISBN 1841767409

Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai Warlords: the Book of the Daimyo. Blandford Press, 1989 ISBN 0713720034

Turnbull, Stephen, Samurai Warriors. Guild Publishing, 1987

Turnbull, Stephen, Siege Weapons of the Far East AD 960-1644. Osprey, 2002 ISBN 1841763403

Turnbull, Stephen, Strongholds of the Samurai: Japanese Castles 250-1877. Osprey, 2009 ISBN 9781846034138

Turnbull, Stephen, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Osprey, 2012

Turnbull, Stephen, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Osprey, 2010

Turnbull, Stephen, War in Japan 1467-1615. Osprey, 2002 ISBN 9781841764801

Turnbull, Stephen, Warlords of Japan. Sampson Low, 1979

Turnbull, Stephen, Warriors of Medieval Japan. Osprey, 2005 ISBN 1841768642

Varley, H. Paul with Ivan and Nobuko Morris, The Samurai. 1974 ISBN04140217940

Varley, H. Paul, Warriors of Japan as Portrayed in the War Tales. University of Hawaii Press, 1994 ISBN 0824816013

Wilson, William Scott, The Lone Samurai: the Life of Miyamoto Musashi. Kodansha International, 2004 ISBN 477002942X

Yoda, Hiroko and Matt Alt, Ninja attack! True tales of assassins, samurai and outlaws. Kodansha, 2010 ISBN 9784770031198

Yumoto, John M., The Samurai Sword. Tuttle, 1979 (c. 1958)

Books by and for Samurai (or "Bushido for Dummies")

Cleary, Thomas, ed. & trans., Samurai Wisdom: Lessons from Japan's Warrior Culture. Tuttle, 2009 ISBN 9780804840088

Cleary, Thomas, ed. & trans., Soul of the Samurai: Modern Translations of Three Classic Works of Zen & Bushido. Tuttle, 2005 ISBN 0804846906

Cleary, Thomas ed. and trans, Training the Samurai Mind: a Bushido Sourcebook. Shambhala, 2008. ISBN 9781590305720

Daidoji, Yuzan, Budoshoshinshu: the Warrior's Primer of Daidoji Yuzan trans. by William Scott Wilson. Ohara, 1984.ISBN 897500962

Issai, Chozanshi, The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts trans. by William Scott Wilson. Kodansha International, 2006 ISBN 9784770030184

Kaibara, Ekiken, Yojokun: Life Lessons from a Samurai trans. by William Scott Wilson. Kodansha International, 2008 ISBN 9784770030771

Miyamoto, Musashi, The Book of Five Rings trans. by Thomas Cleary. Shambhala, 1994 ISBN 0877739986

Miyamoto, Musashi, A Book of Five Rings trans. Victor Harris. Overlook Press, 1974

Nitobe, Inazo, Bushido, the Warrior's Code. Ohara, 1979. ISBN 0897500318

Taira, Shigesuke, The Code of the Samurai: a Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke trans. Thomas Cleary. Tuttle, 1999. ISBN 978080831901

Takuan Soho, The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master trans by William Scott Wilson. Kodansha International, 1988

Wilson, William Scott, trans. Ideals of the Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors. Ohara, 1982. ISBN 0897500814

Yagyu, Munenori, The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun trans. by William Scott Wilson. Kodansha International, 2003. ISBN 9784770029553

Yamamoto, Tsunetomo, The Art of the Samurai: Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure. trans. by Barry D. Steben. Duncan Baird Publishers, 2008 ISBN 9781844835942

Yamamoto, Tsunetomo, Hagakure: the Book of the Samurai trans. by William Scott Wilson. Kodansha International, 1980 ISBN 087011378X

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