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The First Caucasian Samurai (wikipedia.org)
47 points by lionhearted 2545 days ago | hide | past | web | 9 comments | favorite

This story gave rise to one of my most favourite novels, Shōgun, by James Clavell. It's a great story about conquering the cultural divide. Not entirely sure why it was linked on HN but it's certainly interesting.


It's also an interesting exercise in cultural expectations; even now, with our small world, there are still very different expectations with, say, setting up a business or even just conducting business or going to work (or even living) in Japan or China (or many other countries) and that of the same in a "Western" country. Even then, doing business in America is, it seems, quite different from doing it in Australia or the UK or Continental Europe.

Just goes to show that even though we feel we get closer as an international society, many things highly resist change or adapt in quite different ways.

"Not entirely sure why it was linked on HN but it's certainly interesting."

Justin (justin.tv) mentioned Shogun in his Inc.com interview.

shogun is definitely an excellent book

He was not the first Foreign Samurai though, an African preceeded him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasuke

In a weird way, William Adams has had a huge effect on most of the good things in my life.

As liedra noted, he is the inspiration for the main character in Shogun. When I was about 9 years old, I first came across Shogun (the book) at my public library. It enchanted me and I've read it many times since then.

It was my first experience with anything related to Japan and it completely fascinated me. I tried to learn Japanese on my own as a kid and finally learned it for real in college. Through my wife, kids and career, it's fair to say that almost half of my life has been a Japanese experience.

We should get a book thread going. Shogun is definitely one of my favorites.

It's currently on my waiting list. Right now I'm halfway through "Musashi", which I'm finding quite motivational. I'm not sure how the two books compare though.

I preferred Shogun a lot more over Musashi. I know the second is a classic, but the first one was a much more engrossing story to me (despite its historical inaccuracy). :)

Everyone who saw the Tom Cruise movie knows that the last samurai was white, too. :P

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