In 'Legends of the Samurai', Sato confronts both the history and the legend of the samurai, untangling the two to present an authentic picture of these legendary warriors. Through his masterful translations of original samurai tales, laws, dicta, reports, and arguments accompanied by insightful commentary, Hiroaki Sato chronicles the changing ethos of the Japanese warrior from the samurai's historical origins to his rise to political power. For this purpose, Sato has chosen to translate, wherever possible, writings closest in time to the actual event. His translations are a testament to his master of the language for they flow with lively ease that one might not expect from accounts, many of which are ancient. Legends of the Samurai covers legends from mythological times to the early eighteenth century. Through this book Sato describes men accomplished in martial arts, warrior-commanders in battle, and samurai's own views of themselves. It ends with a famous modern retelling of a mass disembowelment in the mid-seventeenth century.