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The Samurai's Tale

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,573 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
When the powerful Lord Takeda’s soldiers sweep across the countryside, killing and plundering, they spare the boy Taro’s life and take him along with them. Taro becomes a servant in the household of the noble Lord Akiyama, where he meets Togan, a cook, who teaches Taro and makes his new life bearable. But when Togan is murdered, Taro’s life takes a new direction: He will b ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 12th 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1984)
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Mads I read this in Eighth Grade, Although I'm not sure what level it would be. Maybe an 8? Is that a Level?

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Apr 15, 2012 Cassie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You know a story is going to be boring when it starts out with "How should I begin my story?" The plot was slow, the characters were difficult to keep straight, and the conflict was unconvincing. Yes, there were a few good parts, but they were few and far between. The one good thing I have to say is the love story was cute. I just found it difficult to get into this book. I only read it because I had to for school.
Mar 16, 2017 Alex rated it liked it
The ending was sad
Kashvi Lalgudi
Mar 28, 2017 Kashvi Lalgudi rated it really liked it
The Samurai's Tale follows the journey of a young boy named Taro, and how he eventually rises through the ranks and becomes a fully fledged samurai, under the Lord Takeda Shingen. I found Taro's saga to be deep and interesting, because even when he lost someone important to him, he met a new person, and when he made a friend, he would always apply that friend's lesson to every cruel battle or scenario he faced. Haugaard did an incredible job of setting the tone and time of the story, which takes ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Brady rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna Hart
Jan 13, 2016 Jenna Hart rated it really liked it
I thought that "The Samurai's Tale" was a good book. In the beginning, the main characters parents were killed leaving him with nothing but a bamboo sword. This got me interested, wondering what was to come. Erik Christian Haugaard did a good job of adding suspense however and portraying the time period, but, he left me confused at some points. I think that in order to fully understand the book you must do some research. For example, when the author was talking about all the Lords, it got confus ...more
Aug 29, 2013 Macky rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2015 Angelina rated it it was amazing
This book is majorly underrated. I know people read it for school, so it's deemed: boring, but give it a chance! The Samurai's Tale begins slowly, though once the tension has built, it's like it spirals out of control and you lose yourself to the world of 'Taro'. You feel what he feels-love, loyalty, anguish- and see everything through a young samurai's eyes.
4.5 stars- if only because the slow start. Don't put this book down unless you've gotten to page 100 and still think it's boring.
Max White
Jan 12, 2017 Max White rated it did not like it
Set in ancient Japan, Samurais Tale addresses the life of samurais and lords in Japan. Erik Haugaard uses his novel to show the process of becoming high ranks and how lords impacted each other. This was a time when all people cared about was there honor and what they were known as. Through his characters, readers begin to understand that people only care about their honor which leads to betrayal and dishonesty. Haugaard explores this through the characters of Taro and Lord Akiyama who are both r ...more
I enjoyed reading this story to my son. The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is the names in the book. This is a Japanese story and there are many characters from several different families so they have similar names. There are also numerous locations,also with Japanese names. I found all the different names,families,villages,castles difficult to follow and keep track of who was who. Who went with what family,where all the different settings were located and their importance,etc. T ...more
Hernan Sanchez
Dec 03, 2016 Hernan Sanchez rated it it was amazing
This book is about a young prince, that his parents were killed by Lord Takeda's army. His life was spared and went with them. Taro which is his name that they gave him, then becomes the servant of Lord Akiyama. There is where he met a cook named Togan, and teaches Taro a new way of living. Later on the story Togan is stabbed to death and Taro is left by himself. During this time of the story he learned new things, met knew people, and earned respect. Taro then decides to change by becoming a sa ...more
Lucas Crane
Mar 23, 2017 Lucas Crane rated it liked it
The Samurai's Tale was an OK book. It's about a boy named Taro (who changes his name to Murakami) is the son of a dead samurai and is spoiled with all of his servants. However when Lord Takeda's sweep across the country side killing people they spare Taro and take him with them. He becomes a servant of Lord Akiyama and became his friend and a samurai. This book was interesting the first few chapters but got boring. It became hard to pay attention to and was confusing. I wasn't very impressed wit ...more
Zade Abou-Rass
Jan 12, 2017 Zade Abou-Rass rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who enjoy a story that has a slow plot
Erik Christian Haugaard and The Samurai’s Tale
Taking place in 1500s of Japan when feudalism was the social caste,The Samurai’s Tale tells the reader about many social problems. It depicted social problems like oppression and war, Erik Haugaard applied oppression into the book by showing the force by shoguns and samurais. “The Samurai’s tale” told me beforehand of what the book might be about. It gave me the idea that the book is going to be about the journey of a boy becoming a man and and also
Mar 11, 2017 Mirabelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3rd-quarter
This book "The Samurai's Tale" really changed my perspective on Ancient China and the culture of the samurai. I learned so much about the life that samurai's had and what they did every day. I also learned about the culture in Ancient China, for example, marriages were arranged. I definitely recommend this book to people who love a little action/mystery and love to discover secrets of China back in time when there was dynasties.
Rocco George
Rocco George

The Samurai's Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard embarks the reader on a journey of a young boy Taro's journey to be a samurai during 16th Century Japan and in Japan's feudal age. Early in Taro's childhood his family is murdered by the powerful Lord Takeda and his soldiers. Born into a samurai family he was expected to be one by his father but it was taken from him. Lord Takeda spares him and lets him work in the household of Lord Akiyama and meets Togan, a cook who was the closest thi
George Torreblanca
Mar 10, 2017 George Torreblanca rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.

For my 2016 reading challenge, there was a category of "A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF." This was the book my boyfriend chose for me to read. He really enjoyed it when he was younger, evidently, and it was a nice short title to help fill out the list, so it worked out pretty well for the category.

The story revolves around Taro, a boy born as nobility in the Warring States period but reduced to the s
Jan 06, 2016 Vishnu rated it really liked it
Vishnu Gosai
Core Reading
English Pink
What Is My Place in Society
The Samurai's Tale takes place in the time of the samurai, and when lord's ruled over the land of the rising sun known as Japan. Erik Christian Haugaard well illustrates how that in Japan is a place of pride and honor and the power of having a name, and to be stripped of ones name is to lose ones dignity in the land of Japan as the young boy named Murakami Harutomo at birth but loses his right as a son of a samurai and heir to
Santosh Selvaraj
Jan 13, 2016 Santosh Selvaraj rated it it was amazing
The book Samurai's Tale was a riveting book that showed the cruelty and loyalty of the Japanese culture.

First, the author showed the power of Japanese Feudalism as harsh due to the treatment of their people if they disobeyed orders or if they did something someone else despised. “pg. 5. She was lying there in a pool of blood, dead!”, This tells you that soldiers killed a mother to a boy that was not even 5. They slayed his brothers as well. (view spoiler)
Stephanie Aguilar
Feb 29, 2016 Stephanie Aguilar rated it liked it
The samurai's tale is a book that takes place in Japan and it’s about a boy whose family was killed by an army of samurai’s. The boy had to hide with his servant Yone, but they were found and they took him to serve Lord Akiyama and the Lord named him Taro, although his name was Murakami. Taro started off by helping in the kitchen, there he met the cook who was a big, peaceful, nice guy named Togan, Togan cared for Taro and showed him to appreciate everything and how to be patient. As he grew old ...more
May 30, 2013 Austin rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joo Eon P
Aug 17, 2013 Joo Eon P rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Noah Roberts
Jan 11, 2017 Noah Roberts rated it it was ok
Set in the early 1500's in Feudal Japan, The Samurai’s Tale addresses the issue of length someone can go to, to gain more power. Erik Christian Haugaard uses his novel to highlight the unique struggles during early Japanese Feudalism caused by the need for power by Emperors, Shoguns, and others high in social class. As Haugaard points out, this was a time of many tragic wars and often horrible treatment and punishment to the lower class. Through his characters, the reader begins to understand th ...more
Margot Wester
Jan 11, 2017 Margot Wester marked it as to-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jakob Katchem
Oct 03, 2013 Jakob Katchem rated it really liked it
In the book " The Samurai's Tale", by Erik Christian Haugaard, The petted son of a noble samurai loses not only his family, but all his status. Rather than being killed with the rest, he unintentionally charms a samurai of the lord who killed his father and family, and is allowed to live - as a servant. Throughout his life, the boy seeks to return to the heights from which he descended. He meets wonderful friends, and learns many hard lessons - always in a state of war, or on the edge of it.

Sari Kellman
Jan 12, 2017 Sari Kellman rated it really liked it
Taking place in the late 1400’s, all the way up to the early 1600’s, The Samurai’s Tale, discusses the fighting for power in Japan. In the novel of Erik Christian Haugaard, he describes the stressful violence between rulers during this time period,. It began with Takeda Shingen’s army moving into Taro’s village, which actually was the start of Taro’s journey to becoming a samurai. Haugaard makes it clear that this was a time when lords were in need for more soldiers and workers. Through the char ...more
Caitlin Finerty
Jan 13, 2016 Caitlin Finerty rated it liked it
Feudal Japan was a time where there was war broken out everywhere and no one was safe. Every person living in Japan from about 1200 to about 1600 was affected by this time. Whether you were rich or poor, lived in a city or in the mountains, you knew about the everlasting wars and the on going, restless nights of tearing through towns, killing the once who were innocent and more importantly the ones who were not. Erik Christian Haugaard, the author of The Samurai’s Tale set in Feudal Japan, chara ...more
Jan 12, 2017 Branden rated it it was amazing

The Samurai's tale, set in the early 1600’s in feudal Japan. A novel by Erik Christian Haugaard. He used the novel and highlighted the unique struggles for people in Feudal Japan. Feudalism in Japan accrued from the 1100’s to the 1800’s. Feudalism, is the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villeins or serfs were obliged to live on their lord's land and give him homage, labor, and a share of the
Jan 11, 2017 DavidAbdelnour rated it really liked it
Placed in the late 1500’s Japan, The Samurai’s Tale highlights many different aspects of life in this time period. Erik Christian Haugaard displayed the fascinating lifestyles people had to live through. This book was set during a time of war in Japan, which was generated by the greed of full control. Haugaard really pointed out the want and need for power, and how this trait in people affected everyone who knew them. Through his way of writing and his characters he created, the readers were abl ...more
Chase Larson
Feb 24, 2015 Chase Larson rated it really liked it
Taro is the main character of The Samurai’s Tale. He was the son of a noble samurai but then the fire nation attacked(not really it was Lord Takeda’s soldiers). He was spared but his family wasn’t. The soldier who killed his family liked him so he let him live as a servant. He also met new people like Togan who teaches him about things life. Togan really helped Taro through this hard time by making it bearable. Then one day Togan was killed by a drunken soldier. This made him mad and so from th ...more
Giddy Girlie
Maybe it is a cultural bias (and 100% my fault) but I had a TERRIBLE time keeping all the characters straight. Especially since I am not familiar with all the Japanese honorifics. In some of the most troubling spots, the author added a comment about it - for example, it is considered an honor if someone uses part of their own name or nickname when they give you a name. But because the characters are renamed several times, I kept having to go back an re-read. (each stage of your life, someone giv ...more
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What's The Name o...: Novel set in feudal japan [s] 8 55 Aug 15, 2012 09:27AM  
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Erik Haugaard was born in Denmark and has traveled extensively in the United States, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Called "a writer gifted in the art of the storyteller" by the BOSTON GLOBE, he is internationally known for his accomplishments as a playwright, poet, and translator.

Haugaard has written a number of acclaimed works for young adults that transport readers back to a time and place in history
More about Erik Christian Haugaard...

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“there are those who are cursed to live in times when death seems to come out of season, when the winter of a man's life may leap upon him in the midst of summer greenness.” 0 likes
“No-one can own our Lord Buddha. That would be a foolish claim, but the roads that lead to him, the Way... That is a different matter. They are all filled with toll-gates, like the roads of Japan, and the monks collect the fees.” 0 likes
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