Heart of a Samurai
In 1841, a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship. Japan’s borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way.
Manjiro, a fourteen-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about...more
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Now, me, I've always been a sucker for a well-written "fish out of water" story, and that's exactly what this is. A young Japanese fisherman gets shipwrecked in the 1840's and is rescued by an American whaling boat. He ...more
Although Heart of a Samurai didn’t deal with the Samurai aspect as much as I’d hope for, it concentrated on something better. Going after what you want and believing in yourself even when no one else does. Seeing the main character struggle for so long to go after a goal, as well as see the results (whether good or bad) was a huge ...more
I just finished reading my fifth book in English this year and it's "Heart of A Samurai". It's a story about John Manjiro who landed in the States as the first Japanese person. It was so interesting for me to read the book because I could learn history both of America and Japan.
Manjiro was born in a poor family as a fisherman's son. He started working for his family since he was 8 years old. He didn't get any chance to go to school. When he was 14 years old, som ...more
The author of Heart of a Samurai seemed to face a similar challenge as Pam Munoz Ryan, the author of Riding Freedom: a long, complicated life to dramatize but a minimum amount ...more
Not to say that it is too old-fashioned. I think this book is good enough and fast-paced enough to be interesting to modern children. I know kids in my classes would have enjoyed it if they'd been forced to re ...more
Heart of a Samurai is historical fiction, or maybe I should say historical/biographical fiction since the author noted that it is based on the life of a real person, real events, and a real time in history. One of the things tha ...more
It's 1841 and Japan is the greatest country in the world, so they say. Stories are told of the horrible beasts that inhabit the West. When Manjiro and his fellow fishermen are swept out to sea in a great ...more
It’s 1841 and Japan is deep into their isolationism. A Japanese fishing boat sinks, only to be rescued by Americans. Fourteen year old Manjiro learns all he can about the new culture and is keen for the adventure this new knowledge will bring him.
I feel into this book by complete accident. I saw it on the shelf in the library, and the attractive cover caught my eye. When I read the description, it was something the likes of which I’d never read before.
I really liked how differe ...more
Manjiro, a young 14 year old fisherman and his handful of fellow shipmates get lost at sea during a tropical storm that leaves them shipwrecked at an island they later call "Bird Island". They survive by themselves for a while until the "John Howland", a whaling vessel takes them aboard.The friends meet Captain Whitfield,and he takes them to Oahu, Hawaii where all the rest of the original crew decide to stay and Manjiro is taken to America. Manjiro attends the Bartle ...more
In Heart of a Samurai, Margi Preus tells a fictionalized story of Manjiro, a Japanese teen who, with four fishing companions, became shipwrecked on a rocky island and was rescued by an American whaling ship in the mid-1800's. Save for the addition of a couple of characters and some little details, the story is mostly true. Manjiro journeys to America as the adopted son of Captain Whitfield, learns English, and gains knowledge of American life and seafaring. He goes on to play a ...more
Heart of a Samurai is about fourteen year old Manjiro, who leaves home on a fishing trip with four friends. A storm comes up and they land at a deserted island. They are there for six months when a whaling vessel comes by and rescues them. They go aboard the whaling vessel, the John Howland. The Captain Whitfield befriends Manjiro and he goes with him to Massachusetts. The times are tough for Manjiro. He is believed to be the first Japanese person in the United States. There i ...more
This also reminded me quite a lot of Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, which is the Newbery award-winning story of the life of Nathaniel Bowditch who also loved to sail and loved to learn. So I thought it was very fun when he was mentioned in this book in a roundabout way when Manjir ...more
I adore a good sea adventure, so I particularly rel ...more
The Bad: Thin characters. Some conversations are As You Know, Bob, just to convey historical detail.
The Personal: I was studying this era, so I picked this book up to solidify it and make it real in my mind. Turns out, it (1) was too juvenile for my tastes and (2) didn't tell me anything I didn't know. Also the descriptions ...more