Photo: The Yomiuri Shimbun Samurai Up

Photo: The Yomiuri Shimbun Samurai UpThe Yomiuri Giants’ Tomoyuki Sugano, center, and other pitchers of the Samurai Japan national baseball team practice defense on Thursday, the first day of training camp in Miyazaki. The team is aiming to repeat its 2009 championship win in the second World Baseball Classic with victory in the fourth WBC in March.

Sakamoto Aims To Drive Yomiuri, Samurai Japan

Sakamoto aims to drive Yomiuri, Samurai JapanIn his third year as the Yomiuri Giants’ captain, Hayato Sakamoto is now at ease in his actions as the leader.
“All right, let’s go,” Sakamoto shouted as he energetically raced up the stairs at Kirishima Sunmarine Stadium Miyazaki on Feb. 2 at the head of a line of players. Thirteen teammates, mostly inexperienced players, repeatedly dashed up and down the stairs in the right wing of the stadium. They followed Sakamoto as if they were propelled by the captain, who wore a confident look as he worked out.

Aoki Brings Experience To Samurai Japan

Aoki brings experience to Samurai JapanThrough five seasons in the major leagues, outfielder Norichika Aoki never distanced himself from his roots across the Pacific. The aura of the Hinomaru looms large in his preparations for his first season with a new club.
“No matter what the situation is, I will be happy to participate,” Aoki told Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo last summer, when Kokubo visited him to sound him out about playing for Japan in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Were Japanese Samurai Really Secret Christians?

Were Japanese Samurai Really Secret Christians?Is it possible that hundreds of Japanese Samurai were actually secret Christians who expressed their faith with codes hidden in their sword hilts? As far as the new findings of The Sawada Miki Kinenkan museum in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan are concerned, the answer is "yes."

Rarely-seen Samurai Weaponry Finally Goes On Display

Rarely-Seen Samurai Weaponry Finally Goes on DisplayMost people think of samurai as fierce swordsmen attuned to violence, but the artifacts currently on display in Samurai: The Way of the Warrior at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville reveal a commitment to impeccable craftsmanship as well as deadly force. On loan from the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy, the exhibition boasts a priceless collection of ceremonial suits of armor, handscrolls, katanas (swords), and other samurai-related relics rarely seen outside of Japan.

First Clear Portrait Found Of Top Edo Period Swordsman

First clear portrait found of top Edo Period swordsmanThe first clear portrait of a famed swordsman who survived the bloody end to the Edo Period (1603-1867) and later became a policeman has been found by his descendants.
Saito Hajime (1844-1915) was considered one of the top samurai of his generation and, along with famed swordsman Okita Soji, was a leading member of the Shinsengumi, a special security corps that was formed in Kyoto to protect the Tokugawa Shogunate during the mid-19th century.

Usj Set To Stage Samurai Era Spectacle Using Osaka Castle

USJ set to stage samurai era spectacle using Osaka CastleUniversal Studios Japan is set to hold its first outdoor spectacular away from the theme park here with a dazzling show about the siege of Osaka Castle in the 17th century.
USJ said the event, titled “Sengoku the Real at Osaka Castle,” will involve images beamed on to the walls of Osaka Castle as well as fireworks, music and live performances. It will run from December through March next year.

Samurai Hustle Returns

Samurai Hustle ReturnsMasaatsu Naito (Kuranosuke Sasaki) successfully completes Sankin-kotai (required ritual to visit the shogun). On his way home, he hears that an insurrection by peasants has taken place in his hometown of Yunagaya. Masaatsu Naito knows that it is a counterattack by Matsudaira. He returns to Yunagaya, but finds that his castle is gone.

Okita Soji

Okita SojiOkita Sōji, (1842 or 1844 – July 19, 1868) was the captain of the first unit of the Shinsengumi, a special police force in Kyoto during the late shogunate period. He was one of the best swordsmen of the Shinsengumi.

Otomo Sorin

Otomo SorinŌtomo Sōrin (January 31, 1530 – June 11, 1587), also known as Fujiwara no Yoshishige and Ōtomo Yoshishige, was a Japanese feudal lord (daimyo) of the Ōtomo clan, one of the few to have converted to Roman Catholicism (Christianity). The eldest son of Ōtomo Yoshiaki, he inherited the Funai Domain, on Kyūshū, Japan's southernmost main island, from his father. He is perhaps most significant for having appealed to Toyotomi Hideyoshi to intervene in Kyūshū against the Shimazu clan, thus spurring Hideyoshi's Kyūshū Campaign of 1587.

Ota Dokan

Ota DokanŌta Dōkan (1432 - August 25, 1486), also known as Ōta Sukenaga or Ōta Dōkan Sukenaga, was a Japanese samurai warrior-poet, military tactician and Buddhist monk. Ōta Sukenaga took the tonsure (bald scalp) as a Buddhist priest in 1478, and he also adopted the Buddhist name, Dōkan, by which he is known today. Dōkan is best known as the architect and builder of Edo Castle (now the Imperial Palace) in what is today modern Tokyo; and he is considered the founder of the castle town which grew up around that Ōnin era fortress.

Ooka Tadasuke

Ooka TadasukeŌoka Tadasuke (1677 – February 3, 1752) was a Japanese samurai in the service of the Tokugawa shogunate. During the reign of Tokugawa Yoshimune, as a magistrate (machi-bugyō) of Edo, his roles included chief of police, judge and jury, and Yamada Magistrate (Yamada bugyō) prior to his tenure as South Magistrate (Minami Machi-bugyō) of Edo.

Okada Izo

Okada IzoOkada Izō ( February 14, 1838 – June 3, 1865) was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period, feared as one of the four most notable assassins of the Bakumatsu period. He was born in Tosa to the gōshi Okada Gihei, who had been a peasant but had bought the gōshi rank. Izō and Tanaka Shinbei were active in Kyoto as assassins under the leadership of Takechi Hanpeita.