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by Scott Goto & illustrated by Scott Goto

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-57091-697-7
Publisher: Charlesbridge

After forging a magnificent samurai sword, a Japanese swordsmith of the Tokugawa period seeks a worthy owner for it. Swordsmith Sensei Masa and his apprentice Michio spend days hammering, shaping, polishing and sharpening the blade. Sensei knows it will be difficult to find the right owner since many samurai are “thugs and bullies who do not follow the Bushido.” When a strong, confident warrior tries to buy the sword, Sensei dismisses him as too cruel and arrogant. When wealthy Lord Toda argues he deserves the sword because he is noble, Sensei refuses him as too privileged. When a ronin dedicated to Kenjutsu argues the sword should be his, Sensei finds him too selfish. Many candidates are eliminated before Sensei finds the perfect samurai for his perfect sword. Dramatic oil illustrations emphasize samurai mannerisms, facial expressions and moves while the text captures the rhythms of the Japanese language. An attractive and informative introduction to sword-making in ancient Japan with insight into the samurai code of honor. (author’s notes, glossary) (Picture book. 7-10)