ED2011 Book Reviews

John Man

By | Published on Thursday 18 August 2011

Darth Vader’s helmet is a simplified version of samurai armour! So says biographer John Man, who traced the footsteps of Japanese national hero Saigo Takamori. During an entertainingly informative slide show and talk, Man described the honour codes, elitism, and stifled aggression that characterised samurai from 1600 onwards. He then explored the life of Takamori – nineteenth-century junior clerk, government minister, rebel leader, and dog-lover – who led a futile rebellion and was, quite literally, the last samurai (Man cautioned his audience about the inaccuracies of the Tom Cruise film version). For Man’s next project, he will move from the fit and loyal warriors to their opposite: secretive, master-of-the-dark ninjas.

ScottishPower Studio Theatre, 15 Aug, 5.00pm (6.00pm), £8.00 – £10.00, bfpp13.