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Guided Reading Essay: The Loyalty of a Boy Samurai

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Read the story of The Loyalty of a Boy Samurai then answer then complete the following essay assignment under the Quiz section. The 5th installment of Justin Hagen's Jitsuroku series, The Loyalty of a Samurai Boy is a supplemental tale to Kazuma's Revenge.  A back story of Izu no Kami (Matsudaira Nobutsuna) is given to build him up as a character of iron resolve in the face of persecution.  While the veracity of this particular tale may be questionable, the fame of Izu no Kami as a loyal retainer of Tokugawa Iemitsu and Tokugawa Ietsuna became the subject of legend in the realm of Feudal Japan and sparked widespread tales of his character like this one featured here. Vendettas, honor, loyalty, murder and betrayal, key components of a classic and yet little known Japanese literary genre known as jitsuroku.  The word “jitsuroku” translates as “memoir” and was a genre of literature in feudal Japan that were generally exaggerated stories of political scandals and revenge.  These stories were largely based on true events, however through oral transmission and embellishment, these stories would soon intertwine fact and fiction together to the point that trying to decipher between the two would become quite difficult.  The result is that epic tales of revenge would soon become transmitted and popularized throughout Feudal Japan. This story of The Loyalty of a Boy Samurai demonstrates the resolve towards loyalty that became iconic as an ideal trait of a Samurai. This work is a republishing of a segment from Tales of the Samurai and Lady Hosokawa by Asatori Miyamori and Kido Okamoto which is now out of print and in the public domain.

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