Ninja and Samurai at Manga Club

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

Ninja and Samurai at Manga Club

This month's Manga Club at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Teen Space focused on Ninja and Samurai. We learned about the historical similarities and differences between Japan's two iconic warriors as well as the many myths and legends that make them so unforgettable.

Did you know that Ninja literally means "invisible men," and the youngest recorded ninja assassin was only 13 years old? Also, Samurai adhered to a strict code of moral conduct known as Bushido that placed honor and service above even their own lives. 

Don't worry if you missed out. Here are some great books from our collection to learn more:

Real Ninja Book CoverReal Ninja: Over 20 True Stories of Japan's Secret Assassins
by James Field

Learn about the real lives that ninja lead in the 10th century through the 17th century in Japan.

This book focuses on ninja techniques, weapons, day-to-day life, and the battles that ninja took part in.

Although it is frequently rumored that ninja were at odds with the noble Samurai, ninja were often hired by the Samurai to help them in times of war! Many consider the ninja to be the deadliest warriors of their time because of their cunning tactics and intense training.

Samurai by Rachael Hanel Book CoverSamurai
by Rachael Hanel

Rachael Hanel discusses the history and everyday lives of Japan's noble samurai warriors. Did you know that the word samurai means "one who serves?"

These fierce warriors adhered to strict moral codes that forbade them from drinking in excess, getting into arguments, and disrespecting women.

Also, on a daily basis the samurai meditated on death in order to prepare them for battle.

Samurai by Stephen Turnbull Book CoverSamurai: The Story of Japan's Great Warriors
by Stephen Turnbull

This beautifully illustrated work by Stephen Turnbull gives a detailed account of the Samurai and their lives. It shows in detail the different kinds of dress and armor they wore and the weapons they used.

Did you know that swordplay was so important to the lives of the samurai that eventually the sword became known as the "soul of the samurai?"

This book shows both the beauty and the violence in the everyday lives of these great warriors.

Be sure to check out Manga Club next time on Feb. 26 and learn about multicultural comic characters. For more information on Manga Club, contact Cameron Myers ( or Brandon Digwood (
-- Cameron Myers