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Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior has been awarded the. Great Britain Sasakawa Award in association with. the Society Of Authors' Foundation. The boy snapped awake. He seized his sword. Tenno hardly dared to breathe. He sensed someone else was in the room. As his eyes grew. Young samurai: the way of the warrior. byBradford, Chris. Publication date For print-disabled users. Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files.
No money. Or were they waiting for someone who would? Father Lucius is to continue his teaching and I hope that when I return you will be fluent in Japanese. That was how his assassin had slipped by the guards undetected! It was foolhardy of me.
Originally published: Puffin Books, Includes bibliographical references pages Orphaned by a ninja pirate attack off the coast of Japan in , twelve-year-old English lad Jack Fletcher is determined to prove himself, despite the bullying of fellow students, when the legendary sword master who rescued him begins training him as a samurai warrior. Bookplateleaf Boxid IA External-identifier urn: Identifier youngsamuraiwayo00brad. Identifier-ark ark: Invoice Isbn Lccn Page-progression lr.
Pages Ppi Scandate Scanner scribe4. Scanningcenter indiana. See also WorldCat this item. It grinned maniacally. Two swords — one daggerlike. The conversation on the other side of the shoji door abruptly ceased. He stepped forward. He was at a loss. He staggered to his feet and hastily pulled on his clothes.
Then Jack remembered one of his fevered dreams — the girl had entered the room through a sliding door. But the man barred his way. Jack was afraid he was about to use it on him. The panel slid sharply open and Jack stumbled back. The woman spoke firmly to the man. Jack spotted his shirt and breeches. Jack grabbed hold of the wooden slats to pull but. Crossing the room he searched for the door.
There was not even a door handle. A middle-aged woman with a round face and a stocky young man with dark almond-shaped eyes glared at him. It was cool and fresh. Jack took the small bowl and gulped the liquid down. He wore a T-shaped robe in crisp white silk over wide black leggings spotted with golden dots.
Like the samurai the day before. Bow very. He had shaved the crown of his head. As he did so. May I beg you for a little more? She smiled sweetly and offered him some water. The samurai then began to laugh. The man had the look of someone who could kill Jack as easily as stepping on an ant.
Jack drained the water and. She frowned. To Jack it was a bit tasteless. Obviously upset. One contained water. Jack had seen rice once before. Licking his fingers clean. The woman looked utterly shocked. Thank you very much. He then greedily shovelled the rice into his mouth. Disappearing through the sliding door. What had he done? Perhaps he should have offered her some too?
A few moments later. Moving over to the door. The garden was unlike anything he had ever seen. The woman was waiting outside on a wooden veranda that circled the house. The woman appeared perplexed. Pebbled paths weaved their way through colourful flowers. A set of small steps led to a large garden surrounded by a high wall. A tiny waterfall ran into a stream that wound around a glorious cherry blossom tree then flowed back into the pond.
Frustrated at their inability to communicate. Everything about the garden was so perfect. Jack signed for her to go through the sliding panel. Jack stood up as quickly as his aching body would allow and.
It was another world to the muddy patches of herbs. How his mother would have adored all the flowers. A little bridge spanned a pond filled with pink water lilies. Clearly bewildered by the request. She pointed to the robe once again. The room was pleasantly warm and inside there was a long stone bench and a large square wooden tub filled with steaming water.
They entered a small wooden building on the other side of the garden. Kocchi ni kite! As they passed by. He ran round the bath and headed for the door. The woman indicated for Jack to put on some wooden sandals. On the other side of the pond a bony old man. It appeared bowing was the thing to do.
There was no way he was going to get in that bath. A young maid then http: The woman gave a slight bow in return and Jack followed suit. His mother had warned him that he could catch the flux or worse! The worst thing was that the water was scented.
Eventually they let him out. By now. Jack struggled and kicked so much that the gardener had to help hold him down too. He smelt like a girl! They dunked him back in the bathtub. Jack felt like a baby as they scrubbed him down and then lowered him.
The woman pulled off his robe and began to sluice him down with cold water. The heat was almost unbearable. After a while.
The maid was petite. The round-faced woman entered. She had small dark eyes and a short bob of black hair and. What did these people want with him? They fed and bathed him and now clothed him. He had only seen two other men in the house so far — the old gardener. This time. Apart from the throbbing pain in his arm and a dull ache in his head.
When Jack returned to his room. So where was she? He was used to trousers and shirts. Jack realized the woman meant him to put the garments on but. The woman stepped forward. The maid ceased laughing. Perhaps the girl and the scarred man were both figments of his imagination. At least it was obvious where these went. Jack felt awkward in his new clothes. Next a silk robe was wrapped round him. Stepping out on to the veranda. All of this was tied off from behind with a wide red belt called an obi.
The maid saw his predicament and giggled softly behind her hand. Jack put the socks down and submitted to the woman and young maid helping him dress. As he moved. He picked up a pair of funny-looking socks with split toes. Beneath these weapons was a small shrine inset into the wall. Jack looked at the woman. Jack noted that the fourth cushion remained unoccupied and presumed they were waiting for someone. They entered a small room similar to his own. The maid disappeared into another room while the woman led him along the veranda to another shoji.
The little boy continued to stare at Jack. A little Japanese boy sat cross-legged upon one of the cushions. The woman gestured for Jack to sit next to the boy. On the far wall cradled upon a stand were two magnificent swords. The woman spoke sharply to him and he went quiet. There was an awkward silence. With a flood of understanding.
There was fish soup. At least. Please may I ask your name? As she laid each one upon the table. He was just about to give up trying to make himself understood when the little boy piped up. A side shoji slid open and Chiro the maid entered. Then smiled without the faintest sign of comprehension having registered in her eyes. The maid bowed and left. Jack was suddenly aware how hungry he was. Jiro did the same. This had to be easier.
But half the rice immediately slid straight back into the bowl. How on earth was he supposed to eat with these? Jiro smiled at Jack through a mouthful of food. Jack wondered where the rest of the meal was. Never one to admit defeat. Jack waited to be served. Jiro opened his own hand to show Jack how to hold the hashi correctly. All the time. The more he dropped the food.
He examined the pencil thin bits of wood. The small table was dotted with the little bowls of food. Where was the meat? The gravy? Even a bit of buttered bread? Fearful of offending his host again. Jack decided to attempt some rice. There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence. Jack soon got restless. What did they want from him? He was constantly watched. He pretended to rub his belly in satisfaction. Were they deciding his fate?
Or were they waiting for someone who would? Jack fell into a routine of bathing. He felt trapped. Most days he sat beneath the cherry blossom tree and watched Uekiya the gardener weed the flower bed or prune back some shrub with infinite care. Nonetheless pleased by his accomplishment. His body gradually recovered from the fever. Jack chewed on the solitary grain. Jiro laughed. The little boy may have enjoyed the joke. He was allowed to wander the garden and house. Not caring about the cries of alarm or where he was headed.
When Uekiya bent over to tend some already immaculately pruned bush. The gate closed with the tiniest of clicks. That was his way out. After the now familiar breakfast of rice. Each day he had seen the young samurai. Jack resolved to escape.
He checked Jiro and Hiroko were inside the house before pulling on the latch. He could then smuggle aboard with the hope their next port of call would have passage back to England. Surely there had to be someone out there who could understand English and help get him home. Jack made for the gate. Jack was desperate to know what lay beyond the garden walls.
It was pointless asking if he could leave — he was a prisoner both of language and circumstance. The whole village appeared frozen in time. Jack tentatively bowed. Surrounding the village were countless terraced fields dotted with farmers tending rice beds. A hushed silence descended upon the square and Jack became aware of hundreds of eyes studying him. Jack saw that the village sat in the bowl of a large natural harbour with mountains rising up in the distance.
Women in vibrantly coloured kimonos knelt motionless by sellers in mid-purchase. He scanned the boats. Jack http: Only too aware that all were still eyeing him with suspicion. Women dressed in thin white slips dived from the boats. Ahead was a large cobblestone jetty where men and women were gutting fish and repairing nets. Jack turned a corner and unexpectedly found himself in the middle of the village square. The samurai barely acknowledged his greeting. A small sandy island lay in the centre of the bay.
Despite the pain in his arm. In the harbour beyond. But to no avail. Quickly taking his bearings. Jack crossed the square to the jetty and made his way down to a small beach. The only home he knew and Jess. What hope did he have of ever reaching her?
What had been the point in running? He had nowhere to go. Even as the fisherman rowed across the harbour. Not even his own clothes! With his blond hair. She had the same snowy white skin and jetblack hair as the girl he had seen at the temple with the white stallion.
Then the girl appeared. As the girl neared a little wooden jetty. No money. Blessed with soft. She ran her hands through her hair. A fisherman pulled in a bag loaded with oysters and. No rutter. Jack watched her slip into one of the boats closest to shore.
If Jack had ever imagined a fairy-tale princess. It was almost as if she was floating across the water. Jack could clearly see her features. Jack watched the little boats in the harbour bob up and down. England was two years and four thousand leagues away. Jack snatched his hand away. Blinking into the bright sunlight. Flat-Nose grabbed Jack by the scruff of his kimono and jerked him up to eye level.
One was squat with a round bulbous head and a flattened nose. Jack tried to back away. Jack barely registered the booming command. Above her hung the two gleaming samurai swords. He lay there motionless. Hiroko and her son Jiro sat in their usual places.
Jack immediately recognized the gentle voice. The thin man threw himself to the ground. Flat-Nose collapsed face first into the sand. The sword cut through the air and arced down towards the prostrate man. Jack allowed his guard to drop. In fact. Then he noticed Taka-san standing silently in the shadows. They were taking no chances. She laid the tray on the floor and carefully measured out some hot green-coloured water.
The samurai Taka-san obeyed her every word and the household bowed very low when in her company. Jack instantly tensed. Jack had been somewhat surprised that he was not punished for his escape. Akiko led Jack out on to the veranda.
After dinner. With both hands. A shoji slid open and Chiro brought out a lacquered tray with a beautifully embellished pot and two small cups. She had the finesse of a lady of class. Akiko sat absorbing the peace and. Uekiya the gardener especially. It tasted like boiled grass and he had to force back a grimace at its bitterness. Jack continued to press for new words until his head was overflowing with them and it was time to go to bed. He hesitantly sipped at the steaming brew.
After several moments of silence. Pointing to the green tea she evidently enjoyed so much. She seemed pleased to teach him her language and Jack was relieved. A look of quiet contentment spread across her face. He realized he would have to acquire a taste for sencha in the future. Jack plucked up the courage to speak. Akiko then drank from her own cup.
Taka-san led him back to his room. Jack took the cup and waited for Akiko to pick up hers. Akiko quietly applauded and then began pointing at other objects.
Jack was completing his early morning walk in the garden the following day. She held a crimson-coloured parasol over her head to keep off the sun. His head whirled with Japanese words and turbulent emotions. Jack settled down on his futon. Maybe gain work with a Japanese crew. Jack could barely keep up. Akiko wore a shimmering ivory kimono. As he lay there in the darkness. Perhaps Akiko was the key. If he could learn the language.
Maybe she could help him get home! A shadow shifted on the other side of the paper wall and Jack realized Taka-san still stood outside. Akiko and Taka-san were waiting. The torii was the colour of evening fire and the height of a double-storey house.
The crowd had formed an ordered semi-circle. Akiko then began to converse with a young samurai boy.
At the jetty. The villagers. As they drew closer. Returning their greeting. She seemed pleased at his response and they set off down the dirt track towards the harbour. Jack nodded his understanding. The boy threw Jack a disdainful look. Their small craft landed on the southern tip of the island and they joined the thronging mass of villagers.
They gave him a wide berth. Jack was astonished to see a huge crowd had gathered along a wide stretch of the beach in front of the red wooden gateway. It was constructed from two upright pillars cut across by two large horizontal beams.
Stocky and powerful. The warrior. For a brief moment it flashed like a bolt of lightning. The blade itself stretched over four feet in length. Akiko whispered its name: No one else appeared to be preparing for combat.
The warrior was dressed in a black-and-gold kimono decorated on the chest. His hairstyle was fashioned in the traditional samurai manner with a topknot of black hair pulled forward over a shaved pate. This samurai. In his hands. The heat had intensified and the villagers were now growing restless.
A lone samurai stood.
So where was their champion? Jack gauged that an hour must have passed. As Jack looked around the crowd. The boat drew closer. The mutterings of the crowd grew louder as the heat became unbearable. Jack let out an involuntary gasp of surprise. Another hour went by. Their champion. Jack could see a little fisherman rowing unhurriedly across the harbour. The samurai under the torii had become even more agitated and paced the beach like a caged tiger. The boat came to rest on the shoreline.
The little fisherman shipped his oars and waited patiently for his occupant to disembark. The listless crowd instantly became animated. Another huge cheer went up from the crowd as the man stood up and stepped barefoot on to the beach. Jack dreaded what he would have felt like in his old shirt and breeches. His followers roared even louder. Masamoto surveyed the scene before turning to retrieve his swords from the boat.
Masamoto had a completely shaved head. Unlike Godai. Taking his time. He had the solid and muscular build of an ox and his eyes were the colour of honeyed amber. His remaining features were otherwise even and well-defined. He slipped them. To Jack. First the shorter wakizashi sword.
Masamoto maintained his stoic pace. This infuriated Godai even more. Blinded with rage. At last he came face to face with Godai and bowed ceremoniously. Godai screamed insults as he approached. He wore a darkbrown and cream kimono which bore the circular emblem of a phoenix and. Masamoto appeared more monk than warrior. Godai brought his nodachi round for a second assault.
Masamoto pursued the retreating Godai into the sea. Godai spun away to prevent Masamoto extending his strike and drawing blood. They fought with the grace of dancers. They stood little chance against an enemy so proficient in such fighting arts. It was no wonder that his fellow crewmen had been slaughtered so effortlessly by the Japanese wako. He sidestepped Godai. Masamoto pressed forward under the crushing blow. Masamoto unsheathed both his swords from their sayas. Each strike was executed with the utmost accuracy and commitment.
Masamoto wielded his two swords as if they were natural extensions of his own arms. Masamoto shifted his weight. Jack was astounded at the skill and agility of these two warriors. In a single motion. Godai was devastatingly adept with the nodachi.
Taka-san wrenched Jack out of the way. The little man tried to protect himself. Godai continued to force Masamato backwards and into the throng of spectators. This was no practice match. Godai drove Masamoto back up the beach.
Jack realized with astonishment. In panic. At the very last second. This was a fight to the death. Masamoto managed to avoid the strike. Despite its massive size. Godai ducked and the katana sliced over the top of his head. He swallowed down the bitter shock of what he had just witnessed.
The crowd held their breath. Akiko signed to Jack if he was all right. Godai feigned an advance and the crowd surged backwards. The two warriors spun round on one another and froze. The two samurai had broken apart. They circled one another. How could a people who invested their time in cultivating idyllic gardens and decorating kimonos with images of butterflies be so barbaric?
It made no sense to Jack. Godai screamed a kiai and attacked.
His nodachi struck downward and then. That was the moment of over-confidence Masamoto had been waiting for. He quickly manoeuvred himself between Masamoto and the wooden vessel. With a sharp flick of his wrist. He weakly lowered his wakizashi. Taken by surprise.
For the first time in his life. Masamoto grunted in pain. After several controlled rolls. The crowd gave a despondent groan.
Godai stumbled backwards to avoid the flying blade and lost his footing in the sand. The shorter wakizashi was no match for a mighty nodachi.
Godai grinned from ear to ear as he slowly raised his weapon for the final blow. Godai was certain to win now Masamoto had forfeited his katana. Masamoto appeared defeated. Godai gloated. Masamoto retreated down the beach. Blood seeped from the gash on his shoulder. His victory clear and decisive. Little more than a blur. As he eyed the sand. But Masamoto was not intent on escaping. Masamoto shot past Godai and headed for the boat. He was not one of them.
He collapsed backwards like a felled tree. Chunks of wood flew through the air. Even Akiko. Jiro and Taka-san followed suit.
The bare feet of the scarred man planted themselves directly in front of him. Jack sensed Masamoto approaching him. Immediately Godai charged at Masamoto. Instead he grabbed the long wooden oar from the boat and spun round to face Godai. Now Masamoto possessed a weapon of equal length to the nodachi.
Jack alone remained standing. As he approached the crowd. But Masamoto stepped away from the prone body of Godai. He had been summoned to translate for Masamoto and studied Jack distrustfully.
The priest knelt on the floor in front of Masamoto. Do you speak English? My mother was a teacher.
He sipped placidly from a cup of sencha. From the moment Jack had entered the room. He was now flanked by two armed samurai. Jack could not believe this was the same man who barely hours before had been fighting for his life.
The priest. His shoulder wound having been dressed. But the samurai had merely ordered him to accompany him and his samurai back to the mainland where Hiroko was waiting to escort them up to the house. Kare wa doko kara kitanoda? And by the Blood of Christ. The Portuguese. He turned back to Jack and continued.
His father had cautioned him against such men. He had been summoned into the room only to be confronted by this mean-spirited Jesuit priest. Jack felt he was on trial. My father was the Pilot. I ask you again.
I arrived here on the Alexandria. He outran them in a day. Father Diego Bobadilla. The priest translated as Jack spoke. The samurai demand respect. I am his eyes and ears here. Jack studied the priest distrustfully. The samurai are members of the warrior caste. He rules this whole province on behalf of the Emperor. The samurai. A broken limb at sea meant a slow agonizing death from gangrene or else a painful and risky amputation.
He was indeed extremely fortunate to have met Masamoto. This appeared to please Masamoto. Masamoto here is an expert swordmaster. Lord of Shima and right-hand man to Takatomi Hideaki. He knew such medical skill was unheard of in England. He is also the man responsible for plucking you. Bowing low again. I could only see their eyes. They had swords. We had to make repairs. I think… dressed in black. All of them? She lives here with her daughter Akiko. We were forced to shelter in a cove.
Dokugan Ryu was sent to kill his son as a warning to stop his search. What of your mother? Was she on board? The ninja has not been sighted since. Green like snakeskin.
I was old enough to work. Mrs Winters. The samurai guards visibly stiffened at his words. He swallowed hard before continuing. Masamoto-sama had foiled an assassination attempt on his daimyo and was hunting down those responsible. With a slight tremor to his voice. Taka-san was carrying a package bound in a hessian cloth.
I am truly sorry for the death of your mother.
Father Lucius translated. Masamoto addressed Jack. And of your father. As he spoke. Masamoto put down the cup and addressed the room. Jack saw that the black-haired boy had turned rigid as stone.
But before he had a chance to respond. Jack Fletcher. Masamoto poured himself some more sencha. You have suffered under the same hand of Dokugan Ryu. He studied the cup before sipping slowly at its contents. No one broke the silence. Masamoto had summoned Taka-san into the room. Father Lucius translating as he spoke. The entire room watched with mounting interest. He lay dying on the deck.
Jack knew exactly what it was without removing the oilskin. Now you are recovered. Father Lucius edged closer. Are you all right? Father Lucius appeared unconvinced. Jack tugged at the binding and the cloth fell away to reveal a dark oilskinned parcel. His head lolled to one side. Masamoto had clearly decided the meeting was over and stood.
Never forget your saviour is a samurai. As the fit subsided. The samurai are a gifted but utterly ruthless people. He looked Jack in the eye. Everyone bowed as he spoke. He turned on Jack. With the presentation of the book done. Father Lucius got up to leave too.
Despite the heat of the day. Jack felt more like an honoured guest. His sister was living with Mrs Winters. With his father and mother both dead. Staying was a matter of survival. Jack swore he could smell the ocean in its pages. The question. Or if the old woman died?
Jack needed to find a way home and be there for her. But with England on the far side of the world. Taka-san had even bowed to him! Yet he did not belong here. He supposed he should be grateful. When he had opened it.