Training Oct 2005
Samurai Principles & Practices that Will Help Preteens &
in School, Sports, Social Activities & Choosing Careers
Lafayette De Mente. Phoenix Books / Publishers. Trade paperback, 6x9,
pages. ISBN: 0-914778-99-4. $9.95. [Trade distributors: Ingram Book
Company; Baker & Taylor. Direct to consumer distribution:
Japanologist and author Boyé Lafayette De Mente says that
training should be introduced into the American educational system, and
has published a “samurai training manual” to help achieve that goal.
Internationally known for his books on Japanese
culture and a recognized authority on the way of the samurai, the
Paradise Valley, Arizona-based author has identified the principles and
practices that made up the educational and training process of samurai
youths and published them in a book entitled: Samurai Principles &
Practices That Will Help Preteens & Teens in School, Sports, Social
Activities & Choosing Careers.
The book covers all of the basics of the
samurai training setting goals, discipline, diligence,
respect for others and one’s self, personal appearance, keeping things
order, living frugally, using intuitive and emotional intelligence, and
tapping into cosmic power.
Japan’s famous samurai warriors ruled the country from
1192 until 1868. De Mente says that during the latter centuries of
reign their training went beyond martial arts to include such cultural
pursuits as poetry, painting, calligraphy, history, philosophy and
behavior, making them one of the most remarkable groups of people the
world has ever seen.
Schooling in the skills and knowledge necessary
to produce a samurai began in early childhood, and was a lifelong
De Mente says that training in karate,
kendo (“the way of the sword”) and meditation are paths to learning the
skills, morality and motivation that made the samurai so successful,
recommends that this training be incorporated into the educational
of Western countries.
“The present-day systems of parenting and
educating in the U.S. and elsewhere obviously fail to provide the
physical, intellectual and emotional framework that youths need to even
approach their full potential and that now includes Japan,” he
“The introduction of American culture into Japan
following the end of World War II in 1945 resulted in the virtual
of samurai-type training of the young within a single generation,” he
“The negative effects of this cultural shift
were painfully conspicuous by the 1980s, prompting a growing number of
Japanese to individually take up training in karate and kendo and the
practice of meditation to reintroduce a sense of order and spiritual
power into their lives.
“It was the spirit of the samurai,” De
Mente continues, “that made it possible for tiny resource-poor Japan to
become the world’s second largest economy in less than 30 years.
that spirit, Japan will soon be just another kid on the block,” he
De Mente makes the obvious
point that parents and teachers must take the lead in creating the
environment necessary to build positive samurai-like qualities into the
mindset and behavior of students.
The book should
especially appeal to the millions of students who are into
manga (comics), video games, super secret agent ninjas, and
Boyé Lafayette De Mente
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Boye Lafayette De Mente