Can a foreigner really learn the way of the samurai?


Koji Hayashi

Web designer, 31

I don’t think he’s a samurai. Being a samurai is not about showing off and being famous. It’s about what’s inside you, not outside.

Yuko Matsuzaki, 25

I don’t know about him, but I think a non-Japanese can be a samurai because of the samurai spirit. Maybe he was a samurai in a previous life.

Tom Bergman

Student, 21

He seems like one of those crazy white guys that likes martial arts too much. How can he be samurai if he hasn’t studied Kendo?

Ian Moore

Self-employed, 48

A Japanese samurai is not like Santa Claus. I don’t think there’s a lot of mucking around with it. If the guy’s serious, then I see nothing wrong with it, but maybe from a Japanese point of view it’s kind of degrading the name of samurai.

Noriko Inoue

Secretary, 31

I can’t say much about him, but judging from his picture he tries to imitate samurai. For me the definition of samurai is more about spirit. As long as he enjoys the costume, that’s fine, but if you ask me whether he’s a real samurai, I doubt it.

Yoko Hisano

Finance, 25

Samurai is an historical issue, not a reality. It’s a perspective people use to understand Japanese culture, because we still have part of that identity. I’m happy that there are people who want to understand Japan. I think he’s play-acting, not that he’s doing anything wrong, but it’s not the real Japan.

Satoko Hironaka

Asset Manager, 34

Even to a Japanese man, depending on generation and the person, the interpretation of what samurai is is different. So why shouldn’t someone for another country have their own interpretation as well?