忍者的秘密 (神奇樹屋, #5) Mary Pope Osborne

ISBN: 9789864175581

Published:

Paperback

103 pages


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忍者的秘密 (神奇樹屋, #5)  by  Mary Pope Osborne

忍者的秘密 (神奇樹屋, #5) by Mary Pope Osborne
| Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 103 pages | ISBN: 9789864175581 | 8.69 Mb

If youve read my reviews of Sunset of the Sabertooth and Afternoon on the Amazon, you know my feelings about this series, which I consider to be poorly written and insubstantial in terms of information. After reading a few, I figured Id go back to well-written books and when Logan could read, he could read all the Magic Tree House books he wanted. But then he found this one at a used-book store and what with his current passion for ninja, we couldnt pass it up.

Thats okay, I thought. Ill just edit as I go, replacing all of Annies yikes! and Jacks Oh man! interjections with an entertaining variety of other words. Maybe Ill even have Jack say yikes! and Annie say Oh man! Really live on the edge, you know? I even thought I might give Jack (whose sad little one-dimensional persona never changes or matures throughout the series) a little more courage and a little less sarcasm, although honestly for us, sarcasm begins at home (as you may have guessed from my writing).Anyhoo.

I had big plans. But what I didnt plan for was having to cope with the misrepresentation of both samurai and ninja culture. For books that have so few facts, youd think the author could have done a little research to present something based at least vaguely on what we know about ancient Japanese culture and warriors.The true things in the book:--Ninja often wore clothing to blend into their surroundings.--Ninja were secretive and good at keeping under the radar.--Ninja were sometimes women.--Both ninja and samurai were from old Japan (no era given)Untrue things in the book:--Ninja were not some sort of nature-loving Zen Buddhist folk who said things like use nature, be nature, follow nature.

They were mercenaries hired from amongst struggling farmers and vallagers and paid well to do heinous things that the strict code of honor and loyalty prevented the samurai from doing. These included espionage, assassination, and infiltration. If anyone would say something poetic about nature, it would be a samurai. It would be more literary though, more haiku-ish, I imagine. Being able to write poetry was a valued samurai skill. By the 12th century, upper-class samurai were highly literate due to the general introduction of Confucianism from China during the 7th to 9th centuries...The philosophies of Buddhism and Zen, and to a lesser extent Confucianism and Shinto, influenced the samurai culture.

-from Wikipedia--Ninja did not wear the black clothes and headscarves popularized by comics and movies. They might wear dark colors for night work (more likely brown or dark blue), but usually they just wore whatever they needed to to blend in, like any spy or assassin would. Women, for example, often dressed as dancers, courtesans, or servants to gain access to or seduce their victims. A man might disguise himself as a flute player and then use the flute to blow a poison dart or to whack someone over the head. Anything to get the job done, baby.--Samurai were not evil, as portrayed in the book.

They were like western knights: aristocracy taught to fight in precise and ridiculously formal ways and kept to a strict code of honor that required them to battle one adversary at a time in full view of others. I very much doubt that samurai coming upon two children would show them no mercy.--Samurai did not wear armor of bamboo. What a ridiculous idea! Their armor was usually a combination of iron and leather, which could actually protect them from sword blows.Theres a lot more, but Ill stop there. How do I know all this?

Well, initially all I knew about ninja was that they were mercenaries and spies. But the book presented them in such a friendly, take this pebble from my hand, grasshopper way, I felt compelled to research to see if I had been wrong about ninja culture. Im sorry to go on and on, but after what I learned, I then felt equally compelled to set the record straight, especially since so many people regard this series as educational.

This book would have been better if the samurai and ninja roles were reversed because really, it was the ninja you couldnt trust. My advice is that when you read these books, make sure you also do some subsequent research with your kids, because even when Osborne isnt wrong, shes pretty stingy with the facts.And by the way, I would have given this no stars left to my own devices.

But since Logan ejoyed it and it did lead to some fun fact-finding afterward, I was generous. Im like that.



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