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Where can we find information on the content in re Japanese Samurai and Emperors.

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We are looking for the following information. Can anyone suggest resources? Thank you. 

1 Is the Japanese emperor still believed to be related to the gods? How many Japanese Emperor‘s have there been in Japan over the centuries? Is there a resource for who the Japanese gods are and their stories?

2 Could you help me expand my knowledge of the Samurai? They still seem to be very popular. Any thoughts on why? Did people think that the samurai had mystical powers? Who are the most famous samurai in history and mythology?

3 Were there any Japanese samurai women? Who were they, how many of them were recorded in history and mythology?

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Hi @DadofChris, welcome to the WTM boards!  What age is the child you're helping with this info?  Recommendations for a 6 year old would look pretty different than for a 12 year old 🙂  Are you looking for books only or websites as well?

We use Story of the World in the elementary grades - its second volume, the Middle Ages, has a chapter on samurai.  After reading the chapter, I'd have my kids read the relevant 2-page spread in either the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (kids below about 4th grade) or the Kingfisher Encyclopedia of World History (kids from 4th to maybe 7th grade).  Then it would be off to the library - as you say, samurai seem to be a popular topic and there are plenty of books around.  We use fiction books just as much as nonfiction - on this topic, a young reader might try the Magic Treehouse "Night of the Ninjas" novel and the matching fact tracker, or a kid around 4th grade might try Sandy Fussell's Samurai Kids series.

Regarding mythology, my library has a book aimed at adults by Algernon Mitford called "Japanese Legends and Folklore: Samurai Tales, Ghost Stories, Legends, Fairy Tales, Myths and Historical Accounts" that seems to hit all the topics you're asking about, though it's 300+ pages and would need some involvement from you.  Jake Jackson's "Japanese Myths", also aimed at adult readers, might be another option.

All the best in your search - I hope some of these are useful to you.

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Welcome! I see by your post count that you are new. Totally agree with @caffeineandbooks about knowing age(s) will help people recommend resources that are a good fit for the child.

But just to get you started in YOUR research, these articles answer many of your questions:
1. Wikipedia articles: "Emperor of Japan" and "Japanese Mythology", and, Mythopedia article: "Japanese Gods"
2. Wikipedia article: "Samurai"
3. History Hit short article: "Ten Facts about the Onna-Bugeisha, Japan's Female Samurai Warriors"

Happy researching! And welcome to the WTM boards.

Edited by Lori D.
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