Easy to Read Samurai-Based Stories/ Novels?

Greetings all.

Since I am a fan of old Samurai movies, I’m looking for suggestions on easy to read Samurai-adventure-based stories, pulp, novels, etc. (not manga so I can import them into LingQ). Something easily digestible, more akin to dime-store novels than literary works.

Any leads would be appreciated.


would love to see an answer to this


Unfortunately, I can’t give you specific titles on this topic (because I’m only focusing on listening / speaking in Japanese at the moment).

But you will find such stories here: https://syosetu.com/

Syosetu hosts a vast array of user-generated content, including many original stories featuring samurai themes or set in historical Japan. If you’re interested in exploring samurai-themed stories on Syosetu, you can use the website’s search function to look for relevant tags or keywords related to samurai, historical fiction, or any other specific themes you’re interested in.

In general, you could also ask the genAIs (ChatGPT, Copilot, etc.) for some suggestions. Here is ChatGPT’s answer, for example:

"Here are a few notable light novels featuring samurai themes (PB: but you won’t find them on the Syosetu website):

  1. “Rurouni Kenshin” by Nobuhiro Watsuki: Set during the Meiji period in Japan, this series follows Himura Kenshin, a former assassin turned wanderer who seeks redemption for his past crimes. As Kenshin encounters various characters and confronts remnants of his violent past, he embraces a vow never to kill again while protecting those in need. “Rurouni Kenshin” combines action, drama, and historical elements, exploring themes of honor, justice, and the struggle for peace in a changing society.
  2. “Samurai Deeper Kyo” by Akimine Kamijyo: This series blends historical fiction with fantasy elements, revolving around the character of Demon Eyes Kyo, a feared samurai with extraordinary abilities. Set in the early Edo period, the story follows Kyo’s quest for his lost body and his encounters with various adversaries, including other skilled swordsmen and powerful warriors. With intricate plot twists and intense battles, “Samurai Deeper Kyo” offers a thrilling journey through a fantastical reinterpretation of Japan’s feudal era.
  3. “Sword Art Online: Progressive” by Reki Kawahara: While not solely focused on samurai, this series includes elements of samurai culture and swordsmanship within its virtual reality setting. “Sword Art Online: Progressive” revisits the original “Sword Art Online” story, providing a more detailed exploration of the Aincrad arc. As players navigate through the deadly virtual world of Aincrad, they must hone their combat skills and form alliances to survive against powerful adversaries, including samurai-inspired NPC enemies and boss characters.

These are just a few examples, and there are many more light novels that feature samurai as central characters or themes. Each of these stories offers its own unique take on samurai culture, exploring concepts of honor, loyalty, and the way of the sword in diverse and imaginative ways."

Hope that helps,


Thanks for the link and the idea to use the chatbots.

If I end up finding anything meaningful, i will make sure to post it here.



How about 'Kaze no busi '? It’s a mystery involving samurai."


Disney+ has Shogun with some Japanese dialogue.

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Ah, this is more like it. Thank you!

Not sure of the vocabulary knowledge necessary to comprehend his works but the author, Ryotaro Shiba (司馬 遼太郎), appears to have many relevant historical novels available from major eBook retailers.


A quick update:

歴史群像新書 publishes hundreds of Samurai-based historical novels and fiction ("歴史群像新書" - Google Search).

I don’t know enough to tell if they would be considered light/ easy reading but seeing as though they are highly serialized, they might very well fit the bill.

If anyone is fluent enough to check out a few online samples and post their critics, it would be highly appreciated.


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