Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai
, the most recent addition to the fictitious Hollywood Samurai lore.
A slang term used by students of Japanese history to refer to Westerners (typically teenage boys) who claim to follow the tenets of Bushido
, and assign mythic status to the Japanese Samurai. Often they are martial artists who have picked up on the Samurai lore taught to them by thier equally unknowledgeable martial arts instructors. The beliefs which they tend to espouse on internet forums usually follow the "Honorable Samurai" line of thought - that Samurai were "always honorable", "hated guns", "never took advantage of an opponent", etc. Their main sources for these beliefs aside from what they glean from thier martial arts classes tend to be the well known book, Hagakure
, Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings
and the movies Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
, and The Last Samurai
The beliefs of these "Modern Sammyrai" also extend to the Ninja, the traditional spies and assassins of Japanese history. Modern Sammyrai completely buy in to the myth of the Ninja created during the "Ninja Craze" of the 1980s (brought about by such movies as American Ninja, The Ninja, and the TV show The Master. This problem is further complicated by books written by people such as Stephen Hayes, who have manipulated the history and myths of the Ninja for thier own personal gain. A similar term for those who believe in the ninja myths is ninjer.
Due to the still esoteric nature and unavailability of popular history books about the Samurai, these myths are allowed to continue and flourish.