The daughter of grand master Tanaka demonstrates her sword-handling skills using stalks of bamboo - which are said to have the same density as human bone.
Since the eighth century, the Samurai have held a special place in Japanese history and culture. But over the years, legend has obscured the truth about how these elite knights actually lived, loved, fought, and died. Using rare 16th century war documents, we tell the story of a Samurai coming of age during that time. Witness his rise from peasant boy to foot soldier to ruthless warrior, all brought to life through stunning re-enactments and expert testimony from Japanese and martial arts historians.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel on air.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.