Image for I, SamuraiNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Andrew Graham-Dixon takes a journey into the art and soul of the Samurai, who ruled Japan for 700 years and were much more than mere warriors.

Unhappy with military rule alone, the Samurai built up around them a sophisticated artistic and religious culture the likes of which the world will never see again. To understand them, Andrew must follow the all-consuming lifestyle of a Samurai and immerse himself in the art, rituals and practices of this warrior cult.

After a bizarre try-out in South London with modern practitioners of Kendo, the ancient Samurai art of sword combat, Andrew travels to Japan. There he witnesses the creation of a Samurai sword by one of the few remaining swordmakers alive.

He visits one of the most stunning gardens ever created, made of nothing but rock and gravel, to understand the soul of these warriors. He gets high on green tea, tipsy with geisha and tries to buy a Samurai sword and armour, only to be told it will cost him 30,000 pounds.

The journey culminates in Andrew achieving his dream to be like a Samurai with the help of one of Japan's biggest Samurai film studios.

Last on

Sun 15 Mar 2009 21:00 BBC Four

Credits

Presenter
Andrew Graham-Dixon

Broadcasts

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss