Norman: Fighting Man of Japan

Book Review

NORMAN F. J.; "The Fighting Man of Japan: The Training and Exercises of the Samurai" (1905) Archibald Constable & Co Ltd

Peter Clarke (2011)

The book is one of the early publications in English on Japanese martial arts.  The author was a former British Army cavalryman who went to Japan in 1888.  He taught at the Naval academy in Etajima.  Whilst in Japan he studied jujutsu and kenjutsu ; possibly the first Englishman to do so.  He is briefly referred to in Harrison's book "the Fighting Spirit of Japan".[1]

The interesting thing about these early publications is often how influential some of them have been in forming the accepted wisdom about the history and development of such matters.  Once they get traction, even if new and more authoritative information comes to light, many of the conceptions (whether right or wrong) continue to stubbornly persist.

The book was first published in 1905.  It is available to read and download online, by going to  any of the following: link

Unfortunately, the online versions are incomplete with omissions in the section dealing with jujutsu.  The second mentioned online source has the most complete version.  A recently republished version is available for purchase at online bookstores.

Read on