The Samurai of Seville A Novel By John J. Healey
A sumptuous novel inspired by one of history’s most intriguing forgotten chapters—the arrival of Japanese Samurai on the shores of Europe.

In 1614, twenty-two Samurai warriors and a group of tradesmen from Japan sailed to Spain, where they initiated one of the most intriguing cultural exchanges in history. They were received with pomp and circumstance, first by King Philip III and later by Pope Paul V. They were the first Japanese to visit Europe and they caused a sensation. They remained for two years and then most of the party returned to Japan; however, six of the Samurai stayed behind, settling in a small fishing village close to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, where their descendants live to this day.

Healey imbues this tale of the meeting of East and West with uncommon emotional and intellectual intensity and a rich sense of place. He explores the dueling mentalities of two cultures through a singular romance; the sophisticated, restrained warrior culture of Japan and the baroque sensibilities of Renaissance Spain, dark and obsessed with ethnic cleansing. What one culture lives with absolute normality is experienced as exotic from the outsider’s eye. Everyone is seen as strange at first and then—with growing familiarity—is revealed as being more similar than originally perceived, but with the added value of enduring idiosyncrasies.

The story told in this novel is an essential and timeless one about the discoveries and conflicts that arise from the forging of relationships across borders, both geographical and cultural.
TitleThe Samurai of Seville
SubtitleA Novel
AuthorBy John J. Healey
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
ImprintArcade Publishing
Published13 June 2017
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.

About the author

John J. Healey is a writer, filmmaker, and author. He has directed two documentary films: Federico García Lorca, A Family Portrait for RTVE in Spain, and The Practice of the Wild, about the poet and ecologist Gary Snyder. First published in the Harvard Review, he now writes articles for El País in Madrid and for the Huffington Post. His first novel, Emily & Herman was published by Arcade in 2013. He currently splits his time between Spain and the United States.

“The undercurrent of melancholy that permeates the novel does not derive from the author’s research but rather from his own life experience. He knows that in every coming and going there is a mixture of expectation and heartbreak, and there will arrive— on one side or the other— a point and time from which there is no return.” Antonio Muñoz Molina, author of Separahad

"Healey intertwines —with great skill— fictional characters with others who were historically important in the first years of the 17th Century, mixing the first Japanese Tokugawa with the Spain reigned by Philip III. (…) The result of this historical background together with these characters is brilliant. Healey has written an attractive, page-turning novel, with a great fast-paced narrative style." Juan Manuel Suárez, FronteraD

"The stories that intertwine historical facts with adventure (sometimes with crime too) are normally excellent ones. The Samurai of Seville by John J. Healey is a clear example. In 1614, a group of Japanese nobles arrived to Seville to try and put together two cultures that felt very far-away and to drive the Catholic faith and trade into the Far East. Into this group there was the samurai Shiro, who was as popular with his sword as he was with women in the Seville society of the time and with the court of King Philip III —who is quite relevant in the novel. Healey narrates with great care the episodes of a story that is also a romantic melodrama. The reminiscence of the traditional society and that of the old Seville, with the nobility, the villains and the passionate dames is very well described and Healey pulls it off. You just want to read it in one sitting thanks to the great rhythm and the emotions, together with the agile plot."
El País

"Healey has created a narrative wonder mixing fictional and historical characters deeply immersed in the early years of the 17th Century when Tokugawa Japan joined hands with the Spain of Philip III.... Healey offers an attractive, succinct text told with singular narrative skill. It reads effortlessly. Its immediacy and flow is absolutely cinematic."—Prof. Juan Manuel Suárez Japón (direct descendant of one of the Samurais who went to Spain in 1613)
ISBNs: 9781628727845 978-1-62872-784-5 Title: the samurai of seville category:FIC ISBNs: 9781628727852 978-1-62872-785-2 Title: the samurai of seville category:FIC 
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