WHO AM I?
I'm Kanbe Usaburo Munemori, the originator of the samurai naming service called ‘Be a Samurai’.
When I was young, I was fascinated by a manga series about Japanese history. I was enraptured while reading these stories — especially the books in which Samurai grew in number, power and importance from the 10th century to the end of the 19th century. From this study, I always received high marks on my history tests from elementary school onward. Ever since, Samurai history, lineage and its specific codes and honorifics have become my passion.
When computer gaming seemed to be everywhere in Japan, I dove deep into historically simulated PC games that focused on Samurai, Nobunaga’s Ambition series. Because of this intense interest, by the time I turned nine, I had even memorized the kanji names of around 700 characters from one specific series! I also worked hard on my academic studies… learning Samurai kanji on my own, and began to dig deep as to how Samurai was named, when the names were to be changed, how to pronounce the kanji characters in each case, and so on.
After graduating from college, I became a HR consultant for some of the top companies in Japan. I worked day and night, every day… and to make a long story short, I got sick from overwork. It was then that I experienced a moribund four-year struggle against the symptoms of this overwork. I nearly lost hope many times, but through the way of the Samurai I was able to save my mind and begin successful treatment. Fortunately, I’ve largely recovered from this illness that sapped my energy and well-being. Being a Samurai truly made a difference in my life, and I believe it can make a difference in your life as well. Perhaps can I help you?
In fact, this very idea of helping others gain strength from being a Samurai came from friends who thought I might be able to do just that with a service centered around Samurai. So, here I am! Through my knowledge, I am very confident that I can help you to create a Samurai name suitable to your identity and life story.
This is how “Be a Samurai” was born.
WHY DO I WANT TO START THIS PROJECT?
Because I want to present people who feel strongly about samurai with a major source of pride! That’s what this is all about. “Be a Samurai” is about visually expressing your samurai spirit. Your samurai name will serve as a gateway into discovering more about yourself. Of this, I have no doubt.
There are people throughout the world who will be interested in your samurai name and who will ask where it comes from and what it means.
“I use this Japanese character because I cherish such-and-such.”
“The sound of this represents the fact that I value such-and-such.”
And just by answering questions, you will be able to show how well versed you are in Japanese culture and also be able to express your character and your earnestly cultivated samurai spirit.
Your samurai name will serve as a powerful tool in promoting deeper communication. And by simply saying the name, you will be able to express the distilled essence of your life. A name that is rooted in your personal feelings will guide you into the next stage of your life. With all of my power, I am here to support as many people in possession of a samurai spirit as possible in living an even prouder life by providing them with a samurai name that will ignite their souls.
WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU?
You can have your own Letter style Certificate and stand on the samurai history with its names.
A box of Paulownia Wood (Kiribako 桐箱) D7.9 W23.7 H2.4 cm
A Japanese Close-woven Samurai Ribbon (Sanadahimo 真田紐) L104 cm
A Wrapped Paper of a Letter (Fūshi 封紙) D35 W24 cm
The Samurai Name Certificate in Letter Style (Syojō 書状) D35 W66 cm
A4 size Name Backstories
Content: Samurai family name, pseudonym and true name with background explanation
Weight (kg): 0.5
Dimensions (cm): D7.9 W23.7 H2.4
How much effort has been put forth to make this possible?
1. Over the course of more than two years and using more than 100 reference books, I have deduced the principles upon which names are based.
In order to deduce the principles upon which samurai names are based, I conducted research using more than 100 reference documents, including highly-specialized and technical resources. Before beginning this project, I was a mere fan of samurai. But now, I am an expert on samurai names. It took, for example, more than two years to deduce the six principles currently listed on the “Be a Samurai” website.
For every reference book I read, I had a dozen new questions. Every question that I answered was replaced with ten new questions. Through a never-ending process of questioning and answering, I am continuing to refine the samurai names provided through “Be a Samurai.”
2. Authenticity. The pursuit of reality.
“Be a Samurai” prioritizes background and period research. The worldview of “Be a Samurai” is set in the 16th century, the period of time in which it was easiest for people of any background to rise to the position of samurai. I have thoroughly researched the writing styles and materials used during that period when bestowing a samurai with a name, and I reflect this research in the name certificates I create.
My focus is not on simple ease of ‘comprehension.’ I pursue ‘authenticity,’ which requires studying to understand. The name certificate you will receive is so completely authentic that the only other place you would be able to see one similar is in a high-budget historical film ( Shojyō, the letter ). And, naturally, I continue to incorporate state-of-the-art scientific knowledge in my efforts to achieve even higher levels of authenticity.
3. I mastered html, css and WordPress on my own.
I created the “Be a Samurai” prototype in 2015. At the time, I was suffering from an unstable illness, and I spent more than half of each day in bed. It wasn’t even possible for me to get someone knowledgeable about the Internet to teach me. I personally created the project’s current website by making use of the limited periods each day in which I had the strength to work on it.
4. Presentation to more than 100 Japanese people
I always hide a completed name certificate in my bag, and I have had presentation to more than 100 Japanese people who have shown interest in this concept. In addition to being impressed by the quality of the name certificate and service, they also have given me valuable feedback, such as “There are definitely people to whom this will appeal” and “This is a super niche market, so the hard part will be up until you find the people who have been waiting for this.”
There are nearly 1,600,000 people on Facebook who are interested in samurai. Even if only one in a hundred of these wanted a samurai name, that would come to nearly 16,000 people. At the very least, I should be able to provide names to 10,000 people throughout the world.
Please let me know If you have any kinds of advice for project and rewards that realize the concept of this project, increasing the people who has their own Samurai names.
なお、リターンの一部は老舗の桐箱屋さん、文字を書く筆耕さん、和紙職人に届きます。いずれも、日本文化を支えてきた、そして今、次の未来を模索されている方たちです。そういう日本文化の担い手に、新しい仕事をお願いするのもBe a Samuraiの役割の一つです。
Special thanks: Wada Tomoyuki, Yuko Fujimitsu, Kotani Naomasa, Isshu Rakusai, Nishio Naoki, Hamamura Tomonari, All Samurai in the world
Risks and challenges
1. Rush of orders through official website
When people view this crowd funding project, it could increase the number of orders I receive through my official website. However, at the top of my website, I am announcing that crowd funding orders are being given priority, so there is no risk of your pledge receiving a lower priority.
2. Delivery delays due to sudden relapse of illness
I currently deal with an anxiety disorder, and I occasionally feel unwell. However, I am making a steady recovery, so at the present time, it is highly unlikely that I would relapse to the point that I wouldn’t be able to write the name certificates.
I already have in my possession the materials (Japanese-style washi paper, paulownia boxes, etc.) necessary to fulfill pledges. All I need now is to set aside the time to deeply contemplate a samurai name for you to store within your box.
I originally designed the “Be a Samurai” when I was suffering from illness as a service that I could provide for even an hour a day while still in bed. Therefore, even if I were to relapse, while delivery itself may be delayed, I can guarantee that there is no possibility of non-delivery.
- (24 days)