For over a thousand years, the Samurai have been celebrated as an aristocratic warrior class. Exceptionally skilled and loyal until death, their very name has become a byword for honour and dignity.
Now, for the first time on television, we reveal the unknown dark side of the Samurai - a fascinating tale of greed, treachery, extreme cruelty and violent death.
Based on newly discovered Samurai war manuals, this new and exclusive one-off reconstructs the life of a young peasant farmer who is press-ganged into a warlord's army. Driven by his love for a village girl of noble birth, young Masa quickly rises through the ranks from simple foot soldier to venerated Samurai commander. But his reward is to be one of betrayal, lies and finally forced suicide by his fellow Samurai.
Interwoven with this dramatic story, two British historians track down remarkable new evidence from ancient war manuals that show the true, dark world of the Samurai. The drama documentary also features a living Samurai master and his students, as well as CG animation, stunning re-enactments, original costumes and historic locations.