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Osprey Elite 23 : The Samurai

Perhaps the greatest warriors in history, the Samurai were a product of a social system totally geared to war. Their origins date to the continuing battles for land among three main clans - the Minamoto, the Fujiwara and the Taira, and they eventually became a class unto themselves between the 9th and 12th centuries A.D. They were called by two names: Samurai (knights-retainers) and Bushi (warriors). Some of them were related to the ruling class. Others were hired men. They gave complete loyalty to their Daimyo (feudal landowners) and received land and position in return. Each Daimyo used his Samurai to protect his land and to expand his power and rights to more land. The Samurai became expert in fighting both on horseback and on the ground. Their way of life was dictated by the code of Bushido or 'way of the warrior' and clad in their magnificent, multi-coloured armour they were perfectly suited to the violent clan and dynastic warfare that dominated medieval Japan as the most powerful families vied for supremacy. In addition to the endemic in-fighting they defended Japan from a series of external threats including the previously invincible Mongols. Anthony J. Bryant presents an overview of these truly élite warriors in a book packed with accompanying photographs and illustrations including 12 stunning full page colour plates by Angus McBride.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Origins and Rise of the Warrior Class
  • The Genpei War (1180-85)
  • The Kamakura Bakufu and Regency
  • War of the Northern and Southern Courts
  • The Muromachi Period
  • Warfare in Muromachi and Momoyama Japan
  • Sengoku Japan
  • Hashiba Hideyoshi
  • The Return of the Shogun
  • Arms and Armour - Heian and Kamakura Japan
  • Arms and Armour - Muromachi and Momoyama Japan
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Elite


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