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Osprey Elite 82 : Samurai Heraldry

The first comprehensive guide to medieval Japanese heraldry, concentrating on its use for identification of individuals, family armies, and particular units on the battlefield. Heraldic flags, standards and other displays (eg. devices on the actual armour) started with the simplest coloured flags but became very widespread and complex during the long centuries of internal warfare. The essence of Samurai warfare was feudal loyalty to the great warring families, so the family heraldry is a central part of the whole picture. The dazzling spectacle presented by the armies of medieval Japan owed much to the highly developed family and personal heraldry of samurai society. From simple personal banners, this evolved over centuries of warfare into a complex system of flags worn or carried into battle, together with the striking 'great standards' of leading warlords. While not regulated in the Western sense, Japanese heraldry developed as a series of widely followed practices, while remaining flexible enough to embrace constant innovation. Scores of examples, in monochrome and full colour, illustrate the subject by a respected expert on all aspects of samurai culture. Text by Stephen Turnbull with illustrations by Angus McBride.

    Contents
  • Appearance of Mon as Early as Nara Period
  • 12th Century - Taira & Minamoto Wars, Hata-Jirushi
  • 13th-14th Centuries - The Mongol Invasions Period
  • 15th-16th Centuries - Heraldry carried on Shields
    Nobori Banners
    Sashimono Flags attached to Armour
    Maku Screens
  • Army Organisation produces System of Coloured Unit Flags-Symbols
  • Buddhist & Christian Symbolism
  • Uma-Jirushi Commanders' Flags
  • Tsukai-Ban Messenger Corps - The Horo Displayed Cloak
  • 17th Century - The Fully Developed System of the Early Edo Period.

 

Osprey Elite


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