The Book of the Samurai The Warrior Class of Japan by Stephen R. Turnbull

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  • Overview
  • Few countries have a warrior tradition as long and exciting as that of Japan. It is a tradition found particularly in the person


Binding Hardcover
Publisher UK: Arms & Armour Press 1982
Country of Origin UK
Number of Pages 192
Pubilcation Date 1982
Condition New

Product details

  • Samurai Book
  • by Stephen R. Turnbull
  • Warrior class of japan
  • Classic Book
  • Great read

The Book of the Samurai Description

Examines the samurai tradition, which encompasses seven hundred years of Japanese history, and describes the armor, weapons, traditions, and famous battles of the samurai


'On the Back' of The Book of the Samurai

Few countries have a warrior tradition as long and exciting as that of Japan. It is a tradition found particularly in the person of the romantic, loyal and self-sacrificing knight of old Japan - the samurai. He is the valiant lone swordsman, the ultimate individual warrior. He is the aesthete, appreciating the beauty of the cherry blossom, seeing in its brief career his own short but glorious life. He is the commander of the host on the battlefield, the keeper of the peace, the aristocratic administrator and the avenger of his master.
Yet he is also a member of a class that ruled Japan for nearly 700 years, a class whose members fought both for control of the country and to keep Japan free from foreign influence. From its inception in the Heian Period through to the bloody Onin Wars, the history of the samurai is a history of political and military struggle. In the sixteenth century, Nobunaga and Hideyoshi attempted to unite bands of samurai and reunify Japan. Then, after the Battle of Sekigahara, peace was established and the samurai slipped into an administrative role. As their military role declined, their armour became more elaborate and decorative.
However, Japan could not stand alone forever.
Advances in technology meant that the West could threaten Japan militarily, and the Meiji Restoration was a progressive movement that effectively put an end to the samurai class. In 1877, Saigo organized an uprising of the degraded class and, fighting guns with swords, attempted to re-establish the samurai's dominant position. But he was doomed to fail. The samurai's days of glory were over.
The history of the samurai is an integral part of the history of Japan, In this book, Stephen Turnbull, author of several books on the samurai and Reader in History at the University of Leeds, describes the development and decline of this great military tradition. It is illustrated with some 3o0 line drawings, photographs and maps.


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