Okinawa 1609: The samurai capture a king

Overview

A brilliant but little-known operation, the Shimazu clan raid on the independent kingdom of Rykkyu (modern Okinawa) in 1609 is one of the most extraordinary episodes in samurai history and the culmination of centuries of rivalry between the two powers. The defeat of the Shimazu at Sekigahara in 1600, and their need to win favor with the new ShMgun, led them to hatch an audacious plot to attack the islands on the ShMgun's behalf and bring back the king of Rykkyu as a hostage. Stephen Turnbull gives a blow-by-blow ...

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The Samurai Capture a King: Okinawa 1609

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Overview

A brilliant but little-known operation, the Shimazu clan raid on the independent kingdom of Rykkyu (modern Okinawa) in 1609 is one of the most extraordinary episodes in samurai history and the culmination of centuries of rivalry between the two powers. The defeat of the Shimazu at Sekigahara in 1600, and their need to win favor with the new ShMgun, led them to hatch an audacious plot to attack the islands on the ShMgun's behalf and bring back the king of Rykkyu as a hostage. Stephen Turnbull gives a blow-by-blow account of the operation, from the daring Shimazu amphibious landing, to their rapid advance overland, and the tactical feigned retreat that saw the Shimazu defeat the Okinawan army and kidnap their king in spectacular fashion. With a detailed background and specially commissioned artwork, the scene is set for a dramatic retelling of this fascinating raid.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846034428
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/17/2009
  • Series: Raid Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,019,570
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Turnbull took his first degree at Cambridge University, and received a PhD from Leeds University for his work on Japanese religious history. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the Far East and also runs a well-used picture library. His work has been recognised by the awarding of the Canon Prize of the British Association for Japanese Studies and a Japan Festival Literary Award. He currently divides his time between lecturing in Japanese Religion at the University of Leeds and writing. The author lives in Leeds, England.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Origins 6

Ryukyu and Okinawa 6

Rivalry for Ryukyu 7

The Shimazu Daimyo 10

Initial Strategy 14

Sources for the Raid 14

Army Leadership 15

Army Organisation and Troop Numbers 17

Arms and Armour 21

The Plan 28

The Shimazu Strategy 28

Defensive Preparations 28

The Raid 30

The Battle for the Amami Islands 30

The Battle for Northern Okinawa 32

The Advance Overland 39

The Advance by Sea 40

The Fall of Shuri Castle 44

A King's Ransom 52

Analysis 55

The Scapegoat 56

The Peaceful Kingdom 56

Conclusion 59

Glossary 60

Further Reading 62

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