The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War

Overview

The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War brings to life the history behind the courageous and highly disciplined fighting men of early Japan with detailed writing and hundreds of stunning Japanese woodblock prints, illustrations and photographs.

The most enduring traditional image of the samurai is that of the ronin?a lone wanderer, owing allegiance to none but himself, and relying for his continued survival on his skills with he sword. As The Samurai Swordsman reveals, however, ...

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The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War

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Overview

The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War brings to life the history behind the courageous and highly disciplined fighting men of early Japan with detailed writing and hundreds of stunning Japanese woodblock prints, illustrations and photographs.

The most enduring traditional image of the samurai is that of the ronin—a lone wanderer, owing allegiance to none but himself, and relying for his continued survival on his skills with he sword. As The Samurai Swordsman reveals, however, that image hides the reality and the diversity of the samurai's long history.

The earliest samurai warriors were in truth aristocratic mounted archers, not swordsmen. Only as the Japanese archer gave way to the mounted spearman did swordsmanship came into play. Military expert Stephen Turnbull details how the history of the legacy of the samurai unrolled over the centuries in a multifaceted, richly elaborate tapestry of war, society, and tradition.

Turnbull combines primary sources and striking, beautiful images to reveal for today's reader who—and what—the samurai actually were. A variety of fascinating aspects are brought to light: exciting first hand accounts of the Mongol Invasions of Japan in the late 1200s, when the fearsome reputation of these Japanese fighters began its spread over the world; samurai codes of loyalty and vengeance, expressed by the Igagoe Vendetta, the Forty–seven Ronin, and many others; and the role of women in Japanese swordsmanship, including Tomoe Gozen, the legendary Beautiful Samurai.

From the first recorded use of the word samurai in the eighth century AD to the final wars the swordsmen waged in resistance to the Meiji government, The Samurai Swordsman demonstrates how and why the samurai continue to hold the world's attention.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Samurai Swordsman is highly recommended for community library history and art collections and for anyone who has always had a fascination with this warrior caste."—Midwest Book Review

"The Samurai Swordsman is a coffee table book with an adundance of full color photos, prints, paintings, and portraits (some taking up two pages). Like most of Turnbull's books, it's a visual treat. It's organized by chapter into several interesting themes and the incidents Turnbull lays out make for entertaining reading."—The ShogunsHouse.com, the official blog of the Samurai Archives Japanese History Page

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784805309568
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Turnbull is the author of more than 50 books on the military history of Europe and the Far East, and works as a consultant on all aspects of Japanese culture. He is currently Lecturer in Japanese Religion at the Department of East Asian Studies at Leeds University.

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