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From the 10th to the mid-17th century, religious organisations played an important part in the social, political and military life in Japan. Known as sohei ('monk warriors') or yamabushi ('mountain warriors'), the warrior monks were anything but peaceful and meditative, and were a formidable enemy, armed with their distinctive, long-bladed naginata. The fortified cathedrals of the Ikko-ikki rivalled Samurai castles, and withstood long sieges. This title follows the daily life, training, motivation and combat experiences of the warrior monks from their first mention in AD 949 through to their suppression by the Shogunate in the years following the Sengoku-jidai period.
About the Author
Stephen Turnbull is the world's leading English language authority on medieval Japan and samurai warfare. He has travelled extensively in the Far East, particularly in Japan and Korea and is the author of numerous titles, including Men-at-Arms 86: 'Samurai Armies 1550-1615', and Campaign 69: 'Nagashino 1575'.
Table of Contents
Introduction · Chronology · Religious recruitment · Monk training · Appearance and equipment · Everyday life in the monastery · The warrior monk in battle · Colour plate commentary · Museums · Re-enactment · Index