The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War
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 the 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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Samurai Arms and Armor
The Samurai Battle
The First Mongol Invasion
The Pirates Return
Sword and Spear
The Sword in Battle
Sword and Sensei
Ryuha and Rivalry
The Fight for Succession
Sword of Peace
Classifying the Martial Arts
Sword of Revolution
Their Finest Hour
The Wolf and the Deer
The Unwelcome Combat
The Satsuma Rebellion
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