Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan

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Psychology Press, 2004 - History - 236 pages

Karl Friday, an internationally recognised authority on Japanese warriors, provides the first comprehensive study of the topic to be published in English. This work incorporates nearly twenty years of on-going research and draws on both new readings of primary sources and the most recent secondary scholarship.

It overturns many of the stereotypes that have dominated views of the period. Friday analyzes Heian -, Kamakura- and Nambokucho-period warfare from five thematic angles. He examines the principles that justified armed conflict, the mechanisms used to raise and deploy armed forces, the weapons available to early medieval warriors, the means by which they obtained them, and the techniques and customs of battle.

A thorough, accessible and informative review, this study highlights the complex casual relationships among the structures and sources of early medieval political power, technology, and the conduct of war.

 

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User Review  - AndreasJ - LibraryThing

The popular image of samurai is - at least in the West - based primarily on the Sengoku period in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This book is about the preceding era, approximately AD 800 ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 The meaning of war
19
2 The organization of war
34
3 The tools of war
63
4 The science of war
102
5 The culture of war
135
Epilog
164
Notes
169
References and bibliography
199
Index
231
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About the author (2004)

Karl F. Friday is a professor of Japanese History at the University of Georgia. A specialist in classical and early medieval Japanese history, he has also written widely on samurai culture and Japanese warrior traditions.

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