Taiho-Jutsu: Law and Order in the Age of the Samurai

Front Cover
Tuttle Publishing, 2004 - Sports & Recreation - 178 pages
1 Review
In Taiho-Jutsu: Law and Order in the Age of the Samurai, author and judo second-dan Don Cunningham provides a fascinating introduction to the civil society of Edo-period (1603-1867) Japan—particularly the role played by the well-known warrior class, the samurai.

During the enforced peace of this era, many of the samurai were unemployed and had great difficulty earning a living. Some were even forced to join the lower classes—of merchants and chonin (commoners)—to get by. These circumstances redefined the part the samurai played in Japanese society, and challenged the traditional caste system.

Cunningham shows that the samurai were not, as commonly portrayed, always all-powerful mediators ruling the chonin through the power of their swords. During this period the samurai became a part of the complex system of Japanese law enforcement. Made up of samurai as well as machi-bugyo-sho (town magistrates), yoriki ("assistant" samurai), doshin (samurai patrol officers), komono (assistants), goyokiki (part-time police assistants) and okappiki (informants and spies)—this intricate structure mirrored the Japanese society of the day.

Taiho-Jutsu offers a detailed look at the weapons these law enforcement officers used—including the jutte (iron truncheon), tesson (iron fan), yori-bo (wooden staff), sodegarami (sleeve entangler), sasumata (spear fork), and torinawa (arresting ropes)—as well as a fascinating illustrated look at the techniques used to apprehend criminals. From kamae (stances) to parrying and striking and throwing techniques, these explanations demonstrate the practical techniques in Edo-period Japan.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Taiho-Jutsu: Law and Order in the Age of the Samurai

User Review  - Nathalie Andrews - Goodreads

Very enjoyable. To be honest, I purchased this as a resource for only a few scenes in my writing, but knew that it was a topic that would interest me. It's a great resource. I could have done with it being even longer perhaps, but really liked the martial arts diagrams. Read full review

Other editions - View all

References to this book

About the author (2004)

Don Cunningham holds advanced ranks in judo, jujutsu and kendo. He has written about martial arts for over 30 years.

Bibliographic information