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Warriors of Medieval Japan by Stephen…
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Warriors of Medieval Japan (2005)

by Stephen Turnbull

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An Osprey book that I really enjoyed and thought very well of? Will wonders never cease. I believe that in reference to Osprey in general, it is attitude adjustment time for me.

As the title indicates, this book is about the warriors from Japan's Medieval age. This is the period roughly from 1467 to 1638, called the 'Age of the Warring States'. The years before and after are also addressed as appropriate. Besides the "Introduction" and the "Conclusion", there are four Parts to the book: "Samurai" (new material), "Ashigaru" (from "Warrior 29: Ashigaru 1467-1649"), "Ninja" (from "Warrior 64: Ninja AD 1400-1650") and "Warrior Monks" (from "Warrior 70: Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603"). The last three parts are available as separate Osprey Warrior booklets, as indicated.

The book is very well written and a pleasure to read, even with so may foreign names, words and concepts. It is profusely illustrated. There is a reasonably good glossary. There is also a very thorough index. There needs to be at least one good map.

Does the name Hattori Hanzo in "Kill Bill", written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, come from the Hattori Hanzo Masashige (1541-1596) mentioned several times in this book, known as 'Devil Hanzo'? He was the leader of the ninja in the Iga province and a samurai general.

The picture on page 155, which is of models on ninja equipment from the Ninja Museum at Iga Ueno, needs minimal, if not thorough, descriptions. Several other pictures of equipment, etc., do have adequate to very good descriptions. In the bibliography, on page 279, New Vanguard 42 should be New Vanguard 44, for "Siege Weapons of the Far East (2)". The margin on each page, to the outside of the page, is too large.

Read from about January 20, to February 1, 2011. ( )
  TChesney | Feb 2, 2011 |
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Combines material previously published as Warrior 29: Ashigaru 1467-1649, Warrior 64: Ninja AD 1460-1650, Warrior 70: Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603, with a new section on Samurai, new images, and a new introduction and conclusion. The samurai remain the best known warriors of medieval Japan, but they were by no means the only fighting elite. There were the ashigaru, who were first recruited to swell army numbers but later became a vital part of any samurai force. Trained to protecttheir monasteries, warrior monks were formidable enemies, mastering a range of martial traditions. Finally, the Ninja catered to an increasing demand for spies, informants and sometimes assassins, developing the arts of armed and unarmed combat and explosives.… (more)

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Osprey Publishing

2 editions of this book were published by Osprey Publishing.

Editions: 1841768642, 1846032202

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