CompleteMartialArts.com - Samurai: The Weapons and Spirit of the Japanese Warrior
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Manufacturer: The Lyons Press
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Binding: Paperback Dewey Decimal Number: 355.82410952 EAN: 9781592287208 ISBN: 1592287204 Label: The Lyons Press Manufacturer: The Lyons Press Number Of Items: 1 Number Of Pages: 144 Publication Date: 2004-11-01 Publisher: The Lyons Press Studio: The Lyons Press
A fascinating look at ancient Japanese weaponry, complete with 150 dazzling full-color photographs.
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Customer Rating: Summary: Most useful for historians and collectors... Comment: I happened to run across the book Samurai: The Weapons and Spirit of the Japanese Warrior by Clive Sinclaire at the library, and it caught my eye. I've long been fascinated by Japanese culture, and I thought this would be an interesting read related to the true essence of a samurai's existence. It's not the most riveting material I've ever read, but it's definitely comprehensive and valuable if you are deeply interested in Japanese weaponry for historical or collection purposes.
What is a Samurai?; The Samurai's Armour; A Brief history of Japanese Swords; The Sword of the Samurai (Nihon-to); Polearms (Yari, Naginata, and Nagamaki); Archery (Yumi and Ya); Guns of the Samurai (Tanegashima); Glossary; Bibliography; Index
The vast amount of the material here deals with the sword, the most common and important part of a samurai's arsenal. Sinclaire goes into quite a bit of detail related to the history of swordsmithing over the years, as well as the different styles of swords that evolved over time. I hadn't ever given much thought as to how evolving forms of armed combat caused the sword to shift from stabbing to slicing instruments. Sinclaire also includes a large number of illustrations and photos to document much of his information. Seeing sword blades stripped of all their ornaments gave me a greater appreciation for what care and craftsmanship went into them. If I were ever to start collecting Japanese weaponry, this would be a book that would reside on my shelf. But from the perspective of a relatively uninformed reader, the material was a bit hard to follow with all the detailed historical references. I'm guessing it was due to the unfamiliar Japanese names, and the difficulty that a Western reader would have in keeping them straight when presented with hundreds of years of history in a relatively short number of pages.
If this is an area of interest for you, it'd be hard to go wrong by reading this book. If you're only mildly interested in the subject, you'll probably end up skimming by the end and studying the detailed photographs. Customer Rating: Summary: a nice gift Comment: I gave this as a gift. It covers all different parts of samurai history and costume. It does spend a lot of time on weapons whereas I bought it mainly for the costume part of it. Customer Rating: Summary: A book for weapons collectors. Comment: Very informative book with lots of color photos. The author goes into the history and psychology of the Samurai as well. If you collect weapons this is a good book to identify era and type of Katana etc. Customer Rating: Summary: A Birthday 2 Remember Comment: I really am glad i purchased this book and it was so accurate that my fiancee was so happy for his b-day to receive this book because he loves everything about this culture and their past and especially the weapons! he has a couple samurai swords he keeps at his house and since he's part asian he feels like this book really explained his cultures past. i will buy from this author again. thanks! Customer Rating: Summary: A pictorial display of Japanese arms Comment: Although it mainly generalizes aspects of Japanese military history, this volume contains a large quantity of excellent color photos of the very finest of traditional weapons. Swords, polearms, and archery specimens are displayed within. For the student of Japanese martial-culture, here is a brilliant coffee-table tome, thoroughly illustrated.