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CompleteMartialArts.com - Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603 (Warrior)

Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603 (Warrior)
List Price: $17.95
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Availability: In stock soon. Order now to get in line. First come, first served.
Manufacturer: Osprey Publishing
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 952
EAN: 9781841765730
ISBN: 1841765732
Label: Osprey Publishing
Manufacturer: Osprey Publishing
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 64
Publication Date: 2003-05-20
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Release Date: 2003-05-20
Studio: Osprey Publishing

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Editorial Reviews:

From the 10th to the mid-17th century, religious organisations played an important part in the social, political and military life in Japan. Known as sohei ('monk warriors') or yamabushi ('mountain warriors'), the warrior monks were anything but peaceful and meditative, and were a formidable enemy, armed with their distinctive, long-bladed naginata. The fortified cathedrals of the Ikko-ikki rivalled Samurai castles, and withstood long sieges. This title follows the daily life, training, motivation and combat experiences of the warrior monks from their first mention in AD 949 through to their suppression by the Shogunate in the years following the Sengoku-jidai period.


Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Sohei
Comment: As the previous reviewer stated, this book is the only even remotely thorough treatment the sohei have recieved in English. Like most books by Stephen Turnbull, it is well-written and researched, but also tells a captivating and heroic story (read the stories of Gochin no Tajima and Tsutsui Jomyo Meishu on pages 52-53).

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: thin, one of two books in English
Comment: Well illustrated, overview, but "not much meat on the bones", I would only recommend you buy it since it is one of the only two books I know of in English on the topic.

If you wish a Very Scholarly treatment read "The Teeth and Claws of the Buddha: Monastic Warriors and Sohei in Japanese History" by Mikael S. Adolphson. Very dense, extensively footnoted. Apparently the very word 'sohei' wasn't coined until the 1600s, and most modern writing is based on that 17th & 18th century perspective (bias) rather than looking back carefully at the actual periods of greatest activity (AD ~900- ~1600). Adolphson talks extensively about the biases of these Japanese historians (and contemporary Japanese historians)


Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Even the priests of Japan were warriors
Comment: I had known, in a vague way, about the warrior-monks of Japan, but this is the first book I'd ever seen that concentrated on them. Had things gone just a little differently in a few battles, it could have been them, rather than the samurai, who effectively ruled Japan, with unknowable consequences. Many of these "monks" were as fierce, brave and stark warriors as any samurai; in fact, many samurai joined the warrior-monks' monasteries.


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