CompleteMartialArts.com - The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War
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Manufacturer: Charles E Tuttle Co
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Binding: Hardcover Dewey Decimal Number: 952.02 EAN: 9784805309568 ISBN: 4805309563 Label: Charles E Tuttle Co Manufacturer: Charles E Tuttle Co Number Of Items: 1 Number Of Pages: 208 Publication Date: 2008-05-15 Publisher: Charles E Tuttle Co Studio: Charles E Tuttle Co
The word 'samurai' evokes intense images of indomitable warriors, expert swordsmen capable of taking on overwhelming odds-and emerging victorious. But this popular image only brushes the surface of the samurai tradition. The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War brings to life the history behind the courageous and highly disciplined fighting men of early Japan.
Authoritative military history expert Stephen Turnbull shows how the samurai evolved from the primitive fighters of the 7th century into an invincible military caste with a fearsome reputation. Many aspects of the samurai and their military significance are covered, including the cultural reasons why the elite mounted archers originally emerged in Japan; their wars against pirate invaders; how samurai masters taught the next generation; the women samurai and their accomplishments; and much more. Illustrated with full-color historical images that show the samurai tradition in fascinating detail, The Samurai Swordsman is an invaluable guide to an enduring legacy.
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: New depiction of classics Comment: Absolutely awesome graphics. Text is a sort of summary of other books of Turnbull. Anyway this book is very interesting, expecially for "rookies". Customer Rating: Summary: An examination of the true Samurai Comment: The Samurai - in modern society, it's a shallow shell of what it formerly was - exaggeratedly awesome warriors capable of sundering tanks in two with there swords. But who were the real Samurai? "The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War" is an examination of the true Samurai, who dominated Japan during its feudal era, much like Knights once dominated Europe. Going deep into the nature of Samurai as complex individuals and not just swords with legs, it looks at everything - the Samurai statesman, the Samurai artist, and more. Enhanced with full color paintings throughout, "The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War" is highly recommended for community library history and art collections and for anyone who has always had a fascination with this warrior caste. Customer Rating: Summary: Yes, it really is that good Comment: I have read most of the way through, and am *very* happy with this book. The text is engaging and full of interesting facts and anecdotes, the abundant illustrations make for an excellent collection of Japanese art, and the author's command of the subject matter is apparent. This is one I will read through several times.
Customer Rating: Summary: Perfect Introduction Comment: This book would serve as an excellent introduction to someone who has read little or nothing on the samurai; it covers their history from the days of the Yayoi tribesmen to their overthrow during the Meiji Restoration, and provides much readable detail on their culture, organization, religious beliefs, armor, clothing, and most interestingly, the full range of their deadly arsenal.
Though I have maintained a strong interest in the samurai for several years and have read many books on them, I still learned some things from this book (notably that they used axes in battle, as well as clubs and maces). Anything by Stephen Turnbull can be pretty much guaranteed to be well worth one's money. In short, this book would be especially good for beginners but worthwhile for veterans of Japanese military history as well. Customer Rating: Summary: Comprehensive Pictorial Guide Comment: I'm not certain why the "Samurai" bug bites readers but in my case I lived outside Yokohama, Japan, on the Kanto Plain for 25 months between October, 1962, and December, 1964. (Please see also my review of Oliver Statler's early 1960's book, "Japanese Inn" for additional detail of this area).
Living only a stone's throw from the ancient Tokaido Road, once capital city Kamakura, and medieval Odawara castle, among many other sites, caused me to this very day to have an avocational interest for Japan in general and the Samurai in specific.
I have several of Stephen Turnbull's books, feeling him to be very well versed in all aspects of this field to the point of being a notable expert in that area. The term "expert" is bandied about these days oft times without substance or merit, but in Mr. Turnbull's case it is well justified.
This particular book is one I purchased a year ago, and for the price was very pleased with its content. Should one look into it a reader would find it a good, comprehensive guide to the Japanese warriors known as 'samurai'. There are specific armor and weaponry illustrations and descriptions, as well as four "see-through vellum sections" where each layer of clothing and protective armour offers insight into the dress of these warriors. The text flows evenly and can readily be understood. Should the reader be new to this area of study this volume would easily serve as a great introductory volume.
This oversize book is amply illustrated in color, and in 256 pages offers magnificently "the story of Japan's great warriors".