War played a central part in the history of Japan. Warring clans controlled much of the country. The wars were usually about land, the struggle for control of which eventually gave rise to perhaps the most formidable warriors of all time: the Samurai. Ancient Yayoi warriors developed weapons, armour and a code during the ensuing centuries that became the centrepiece for the Japanese Samurai. Anthony Bryant chronicles the history, arms and armour of these truly élite warriors, from the rise of the Yayoi through the Genpei War (1180-1185) between the Minamoto and Taira clans, to the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.
This title details the culture, weapons, armour and training of the elite samurai warrior class in the fascinating Age of Battles period (1550-1600). This was a period of vital importance not only because of the political effects of the chaos but also due to the changes in warfare that occurred. In 1542 the Portuguese introduced the matchlock musket into Japanese warfare, and this book traces the effect that this important innovation had on the samurai. Life outside the field of battle is also examined, making this an unmissable book for those interested in this brave warrior caste.
Osprey's Campaign title for Sekigahara (1600), which was the most decisive battle in Japanese history. Fought against the ritualised and colourful backdrop of Samurai life, it was the culmination of a long-standing power struggle between Tokugawa Ieyasu and Hashiba Hideyoshi, two of the most powerful men in Japan. Armies of the two sides met on the plain of Sekigahara on 21 October 1600, in thick fog and deep mud. By the end of the day 40,000 heads had been taken and Ieyasu was master of Japan. Within three years the Emperor would grant him the title he sought - Shogun. This title describes the campaign leading up to this great battle and examines Sekigahara, including the forces and personalities of the two major sides and that of the turncoat Kobayakawa Hideaki.
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