It has been said in China that a city without a wall would be as inconceivable as a house without a roof. Even the smallest village invariably had some form of defensive wall, while the Great Wall of China was an attempt to build a barrier along the most vulnerable border of the entire country. Yet the finest examples of walled communities were China's walled cities, whose defensive architecture surpassed anything along the Great Wall. This book traces the evolution of the walled city from the 3,000 year old remains of the beaten earth walls of the Shang dynasty to the huge stone fortifications of the Ming dynasty. Stephen Turnbull, expert military historian, reveals the defensive structures from all the major ancient Chinese cities, and discusses how they protected entire communities, and not just castle dwellers, with colour artwork reconstructions, maps and archive photographs.
The original forced conversion of pagan Livonia, what is now the Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, was carried out by a military order known as the Brethren of the Sword. In 1236 this order was incorporated into the Teutonic Knights following a catastrophic military defeat. The knights had always consolidated their conquests through networks of castles and fortified places, and the Livonian Chapter of the Teutonic Order built castles of stone. This title covers the developmental and operational history of these fortresses over the length of the Middle Ages. It details how the Baltic fortifications of the Teutonic Knights evolved to reflect the changing nature of siege warfare and the increasing dominance of gunpowder in warfare.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Fighting Ships of the Far East (1) adds enormously to the hitherto small corpus of knowledge about a fascinating and little known subject. Using detailed descriptions, accurate cutaway plates and reliable historical examples, this book covers the history of Chinese ship design and naval warfare from the beginning of the Han dynasty to the first few years of the Ming dynasty. The epic battle of Lake Poyang in in 1363, won by the man who was to become the first Ming Emperor, is also detailed.
Osprey's elite series title for Japan's samurai horse and foot guards, from 1540 to 1724. Each great samurai warlord, or daimyo, had a 'household division' of troops, known as the Hatamoto - 'those who stand under the flag'. The Hatamoto included the personal bodyguards, both horse (uma mawari) and foot (kachi); the senior generals (bugyo), the standard bearers and color-guard, couriers, and other samurai under the warlord's personal command. Apart from bodyguard and other duties in immediate attendance on the daimyo, both horse and foot guards often played crucial roles in battle - their intervention could turn defeat into victory, and their collapse meant final disaster. As favored fighting men under the warlord's eye, members of the bodyguards could hope for promotion, and some rose to be daimyo themselves. All three great leaders of the 16-17th century - including Oda, Hideyoshi and Tokugawa - had their own elite corps. Such troops were naturally distinguished by dazzling apparel and heraldry, with banners both carried and attached to the back of the armor, all of which are detailed in an array of color artwork specially created for this publication.
The landscape of 16th- and 17th-century Japan was dominated by the graceful and imposing castles constructed by the powerful 'daimyo' of the period. In this the most turbulent era in Japanese history, these militarily sophisticated structures provided strongholds for the consolidation and control of territory, and inevitably they became the focus for many of the great sieges of Japanese history: Nagashino (1575), Kitanosho (1583), Odawara (1590), Fushimi (1600), Osaka (1615) and Hara (1638), the last of the battles that brought an end to a period of intense civil war. This title traces their development from the earliest timber stockades to the immense structures that dominated the great centres of Osaka and Edo.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Dr Stephen Turnbull is internationally recognised for his research into and writing on Japanese military history. Here he applies his scholarship to an account of the evolution of Japanese defensive architecture and engineering, from early earthworks through to wooden and earth castles and, finally, the emergence of the stone towers that are so characteristic of the samurai. He also plots the adaptation of Japanese castles to accommodate the introduction of firearms. With unpublished photographs from the author's private collection and full-colour artwork, including detailed cutaways, this is an essential guide to the fascinating development of Japanese castles.
From the 10th century onwards the great Japanese monastic foundations of Nara and Mount Hiei maintained large armies of warlike monks. The tempestuous political rivalries that developed between the different orders of monks and religiously inspired laymen ensured that their temples and monasteries had to be securely sited and robustly defended. This books recreates these enormous fortified monasteries and temples, tracing their development from the 10th century through to the Sengoku Jidai period and the rise of the power of the shogunate under Tokugawa Ieyasu.
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.
The Katana is the ultimate evolution of the Japanese sword, whose traditions date back to ancient Japan. Arguably the finest edged weapon ever made, combining a lethal cutting edge with a flexible and resilient core, a fine katana is as much a work of art as a deadly weapon. For centuries it was also the defining icon of the samurai, as it was above all the possession of a katana that identified those belonging to Japan's warrior class.
Kawanakajima is unique in history. In the space of 12 years, between 1553 and 1564, this valley deep in the mountains of central Japan witnessed no fewer than five battles between two of Japan's greatest warlords. Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin were both descended from great families and were highly skilled tacticians. Both had taken the tonsure and risen to high rank in their respective Buddhist sects. When Shingen attempted to seize control of Shinano province they were set on a collision course. Stephen Turnbull chronicles the see-saw struggle between two men who epitomize the warrior daimyo from Japan's 'Warring States' period.
The two attempts by Khubilai Khan, the Mongol Emperor of China, to invade Japan in 1274 and 1281 represent unique events in the history of both countries. It pitted the samurai of Japan against the fierce warriors of the steppes who had conquered half the known world.The Mongol conquest of Korea left them with a considerable quantity of maritime resources, which enabled them to thin seriously for the first time about crossing the Tsushima strait between Korea and Japan with an army of invasion. The first invasion, which began with savage raiding on the islands of Tsushima and Iki, made a landfall at Hakata Bay and forced the samurai defenders back inland. Luckily for the Japanese defenders, a storm scattered the Mongol invasion fleet, leading them to abandon this attempt. In the intervening years the Japanese made defensive preparation, and the Mongol increased their fleet and army, so that the second invasion involved one of the largest seaborne expeditions in world history up to that time. This attempt was aimed at the same landing site, Hakata Bay, and met stiffer opposition form the new defences and the aggressive Japanese defenders. Forced buy a series of major Japanese raids to stay in their ships at anchor, the Mongol fleet was obliterated by a typhoon - the kami kaze (divine wind) - for the loss of as many as 90 per cent of the invaders. Although further preparations were made for an assault by the Mongols at the end of the 13ht and beginning of the 14th centuries, this proved to be the last realistic threat of an invasion of the home islands till 1945.
Osprey's examination of the campaign at Nagashino in 1575. When Portuguese traders took advantage of the constant violence in Japan to sell the Japanese their first firearms, one of the quickest to take advantage of this new technology was the powerful daimyo Oda Nobunaga. In 1575 the impetuous Takeda Katsuyori laid siege to Nagashino castle, a possession of Nobunaga's ally, Tokugawa Ieyasu. An army was despatched to relieve the siege, and the two sides faced each other across the Shidarahara. The Takeda samurai were brave, loyal and renowned for their cavalry charges, but Nobunaga, counting on Katsuyori's impetuosity, had 3,000 musketeers waiting behind prepared defences for their assault. The outcome of this clash of tactics and technologies was to change the face of Japanese warfare forever.
The Ninja were the secret agents and assassins of feudal Japan and they remain a subject of enduring fascination. They first emerged during the power struggles of 9th and 10th century Japan, in response to the increasing demand for spies, informants and even assassins, and they were used until the mid-1600s when they disappeared on account of a campaign to destroy them. This title provides an accurate and detailed account of the reality of the Ninja, detailing their daily life, training, hiring, combat use and secret operations; also covered are the Ninja's use and knowledge of poisons, medicines and charms.
In 1614-15 Osaka Castle was Japan's greatest fortification, measuring approximately 2 miles in length with walls 100 feet high. It was guarded by 100,000 samurai, determined to defend the last of the once-powerful Toyotomi clan. The castle was seemingly impenetrable; however, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the ruling dynasty, was determined to destroy this remaining threat to the Tokuwaga ruling dynasty. This book explores the bitter struggle of the Summer and Winter campaigns, which eventually saw the last great clash of the samurai and defined the balance of power in Japan for years to come.
The Ottoman Empire and its conflicts provide one of the longest continuous narratives in military history. Its rulers were never overthrown by a foreign power and no usurper succeeded in taking the throne. At its height under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Empire became the most powerful state in the world - a multi-national, multilingual empire that stretched from Vienna to the upper Arab peninsula. With Suleiman's death began the gradual decline to the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 in which the Ottoman Empire lost much of its European territory. This volume covers the main campaigns and the part played by such elite troops as the Janissaries and the Sipahis, as well as exploring the social and economic impact of the conquests.
Osprey's survey of pirates of the Far East, from 811 to 1639. For many centuries, international relations between Medieval Japan, Korea and China were carried out by means of the 'inseparable trinity' of war, trade and piracy. Much has been written about the first two means of interaction. The third element, which combined the other two in a violent blend of free enterprise, is the subject of this original and exciting book. It is written by Stephen Turnbull, who has visited all three countries in search of the elusive pirates of the Far East.
From 1600 till 1866 civil strife in public was virtually unknown in Japan; however, personal loyalty and self-sacrifice could at times rise above the samurai hierarchy to redefine Japanese culture. In 1703 former samurai avenged their lord in the most legendary raid in Japanese history. The story of the 47 ronin is a tale rich in emotion, precise planning, and flawless martial execution. This was the raid that turned Japan upside down.Lord Kira had brought about the death of Lord Asano, thus making Asano's loyal samurai into ronin (unemployed 'men of the waves'). In complete secrecy they plotted their revenge, and one snowy winter's night launched a raid against his mansion in Edo (Tokyo). The gates were broken down, and after the fiercest sword battle seen in Japan for over a century Kira was captured and beheaded. His head was washed and placed on Asano's tomb. The Shogun had now been placed in a dilemma. Should he reward the 47 Ronin for behaving more like true samurai than anyone since the time of civil wars, or should they be punished for breaking the strict laws about taking revenge?In the end the law prevailed, and the surviving 46 ronin committed a mass act of hara-kiri, turning them overnight into national heroes as the 'gods of bushido'.. The dramatic revenge raid of the Forty-Seven Ronin is the ideal subject for a Raids title. There is a very strong narrative and a wealth of illustrative material. As the raid occurred during the peaceful Edo Period there is scope for original description of the samurai's weapons and their personal & physical environment that is not seen in any other Osprey titles.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The samurai were celebrated warriors, but they were also deeply spiritual men whose religious beliefs sustained and inspired their forays into battle. In this entirely original work, Stephen Turnbull, a leading authority on Japanese history and author of more than 50 books, reveals the soul of the samurai in a thoughtful exploration of the religions and philosophies that motivated them. Drawing inspiration from all manners of belief systems - from Japan's mainstream religions of Shinto and Buddhism, to Confucianism, Christianity, and Folk Religion - the samurai were fascinating men who often valued their honor above their lives.THE SAMURAI AND THE SACRED is strikingly illustrated with lavish Japanese prints and vibrant photographs. A provocative study, it includes chapters on martial arts, modern militarism, the cult of the sword, revenge, suicide, hara kiri and kamikaze pilots. THE SAMURAI AND THE SACRED is a compelling read that provides insight into Japanese culture, philosophy, and warfare.From the Hardcover edition.
The Sengoku Jidai or "Age of Warring States" is the time of the samurai - Japan's military aristocracy. A period of endemic warfare where the absence of unifying central control led to constant struggles between the daimyo (or "Great Names") who sought to protect and extend the influence of their respective families through political and military means. However, it was also a time of great military change, as technology advanced rapidly, and the introduction of European gunpowder revolutionized infantry tactics and fortification technology. This title provides a highly detailed technical account of the samurai armies of Japan's Sengoku Jidai from the outbreak of the Onin War in 1467 to the publication of the final revised schedule for supplying troops to the Tokugawa Shogunate - by that time the government of united Japan - in 1649. It examines the complicated nature of family and clan that governed so much of the initial organization of the armies, how this changed over the period and how the battlefield tactics developed over a series of major encounters such as Nagashino and Sekigahara. Packed with rare photographs, maps, organizational charts and detailed text written by samurai expert Stephen Turnbull, this book is a unique insight into the organization of the armies of the samurai and is essential reading for anyone interested in the subject.
In 1543 three Portuguese merchants entered a turbulent Japan, bringing with them the first firearms the Japanese had ever seen: simple matchlock muskets called arquebuses. They proved a decisive addition to the Japanese armoury, as for centuries the samurai had fought only with bow, sword and spear. In 1575, during the Battle of Nagashino, one of the greatest original thinkers in the history of samurai, Oda Nobunaga, arranged his arquebusiers in ranks three deep behind a palisade and proceeded, quite literally, to blow his opponent's cavalry to pieces, marking the beginning of a new era in Japanese military history.From the Trade Paperback edition.
A brilliant but little-known operation, the Shimazu clan raid on the independent kingdom of Ryukyu (modern Okinawa) in 1609 is one of the most extraordinary episodes in samurai history and the culmination of centuries of rivalry between the two powers. The defeat of the Shimazu at Sekigahara in 1600, and their need to win favour with the new Shogun, led them to hatch an audacious plot to attack the islands on the Shogun's behalf and bring back the king of Ryukyu as a hostage. Stephen Turnbull gives a blow-by-blow account of the operation, from the daring Shimazu amphibious landing, to their rapid advance overland, and the tactical feigned retreat that saw the Shimazu defeat the Okinawan army and kidnap their king in spectacular fashion. With a detailed background and specially commissioned artwork, the scene is set for a dramatic retelling of this fascinating raid.
This second volume about Japan's samurai commanders covers the generals of the later years of the Age of the Warring States (Sengoku period), a period when only the most able leaders survived. This was a time when the prowess of a commander was measured as much by his strategic and organizational abilities as by his individual fighting skills and he was expected to give as great a show of strength in the council chamber as on the battlefield. This book discusses the lives, battles and wider roles of talented commanders such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi - great men who stood out prominently due to their elaborate suits of armour and helmets, their stunning personal heraldry and their great armies.
The dazzling spectacle presented by the armies of medieval Japan owed much to the highly developed family and personal heraldry of samurai society. From simple personal banners, this evolved over centuries of warfare into a complex system of flags worn or carried into battle, together with the striking 'great standards' of leading warlords. While not regulated in the Western sense, Japanese heraldry developed as a series of widely followed practices, while remaining flexible enough to embrace constant innovation. Scores of examples, in monochrome and full colour, illustrate this fascinating explanation of the subject by a respected expert on all aspects of samurai culture.
The invasions of Korea launched by the dictator Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1592-1593 and 1597-1598) are unique in Japanese history for being the only time that the samurai assaulted a foreign country. Hideyoshi planned to invade and conquer China, ruled at the time by the Ming dynasty, and when the Korean court refused to allow his troops to cross their country, Korea became the first step in this ambitious plan of conquest. In 1592 a huge invasion force of 150,000 men landed at the ports of Busan and Tadaejin under the commanders Konishi Yukinaga and Kato Kiyomasa. These two Japanese divisions rapidly overran their Korean counterparts, taking the principal cities of Seoul and then Pyongyang and driving the remnants of the Korean Army into China. The Japanese division under Kato Kiyomasa even started to advance into Manchuria. However, the Korean strength was in their navy and the vital Korean naval victory of Hansando disrupted the flow of supplies to the invasion forces, forcing them to hold their positions around Pyongyang. In 1593, the Chinese invaded capturing Pyongyang from the Japanese and driving them southwards. This phase of the war ended in a truce, with the Japanese forces withdrawing into enclaves around the southern port of Busan while the Ming armies largely withdrew to China. In 1597, following the breakdown in negotiations, the Japanese invaded again with a force of 140,000 men. However, the Chinese and Koreans were now better prepared and the advance came to a halt south of Seoul, and then forced the Japanese southwards. In November 1598 Hideyoshi died, and with him the enthusiasm for the military adventure. The Japanese council of regents ordered the withdrawal of the remaining forces, and the naval battle of Noryang, which saw the Japanese fleet annihilated by the Korean admiral Yi-Sunshin, proved to be the last significant act of the conflict.
Ever since the Empress Jingo-kogo led an invasion of Korea while pregnant with the future Emperor Ojin, tales of female Japanese warriors have emerged from Japan's rich history. Using material that has never been translated into English before, this book presents the story of Japan's female warriors for the first time, revealing the role of the women of the samurai class in all their many manifestations, investigating their weapons, equipment, roles, training and belief systems. Crucially, as well as describing the women who were warriors in their own right, like Hauri Tsuruhime and the women of Aizu, this book also looks at occasions when women became the power behind the throne, ruling and warring through the men around them.
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