This Samurai history, filled with dozens of woodblock prints and photographs, is an authoritative text on Japan's most fearsome warriors. Through fascinating stories and full-color historical images that show the samurai in mesmerizing detail, military historian Stephen Turnbull provides an invaluable guide to an enduring legacy.
The earliest samurai warriors were actually aristocratic mounted archers, not swordsmen. Only as the archer gave way to the mounted spearman did swordsmanship come into play. Turnbull details how the history and the legacy of the samurai developed over centuries into a multifaceted, richly elaborate tapestry of martial and societal traditions.
From the first recorded use of the word samurai in the eighth century to the final wars waged in resistance to the Meiji government in the late nineteenth century, this Japanese history book recounts the complex history of these warriors and demonstrates why the samurai continue to fascinate the world today.