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.
Stephen Turnbull is the author of more than fifty books on the military history of Europe and the Far East and works as a consultant on all aspects of Japanese culture, most recently as the military advisor for the movie47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves. He is currently Lecturer in Japanese Religion at the Department of East Asian Studies at Leeds University.
"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 is highly recommended for community library history and art collections and for anyone who has always had a fascination with this warrior caste." —Midwest Book Review
"The Samurai Swordsman is a coffee table book with an abundance of full color photos, prints, paintings, and portraits (some taking up two pages). Like most of Turnbull's books, its a visual treat. It's organized by chapter into several interesting themes and the incidents Turnbull lays out make for entertaining reading." —TheShogunsHouse.com, the official blog of the Samurai Archives Japanese History Page