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Samurai Heraldry Stephen Turnbull Osprey Publishing


30th November 2011 History Books 0 Comments

An unrivalled illustrated reference source on fighting men and commanders, past and present. Each volume is packed with full colour artwork, making military history uniquely accessible to enthusiasts of all ages.

Stephen Turnbull is a leading English language authority on medieval Japan and the samurai. He has travelled extensively in the Far East, particularly in Japan and Korea, and is the author of a number of major books on the subject. He has contributed several titles to the Osprey Military list since his original Men-at-Arms 86, Samurai Armies 1550-1615, in 1979.

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.

Samurai Heraldry (Elite)

Ashigaru 1467-1649

Insights into the real lives of history’s fighting men, packed with full colour illustrations, highly detailed cutaways, exploded artwork of weaponry and armour, and action-packed battle scenes.

The ashigaru were the foot soldiers of old Japan. Although recruited first to swell an army’s numbers and paid only by loot, the samurai began to realise their worth, particularly with arquebuses and spears, until well-trained ashigaru made up a vital part of any samurai army. This book tells the story of the ashigaru for the first time, their origins, recruitment training and use in various wars, such as the Gempei Wars of 1180-1185 and the Onin War of 1467-1477. Stephen Turnbull draws on previously untranslated Japanese sources and unpublished illustrations that show the range of ashigaru activity, from sailors to catapult artillery men as well as the disciplined ranks of warriors that they had become.

Ashigaru 1467-1649 (Warrior)










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