The world of the samurai - the legendary elite warrior cult of old Japan - has for too long been associated solely with military history and has remained a mystery to the general reader. In this exciting new book, Stephen Turnbull, the world's leading authority on the samurai, goes beyond the battlefield to paint a picture of the samurai as they really were. Familiar topics such as the cult of suicide, ritualised revenge and the lore of the samurai sword are seen in the context of an all-encompassing warrior culture that was expressed through art and poetry as much as through violence. Using themed chapters, the book studies the samurai through their historical development and their relationship to the world around them - relationships that are shown to persist in Japan even today.
Table of Contents
Origins; The Emperor; The Family; The Sword; The Cherry Blossom; The Gun; Armour & Castles; Religion; Peacetime; The Samurai Today
Stephen Turnbull took his first degree at Cambridge University, and received a PhD from Leeds University for his work on Japanese religious history. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the Far East and also runs a well-used picture library. His work has been recognised by the awarding of the Canon Prize of the British Association for Japanese Studies and a Japan Festival Literary Award. He is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Leeds. Angus McBride is one of the world's most respected historical illustrators, and has contributed to more than 70 Osprey titles in the past three decades. Born in 1931 of Highland parents but orphaned as a child, he was educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School. He worked in advertising agencies from 1947, and after national service, emigrated to South Africa. He now lives and works in Cape Town.