By Mitsuo Kure
This booklet of eastern historical past strains the tale of a distinct historic phenomenon: a interval of seven hundred years—equivalent to the total stretch of Western heritage among the reigns of the Crusader king Richard the Lionhearted and of Queen Victoria on the top of the British Empire—during which an enclosed civilization was once ruled by way of a unmarried warrior caste.
The historic narrative of samurai historical past is supported through causes of samurai armor, guns, fortifications, strategies, and customs, and illustrated with approximately 800 attention-grabbing colour images, maps, and sketches, together with historic scroll work and surviving matches of armor preserved for hundreds of years in eastern shrines.
From the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries the background of Japan was once successfully the historical past of the samurai—the type struggling with males. first and foremost they have been not more than lowly soldiery hired via the court docket aristocracy of Kyoto, however the starting to be energy of the provincial warrior clans quickly enabled them to comb apart the administrative energy of the imperial court docket and to shape their very own parallel army govt. even though person dynasties got here and went in cycles of vigour and decadence, the dominance of the samurai as a category proved uniquely resilient.
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Samurai: An Illustrated History by Mitsuo Kure