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Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan (Warfare and History) Paperback – December 31, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0415329637 ISBN-10: 0415329639 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Warfare and History
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415329639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415329637
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,078,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Friday's book is elegantly written, well informed on Japanese research, and backed by abundant quotes from the relevant original sources. His frequent comparisons with European history are well chosen, his arguments convincing.' - Monumenta Nipponica

About the Author

Karl F. Friday is a professor of Japanese History at the University of Georgia. A specialist in classical and early medieval Japanese history, he has also written widely on samurai culture and Japanese warrior traditions.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael Norman on March 9, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Karl Friday is one of a group of scholars studying Japanese history who are determined to cut through the hoary myths of the past -- myths too often taken as history -- that have clouded the true role and behavior of the samurai and thus have led to a skewed view of the past. His chapter on "The Culture of War" is particularly revealing and insightful, and in an indirect way exposes the sophistry of the ultra-nationalists who nearly destroyed the country in WWII and killed millions of their countrymen. Myth, in the wrong hands, can pervert history; the historical record is its only antidote; and Karl Friday has delivered a clear-eyed, meticulously researched and well-crafted narrative of samurai life that will help to set the record straight. This is a fine piece of scholarship, and a fine book for those who love to read history.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JEWn on April 28, 2010
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Not much I can say that my 5 stars doesn't... What you see is what you get. I won't be so presumptuous as to attempt to delve into the varying nuances or deeper implications of Professor Friday's exceedingly excellent and superior Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan, but I will say that it is far beyond entertaining, thorough, and informative. Casual or passing interest beware, highly academic, but for adept readers, a new world awaits!

Historia est Magistra Vitae!
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By Brad on March 5, 2014
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The intro and first chapter are a little slow, but mid-way through chapter 2 to chapter 5 was great. Very insightful, informative, and current (in my opinion) with the changes taking place in the scholarly community regarding how Japanese history is viewed. A great addition to the library of anyone who is studying Japanese history or East Asian Studies. Friday is premier for a reason. My only complaint is the chapter on Samurai recycles a lot of the arguments and sources he has used in his previous works, so I didn't feel like he expanded very much on the scholarly writing he has already contributed on Samurai.
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10 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. Pelzer on May 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
The work's subject is of tremendous importance to the field of Japanese Studies and Karl Friday is one of the most qualified scholars to render such an undertaking into a succes. However, where expectations are high and scope is wide, one invariably encounters mistakes. Whether in transcription of Japanese terms, overall textual consistency or detailed interpretational coherency. Furthermore, a glossary of Japanese terms in the original 'kanji' complete with correct Hepburn transcriptions is sorely missed. Maybe space dictated omission of this necessary tool for any serious Japanese Studies work, but afficionados like myself would have preferred one just the same. It would have made the book a valuable addition to anyone's library.
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