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Early Samurai AD 200–1500 (Elite) Paperback – May 23, 1991
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From the Publisher
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.
About the Author
Anthony Bryant is a historian specialising in medieval Japanese history. He graduated from Florida State University in 1983 with a degree in Japanese Area studies. He lived for some time in Tokyo and is a member of the Japan Armour and Weapons Research and Preservation Society. He has published numerous articles on the subject of Japanese arms and is the author of another book on the Samurai, in the Osprey Elite series.
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Top customer reviews
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There's very little discussion of training, tactics, and weaponry. Armor is covered well, but the author insists on referring to all components by their japanese names. My Japanese is non-existent and I kept asking myself why the author couldn't just write "breastplate" instead occasionally.
Weapons aren't covered well. There is a drawing on page 16 of early swords which are very different than the curved katana sword we associate with later samurai. The text doesn't mention these swords (keeping in mind that the sword was supposedly the "soul of the samurai"), their evolution, variations, etc.
The b&w photos and color plates are excellent as one could expect for an Osprey book.
I was very disappointed in this book and would caution readers seeking more information on early samurai that this book will offer them little other than the color plates.
The full-color plates include:
-Himiko's Yamataikoku, c. 230
-Invasion of Korea, 366
-Mononobe's chastisement of Iwai, 527
-Jinshin no Ran, 672
-Naramaro's Revolt, 757
-Tenkei no Ran, 940
-Heian fashions, 1083
-Go-Sannen no Eki, 1086
-Shokyu no Ran, 1221
-The Mongol Invasion, 1181
-Nanboku-cho, c. 1333