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A Samurai Castle (Inside Story) Hardcover – February 9, 2001
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8--This book on samurai castles of the 16th and 17th centuries covers details of their construction, history, and the life and times of their inhabitants. Each double-page spread provides a paragraph or two on a particular aspect of the era (e.g., elegant interiors, castles and towns, entertaining visitors, women's lives, arms and armor) and detailed, informative full-color illustrations. Brief descriptions of some famous samurai are included. There is far more information on the topic here than in other books for this age group, including encyclopedias. The book's format will appeal to a younger age than its content. The limited scope makes it an appropriate purchase only where it fills a curricular need. Pamela Odijk's The Ancient World: The Japanese (Silver Burdett, 1991) provides broader coverage of Japanese history. Peg Glisson, Dewitt Road School, Webster, NY
Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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Like all the other volumes in the series, "A Samurai Castle" is a success. In Sixteenth Century, a Samurai castle was at the apex of Japanese technology. Thousands of workers from all classes of Japanese society came together to construct these technological wonders. Once constructed, hundreds more worked and lived in the castle. "A Samurai Castle" carefully documents the construction techniques and the social relationships that revolved around the castle. What really makes this book work are the beautifully rendered illustrations of David Antrum and John James. They are two of the best illustrators working in children's literature. This is a beautiful book that will be enjoyed by both parents and children alike. Highly recommended.
Actually, this book places as much emphasis on the samurai as it does on their castle, covering how they trained, their arms and armor, and what they did during a normal day of service to their lord. The roles of women and what these people did for entertainment are covered as well. Consequently, I was a bit disappointed that there were not more details on the actual castles, although there was a section near the end on how the samurai laid siege to these castles. But this is rather consistent with the format of this series. "A Samurai Castle" is one of over a dozen books from the Inside Story series that diagram ancient structures such as an Egyptian Pyramid, a Roman Fort, and a Medieval Cathedral to more recent structures such as a frontier fort on the Oregon Trail and a World War II submarine. Obviously what is nice about these volumes is that they present young readers with the idea of form and function in a way that is both creative and educational.
Even some good general information. If my children were interested in samurai's, I'd buy it for them.