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The Japanese Warrior's (Unofficial) Manual

Stephen Turnbull

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This book paints a dramatic picture of what it was really like to be a Samurai

Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


It is 1615, and the Samurai, Japan’s elite fighting class, are at the zenith of their powers. Trained in every manner of combat, from sword-fighting and archery to karate and ju-jutsu, the Samurai warrior is the emperor’s last line of defence against the barbarians of Japan and beyond. Take up your sword, young Samurai! This handy manual tells you everything you need to know about maintaining the honour of the Samurai class both on and off the battlefield.

Learn how to master the 'Way Of The Warrior', whom you should kill, and what to do with their heads afterwards. Discover what the cultured Samurai does between battles, how to storm or lay siege to a castle and how to conduct a tea ceremony with Zen-like composure. With this handy guide you will never be at a loss should you need to command and maintain an army - you will even know how to prepare for entry into the White Jade Pavilion after your death.

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'All you need to know about maintaining the honour of the Samurai class both on and off the battlefield'
Military History Monthly

'Brimming with lots of interesting facts … very informative and fun … well written by an obvious expert who clearly knows his stuff and how to get it across to a teenage audience'
School Librarian

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 19.8 x 12.5 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 126

Publication date: 6 February 2012

ISBN: 9780500251881

Contents List

I. Japan Today; II. From Samurai to Samurai Warrior; III. Armour, Weapons & Costume; IV. The Martial Arts; V. A Harmonious Realm of Peace; VI. The Land of the Gods; VII. The Cultivated Samurai; VIII. The Samurai as Military Commander; IX. The Samurai on the Battlefield; X. Castles & Sieges; XI. After the Battle; XII Old Age & Death

About the Author

Stephen Turnbull is a writer and historian, specializing in military history, particularly of Japan and East Asia. He is Honorary Lecturer in Japanese Religion at Leeds University and Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at Akita International University in Japan. He is the author of over seventy books, including Samurai: The Japanese Warrior’s (Unofficial) Manual (2012), published by Thames & Hudson. Turnbull gave the inaugural lecture for the establishment of the International Centre for Ninja Studies at Mie University, Japan, and acted as historical advisor for the 2013 film 47 Ronin.

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