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The fearless, elite warriors of medieval Japan were loyal comrades but deadly foes. Whether foot soldier, samurai or trained assassin, these men were driven by strict codes of honor and bound by deep allegiances of rank, family or religion.
This book examines the military lives of four formidable warrior types, covering the samurai and the ninja as well as the experiences of warrior monks and ashigaru foot soldiers, less familiar to western readers. The recruitment, training and equipment of each warrior type are described, and their beliefs, motivation and experience of warfare are explored. Rare material from Japanese sources makes this a highly authoritative treatment of the military elites of medieval Japan, brought to life by lavish illustrations and photography.
"This lavishly illustrated volume provides a realistic impression of [these warriors'] way of life, which today is heavily mythologised."
"An excellent and instructive study of a crucial century in the development of Japan's military."