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The Revenge of the 47 Ronin Edo 1702 (Raid) Paperback – 20 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey (20 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849084270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849084277
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 0.6 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Stephen Turnbull took his first degree at Cambridge University, and has two MAs (in Theology and Military History) from Leeds University. In 1996 he received a PhD from Leeds for his work on Japanese religious history. He travels extensively in Europe and the Far East and also runs a well-used picture library. His work has been recognized by the awarding of the Canon Prize of the British Association for Japanese Studies and a Japan Festival Literary Award. In 2008 he was appointed Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at Akita International University in Japan. Stephen Turnbull currently divides his time between lecturing in Japanese Religion and History at Leeds University and freelance writing.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
With a film set for release next year starring Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kô Shibasaki and Tadanobu Asano, the world at large is getting to know about an historical event that is seen as the peak of honour for the Samurai class. Yet we all know that with fictionalisation facts are lost or blurred and as such it was a real joy to discover this well researched and beautifully illustrated title by Stephen Turnbull.

As usual with the Osprey releases, the events surrounding the raid are well researched, put into context and also when backed with a writerly vocal ability to bring it to a modern audience make this not only a fascinating subject to read about but becomes information that the reader can easily recall if required. Add to this the wonderful illustrations from surviving documents of the time backed up with a few pieces by Johnny Shumate, Alan Gilliland and Mariusz Kozik as well as photographs and its an overall satisfactory book. All in, this title was a lot of fun to read and in my opinion, will make a wonderful gift for those interested in the honour system or the Samurai caste.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lovett on 3 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having previously read many of Stephen Turnbull's works on samurai history I was looking forward to this as the story of the 47 ronin looms large in the Japanese psyche. While there was some disappointment with the format of the book, I would have preferred a much longer treatment of the subject, there was still a lot to learn and it was intriguing to read Turnbull's different view of the morality of the raid. I also felt that more space could have been devoted to the debate surrounding the legality of the rain and to the debate that took place following the raid as it is central to an understanding of why the 47 ronin are revered still. However, that may be a problem of the books format dealing with the raid in detail rather than the surrounding issues.

For a student of samurai history it is worth the purchase price. There is much in it that is new and it is informative. For someone who has not heard of the 47 ronin before this book makes a good primer.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very good book, even if I found some of its conclusions problematic - to put things mildly... Still, I rate it five stars without hesitation, because it is a really precious thing.

This thing is precious for those who are unfamiliar with the story of 47 Faithful Ronin, as it clearly and comprehensively explains the whole story and offers quite a lot of leads for further studies on the topic.

This thing is also precious for those who were already quite familiar with the story (I count myself amongst them) and who want to know more details and also are willing to hear a point of view about the whole thing quite different from the one that dominates in public perception.

The new details include a good plan of Kira's mansion and a list of all the ronin who took part in the attack - and this list even contains details about the weapons most probably used by each and every one of them. It also includes some of elements of real attack which are virtually NEVER mentioned in films...

The new point of view may seem shocking, as it openly proposes that the REAL tragic heroes of the whole story were Kira and his loyal retainers... Author actually presents some pretty good arguments (which you will have to discover by yourself) to make his case - and even if I mostly didn't buy them, they are worth hearing.

Here is my short explanation about my own point of view about this whole "Chushingura" business. There is no question that Lord Asano committed a very serious crime when attacking Kira during official ceremonies in a place where Emperor was present.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book insofar as the details of the event are concerned. But the author went a little off-road at the end by taking a clearly sympathetic view of Kira, painting a rather diccicult-to-believe picture that he was a sinless civil servant who couln't possibly have been corrupt. The facts of the case are well presented, but in terms of assigning blame for the whole affair, the author was clearly one-sided.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Not knowing every much about the Japan of this era I found this book to be informative if a little difficult to get all the names and terms into my head. Having said that it has expanded my knowledge of this era and shone a light onto the Japan of this era.
Read if you like far eastern culture and are interested in knowing about some of their background.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As some one that admires the warrior nature of samurai and their exploits through history this ebook was for me.

Japanese culture is full of surprises and none more so than the creation and history of the Ronin.

I do recommend this book for anybody wishing to learn /study Japanese history.
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