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War in Japan 1467-1615 (Essential Histories) Paperback – 15 Aug 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (15 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841764809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841764801
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 0.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Stephen Turnbull is the world's leading English language authority on medieval Japan and the samurai. He has travelled extensively in the far east, particularly in Japan and Korea and is the author of 'The Samurai - A Military History' and Men-at-Arms 86: 'Samurai Armies 1550-1615'.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
The men who did the fighting during the Sengoku Period were the samurai ('those who serve'), Japan's equivalent of the European knight. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By F. Aetius on 26 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm a fan of Stephen Turnbull's books, and I consider him to be one of the most readable historians at work today. He is a professor of Japanese religion, and a world-renowned expert on the Samurai who's spent several decades studying the subject. As a result he's the best the person available to cover this daunting subject.

Sadly though, this book fails to condense the history of the Sengoku Jidai for the reader, and that's more to do with the format of the book, rather than the skills of the author.
The 'Essential Histories' is a series of books by Osprey Military Publishing that presents the "political, strategic, tactical, cultural, and individual perspectives on war". The problem is that this book is far too short to cover the 148 years that made up this conflict. The First and Second World Wars, the American Civil War, and the Napoleonic Wars, all have a multi-volume set, and because of the length of the Sengoku Jidai it does deserve another title to give it justice.

When you are dealing with such a long war, and especially with a war that has battles being fought at several spots around Japan by numerous factions in a single year, it is virtually impossible to cover it all in one 93-page book. As a result the author has to discriminate and choose events that he considers important. What you end with up though is a confusing mish mash of unrelated events. Turnbull does provide a lively overview, but it still doesn't give you a broad or detailed understanding of the war.

That said the book does have some interesting sections. One section looks at an individual soldier's perspective on the war, using the life of Kato Kiyomasa as an example.
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By George V on 9 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The bloodiest period of Japanese turmoil narrated expertly and concisely.
Delighted by the illustrations that were up to the task.
An excellent start for anyone wishing to learn some of the twists and turns of
this terrible period in the history of this Great Nation in the 15th and sixteenth centuries.
Not so enamoured with the books format which detracts from the seriousness of the subject
and the author's effort.
Seriously Delighted !!!
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By Tobias Corlett on 27 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose this rating because I enjoy learning about Japanese history and the detail of information astounded me. I was surprised how how much happened in sengoku and how well it was recorded
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Book 20 April 2004
By T. Hooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Turnbull does an excellent job of introducing the Sengoku Period (Warring States Period) of Japanese history. During this period, Japan was shattered into dozens of minor statelets. This period see the destruction of the shogunate, a long period of civil wars between the statelets, and the eventual reunification of Japan and the return of the shogunate under the Tokugawa. This period is of particular interest to fans of the samurai. This period is the last time in history in which samurai were the fierce warriors they are depicted to be. After this period, the samurai become glorified bureaucrats during the 250 years of peace during the Tokugawa shogunate. They only take up arms for a brief period during the fall of the shogunate, but it doesn't match anything that happened during the Sengoku Period.
This book is a fairly thin volume at only 96 pages. However, it is filled with lots of details and colorful illustrations. For samurai fans, this can serve as a great introduciton to the history of the greatest period of the samurai.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Has the basics 27 April 2013
By Oren Bernstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The basic facts of the period are lain out quite well, but it's a very dry read, and often confusing, due to the enormous proliferation of names and also due to a lot of chronological jumping around.
An Excellent Overview 22 Mar. 2014
By Justin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book having prior knowledge of this time period, but lacked the specific knowledge of how warfare was conducted. This is a great general overview that divides Sengoku Japan into understandable parts and then moves forward in time from a geographical starting point and typically a specific clan or person.
Pretty good read 24 April 2013
By David Proctor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read some of his other books on Japan and the samurai and picked this one up. Some new information but not anything earth shattering
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sumuari Rising 25 Mar. 2013
By William D Kline - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great overview on the Japanese civil wars and the Sumuari. Needed more depth on Japanese culture and governance issues to appreciate the evolution of the internal conflicts within the Shogun era.
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