Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 13 June 2017
Whilst the historical detail was interesting the storyand plot development was shallow and confused and consequently the book lapsed into being neither quality fiction or history. A lot in no-mans land really.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This novel is mostly the story of an extraordinary warrior and general who lived in XVI century Japan. Yamamoto Kansuke (1501-1561) came to prominence late in his life, as he entered the service of the legendary Shingen Takeda only in 1543, as one of his advisors. He was very short (in some sources he is even called a dwarf) but with surprisingly strong and long hands and very large shoulders (in some sources he is even described as a hunchback). Because of an accident in childhood he became lame and also lost an eye - and it seems that his disfigured face was a rather unsettling sight... But this strangely shaped and damaged body contained the spirit of an excellent strategist. It is generaly considered, that Yamamoto Kansuke's advice greatly helped Shingen Takeda to rise from a petty local castle holder to the position of one of main players in the great fight for power other all Japan. His skills were however put to great test when the Takedas had to fight the Uesugi clan and its extremely able leader. The climax of this confrontation was the dramatic and tragic fourth battle of Kawanakajima, described in this book in great detail.

The second great figure of this book is Takeda Shingen himself, a fierce and terrifying warlord who fascinated generations of writers and filmmakers (Kurosawa's "Kagemusha" is the story of the Takeda clan and its leader). The relations between the lord and his master strategist are like a chess game between two brilliant minds and they make an excellent read.

But possibly the most extraordinary person in this book is a woman - but to avoid spoilers I will not say much about her. Let's just say, that she is at least as intelligent as Kansuke and Shingen and although seemingly completely devoided of all power and influence she will leave possibly the most significant imprint on the whole story...

Once you read this book it can be a good idea to watch the great movie "Samurai banners" (1969) which is a very faithful adaptation of this book, with Toshiro Mifune as Yamamoto Kansuke. Also, once you are familliar with this story, watching Kurosawa's "Kagemusha" is a good idea, as it shows the future history of Takedas, their great army and their legendary banner "Furin Kazan"...
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 November 2013
This novel is mostly the story of an extraordinary warrior and general who lived in XVI century Japan. Yamamoto Kansuke (1501-1561) came to prominence late in his life, as he entered the service of the legendary Shingen Takeda only in 1543, as one of his advisors. He was very short (in some sources he is even called a dwarf) but with surprisingly strong and long hands and very large shoulders (in some sources he is even described as a hunchback). Because of an accident in childhood he became lame and also lost an eye - and it seems that his disfigured face was a rather unsettling sight... But this strangely shaped and damaged body contained the spirit of an excellent strategist. It is generaly considered, that Yamamoto Kansuke's advice greatly helped Shingen Takeda to rise from a petty local castle holder to the position of one of main players in the great fight for power other all Japan. His skills were however put to the great test when the Takedas had to fight the Uesugi clan and its extremely able leader. The climax of this confrontation was the dramatic and tragic fourth battle of Kawanakajima, described in this book in great detail.

The second great figure of this book is Takeda Shingen himself, a fierce and terrifying warlord who fascinated generations of writers and filmmakers (Kurosawa's "Kagemusha" is the story of the Takeda clan and its leader). The relations between the lord and his master strategist are like a chess game between two brilliant minds and they make an excellent read.

But possibly the most extraordinary person in this book is a woman - but to avoid spoilers I will not say much about her. Let's just say, that she is at least as intelligent as Kansuke and Shingen and although seemingly completely devoided of all power and influence she will leave possibly the most significant imprint on the whole story...

Once you read this book it can be a good idea to watch the great movie "Samurai banners" (1969) which is a very faithful adaptation of this book, with Toshiro Mifune as Yamamoto Kansuke. Also, once you are familliar with this story, watching Kurosawa's "Kagemusha" is a good idea, as it shows the future history of Takedas, their great army and their legendary banner "Furin Kazan"...
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 May 2014
I enjoyed the book based on a real person[s] but it could have been toled as novel and not so much as a history lesson
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse



Need customer service? Click here