War played a central part in the history of Japan. Warring clans controlled much of the country. The wars were usually about land, the struggle for control of which eventually gave rise to perhaps the most formidable warriors of all time: the Samurai. Ancient Yayoi warriors developed weapons, armour and a code during the ensuing centuries that became the centrepiece for the Japanese Samurai. Anthony Bryant chronicles the history, arms and armour of these truly élite warriors, from the rise of the Yayoi through the Genpei War (1180–1185) between the Minamoto and Taira clans, to the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.
About the Author
Anthony Bryant is a historian specialising in medieval Japanese history. He graduated from Florida State University in 1983 with a degree in Japanese Area studies. He lived for some time in Tokyo and is a member of the Japan Armour and Weapons Research and Preservation Society. He has published numerous articles on the subject of Japanese arms and is the author of another book on the Samurai, in the Osprey Elite series.