THE FIRST-EVER STUDY OF SAMURAI ARMS, ARMOUR AND TACTICS
IN THE WORDS OF AN AUTHENTIC SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY SAMURAI MASTER STRATEGIST
Part of the acclaimed Book of Samurai series, which presents for the first time the translated scrolls of the historical Natori-Ryū samurai school of war, this volume offers an exceptional insight into the weaponry and armour of the samurai era, as well as tactical advice for use on and off the battlefield.
Two secret scrolls by the samurai tactician Natori Sanjūrō Masazumi are presented here: Heieki Yōhō, which offers advice for every possible martial situation, from moving troops to besieging a castle to fighting on the open battlefield; and Heigu Yōhō, which explores samurai arms and armour in unparalleled detail. Illustrated with 130 line drawings of arms and armour, strategic diagrams and beautiful samples of Japanese calligraphy, this is essential reading for students of martial arts, warrior culture and the samurai path.
This book was written by the seventeenth-century samurai tactician Natori Sanjūrō Masazumi, also known as Issui-sensei, who was to become the most influential grandmaster of the Natori-Ryū school of war. It gives us an unprecedented insight into what the samurai knew about their own specialization – armour and warfare. By listening to a genuine samurai, we can discover a huge amount about the thoughts, ideals, codes and even the feelings of this much admired, but often misunderstood, warrior class.
Heieki Yōhō, the first scroll translated in this book, gives leadership advice for use on and off the battlefield. From turning thieves or cowards to good service, to practising ‘external listening’ in order to obtain information from as many sources as possible, to penetrating the deeper motives of those who slander or praise others, the ideas discussed are thought provoking and paint a vivid picture of samurai Japan at war. Heigu Yōhō, the second scroll, gives a rare and precious glimpse into samurai arms and armour, including details of their construction, regulations associated with the wearer’s status, and the fascinating ceremonies, mythology and Buddhist doctrine that underlay their use. With 130 line drawings that clarify the text, this is the ultimate resource for all those interested in the wisdom and practice of the historical samurai.