Famous Samurai

Introduction

About the Famous Samurai Series: No history of Japan's medieval era can be complete without touching on the lives and exploits of those men who fought in its epic conflicts: the samurai. Of the thousands who took part in the major and minor battles of that turbulent period, a handful stood out; it was their martial skills that won the day and changed history. This series recounts their amazing but factual stories and will include such famous warriors as Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, Yagyu Munenori, Ito Kagehisa, Nenami Jion, and Iizasa Ienao. Each volume includes many photos, maps, and diagrams, plus a chronology, glossary, and index.


Kamiizumi Nobutsuna

Kamiizumi Nobutsuna and the Shinkage-ryū

Kamiizumi Nobutsuna (1508-77) was a warrior from the Kantō. Raised in the shadow of Mount Akagi, his life coincided with the highpoint in the century of civil strife known as the Warring States period (1469-1573), a period epitomized by he great rivalry between two of the most powerful warlords of the day: Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin.

Being in liege to one of Kenshi’s vassals, Nobutsuna was forced to pit his castle and men in the defense of his lord when, in 1567, Takeda Shingen laid siege to Minowa Castle.

Having lost everything in that fight, the aging swordsman chose the life of musha shugyō, an itinerant life of self-discipline and training. Yet it was that path, in the end, that led him to the domain of the Yagyū clan and that laid the foundation for a school of fencing that has survived till today. 

Color photos, maps, diagrams, glossary, notes
Japanese swords and swordsmanship / Japanese history / Martial arts
Published by FLoating World Editions / ISBN: 978-1-891640-66-7; ASIN: B00AO82CTU


Ono Tadaaki

Ono Tadaaki and the Ittō-ryū

Ono Jiroemon Tadaaki (1565-1628), a ronin, or masterless samurai, from the Bōsō Peninsula. His clan had fought long and hard agains the growing influence of the Hōjō in their region, a battle they eventually lost.

Like so many of his contemporaries, Tadaaki took to to the road, preferring an independent life over one of submission. It had been an encounter in his youth that had inspired him to do so. For it had been when he was still only seventeen that he had met in duel with the great Itō Ittōsai Kagehisa.

His duel with Ittōsai he had lost, but the lessons learned had set him on a path that would eventually bring Tadaaki into the direct orbit of the greatest military leader of his time, shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Color photos, maps, diagrams, glossary, notes
Japanese swords and swordsmanship / Japanese history / Martial arts
Published by FLoating World Editions / ISBN: 978-1-891640-68-1; ASIN: B00AO6NV10


Yagyu Munenori

Yagyu Munenori and the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū

Yagyu Munenori was a great swordsman from the Nara Basin of Japan. During the great wars of the medieval era, his clan had first lost its castle, then its lands, until finally it was thrown upon the mercy of a local temple. Munenori was forced to become a rōnin, a masterless samurai. 

Faced with an uncertain future, Munenori staked his future on the victory of the eastern forces under the command of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. It was a gamble that paid off. Becoming the shogun's private fencing instructor, Muenori went on to play his own special role in the decisive Battle of Sekigahara.

As a result of Munenori's special contribution, his clan went on to be the only clan of swordsmen to be raised the exalted position of daimyo. Meanwhile, the Yagyu Shinkage-ryu became the most prestigious fencing school of the Edo period.

Color photos, maps, diagrams, glossary, notes
Japanese swords and swordsmanship / Japanese history / Martial arts
Published by FLoating World Editions / ISBN: 978-1-891640-67-4; ASIN: B00AMLW7P8


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