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"My Samurai Book Collection" Topic

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Captain Gideon02 May 2009 8:23 p.m. PST

Well I finished making a list of all my Samurai books.

Overall i have over 60 titles of which 24 are Osprey titles.

So here's my list-


Samurai Armies 1550-1615
Samurai 1550-1600
Ashigaru 1467-1649
Samurai Heraldry
Samurai Commanders (1) 940-1576
Samurai Commanders (2) 1577-1638
The Samurai
Early Samurai 200-1500 AD
War in Japan 1467-1615
Samurai Armies 1467-1649
Japanese Warrior Monks 949-1603 AD
Pirate of the Far East 811-1639
Fighting ships of the Far East (2) Japan and Korea 612-1639
Siege Weapons of the Far East (1) 612-1300
Siege Weapons of the Far East (2) 960-1644
Japanese Fortified Temples and Monasteries 710-1602
Japanese Castles in Korea 1592-1598
Japanese Castles 250-1540
Japanese Castles 1540-1640
Samurai Invasion of Korea 1592-1598
Osaka 1615
Sekigahara 1600
Nagashino 1575
Kawanakajima 1553-1564

Musashi-Book of Five Rings
Samurai-The code of the Warrior
Weapons and Castles of the Orient
Saga of the Samurai Vol 1-4
Short History of Japanese Armor
Samurai Warfare
Samurai Recreated in Color Photographs
Samurai Warriors
Samurai Sourcebook
Samurai-The Warrior Tradition
Samurai Warlords
Warriors of Medieval Japan
Samurai-The story of a Warrior Tradition
Arms and Armor of the Samurai
Weapons and Fighting Techiques of the Samurai Warrior
1200-1877 AD
The Book of the Samurai-The Warrior class of Japan
The Takeda
The Uesugi
The Ii
Ninja-The true story of Japan's Secret Warrior Cult
Nogoya castle
Nijo Castle
Japanese Castles
6-additional Samurai books in Japanese

Let me know what you think.

Captain Gideon

Ravens Forge Miniatures03 May 2009 7:40 a.m. PST

Arms and Armor of the Samurai

Is this the Hopson/Bottomley book?

VERY good book. I have heard that it is one of the best on Samurai arms and armor.

Used to go for exhorbitant prices on ebay and amazon!

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2009 8:01 a.m. PST

Samurai-The code of the Warrior

I just picked that one up yesterday at B&N. It is a cool little book.

Captain Gideon03 May 2009 9:03 a.m. PST

First off Arms and Armor of the Samurai is the Hopson/Bottomley book,i got it at a local gaming convention flea market.

I got it at the same time that i purchased a 15mm Samurai Army,it came from the same person and he threw it in as a freebie.

And Samurai-The code of the Warrior i picked up at B&N as well,it was in their bargain section.

It took me years to obtain this many Samurai related books and add to that the various DVD's,board games,15mm Gaming miniatures and other things i've got quite a nice collection.

Captain Gideon

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2009 2:49 p.m. PST

a couple good ones you are missing:

1) A History of Japan, Vol I & II (Sansom)
2) The Maker of Modern Japan, the Life of Tokugawa Ieyasu (Sadler)
3) The Onin War (Varley)
4) The First Samurai (Friday)
5) Memoirs of the Warrior Kumagi (Richie)
6) The Teeth and Claws of Buddah, Monastic Warriors and Sohei in Japanese History (Adolphson)
7) War and Faith, Ikko Ikki in the Late Muromachi Japan (Tsang)
8) The Life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Dening)
9) Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun (Totman)
10) Oda Nobunaga, The Battle of Okehazama (Paterson)
11) Japonius Tyrannus, the Japanese Warlord Oda Nobunaga reconsidered (Lamers)
12) Famous Japanese Swordsmen of the Warring States Period, (de Lange)
13) In Little Need of Divine Retribution, Takezaki Suenaga's Scrolls of the Mongol Invasion of Japan (Conlan)
14) Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan (Friday)
15) The Book of Corrections, Reflections on the National Crisis during the Japanese Invasion of Korea 1592-98 (Byonghyon),
16) Imjin Changch'o, Admiral Yi Sun-Sin's Memorials to Court (Tae-hung)
17) The Imjin War (Hawley)
18) Hideyoshi (berry)

If you are a fan of Sengoku period history than I would say #s 7, 11, and 17 are essentials.

Hope that helps.

Captain Gideon03 May 2009 4:09 p.m. PST

Thanks for your list I'll keep an eye out for them but it all depends on what i can afford.

Captain Gideon

Mike O04 May 2009 3:23 a.m. PST

To Uesugi Kenshin's excellent list I'd add:
"Warriors Of Japan As Portrayed In The War Tales" by Paul Varley
"Hired Swords" by Karl Friday
"State Of War" by Thomas Conlan
"Warrior Government In Early Medieval Japan" by Jeffrey Mass
"Heavenly Warriors" by William Wayne Farris
"The Armour Book in Honcho-Gunkiko" by Arai Hakuseki
as well as the translations of:
"The Tale Of The Heike"
"The Taiheiki"
war chronicles by Helen McCullough.

They concentrate on the early samurai so could be outside your main period of interest.

For clan emblems I managed to get a reprint of WM Hawley and K Chappelear's incredibly useful "Mon: The Japanese Family Crest".

Captain Gideon04 May 2009 7:47 a.m. PST

Eventhough my main interest is the later period i don't mind getting books dealing with the early period,a friend of mine is really interested in the early period like during the Gempei Wars.

Do you have any idea what some of these books go for?

Captain Gideon

nycjadie04 May 2009 10:04 a.m. PST

Amazing lists! I'm going to bookmark this thread.

Captain Gideon04 May 2009 10:28 p.m. PST

It seems that i forgot a couple of books on my list and they are

Battles of the Samurai

Samurai Invasion-Japan's Korean War 1592-1598

Captain Gideon

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2009 12:27 a.m. PST

Durruti, I have "Hired Swords" by Karl Friday, but havent read it yet. I look forward to it. I enjoy all his stuff.

Captain, some of the harder to get books are expensive. You can get lucky on amazon every once in a while and find one used. The best deals though are at used online stores like Alibris.

Some good books to start with would be the following which aren't too expensive:

(amazon prices):
Oda Nobunaga, The Battle of Okehazama $18 USD
The Maker of Modern Japan, the Life of Tokugawa Ieyasu $21 USD
The Book of Corrections, Reflections on the National Crisis during the Japanese Invasion of Korea 1592-98 $17 USD
War and Faith, Ikko Ikki in the Late Muromachi Japan $35 USD

I also forgot 2 amazing books in my first post. These are both fiction but are historical fiction and are based on true events.

"Musashi" and "Taiko" both by Eiji Yoshikawa. They are two of the better books I have read in my life.

You would particularly like Taiko beacause it covers the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi from his childhood up through his defeat of Shibata Katsui. The battle scenes described (all of Nobunagas major campaigns) are worth it alone.

Taiko is $23 USD new, $14 USD used on amazon. Hope that helps you Capt.

Personal logo oldbob Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2009 6:57 a.m. PST

Every time "Uesugi" speaks, I listen, their is always some lttle tidbit of information I'm unaware of!

tigrifsgt05 May 2009 7:13 a.m. PST

I'm just getting started at this and only have about twelve books on the subject. Are there any books out there on the Sohei besides Turnbulls and Adolphsons? Some one recommended a book on the Ikki a while back, but my main interest for now is mainly on warrior monks. Am I being too picky trying to differentiate between the two?

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2009 2:05 a.m. PST

No, they were rather different. While the Sohei sects were often looked at as troublesome by Warlords they never really threatened Daimyo or their lands, with the exception of the occasional march on Kyoto to burn some buildings.

The Ikko Ikki were looked at as an abomination by other Sohei sects and by most Daimyo who werent aligned with them.
Dont forget, they were able to wrest control of two (almost 3) entire provinces away from Daimyo in the late 15th and middle 16th centuries! They were probably viewed by many at the time as a Feudal Japanese equivalent to the Taliban.

That is why I HIGHLY recommend "War and Faith, Ikko Ikki in the Late Muromachi Japan (Tsang)". It covers several battles between the Ikki and Sohei, including a fantastic chapter on Tokugawa Ieyasu's campaign to rid the Ikki from his lands.

If you already own the Adolphson and Turnbull books on Sohei then you already have 2 of the best sources in the english language on them.

Both "Taiko" and "Japonius Tyrannus" cover Nobunagas campaigns both against the Sohei (Mount Hiei) and against the numerous Ikko Ikki sects in some detail. "Taiko" obviously being the less expensive treatment.

Backto your question, you can always pick any of the "War Tales" such as "The Tale Of The Heike" and "The Taiheiki" (mentioned above by Durruti) as these early period battles almost always featured the pesky Sohei in one form or another.

Thats the best sources I know of to date in english. Though many arent fans of Osprey (I am!), I plan to recommend to them that the Ikko Ikki get a seperate treatment in addition to the previous (excellent) Turnbull book as this sect played such an important role in the post-Onin War sengoku era.

Again, I hope this has helped you in some way in what your looking for!

tigrifsgt07 May 2009 5:15 a.m. PST

Kenshin: At this point I have figured out from my reading, first name last and last name first. Thanks for the information. Right now I'm splitting my hobby funds between books and figures. I just ordered the unarmored samurai from Scale creep, for a buck a figure I couln't pass it up. And I am also a fan of Osprey books I use the cover of one of my books(my civil war unit uniform is on the cover) to prove that is actually a issue uniform when giving talks at some of the local middle schools during civil war days. And it was probably you who recommended this same book a while ago during one of the Turnbull bash threads. Again, Thank You.And one quick question to you? What is the translation of the the line under the picture in your profile?

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2009 1:40 p.m. PST

Well welcome to my passion Tigrifsgt (both Samurai books and minis). Glad I could help in any way.

Ha, I was wondering when some one would enquire about my tag line (after a year and a half here!).

It is an ancient Buddhist prayer and poem that warrior monks would recite before they went into battle. It could also be chanted repeatedly as a mantra.

It roughly translates to, "The Bravest Warriors surpass all others in battle."

I have it tattooed on my left arm as well as a tattoo of the warrior monk Uesuegi Kenshin on my back (see pics below for laughs!):

and Kenshin in woodblock:

tigrifsgt07 May 2009 4:29 p.m. PST

Kenshin: You can just refer to me as TIG. Your passion and now my passion, after doing ACW for more years than I care to let anyone know, I really am loving this. Your tats are flippin' unbelievable, but, I don't think I'm going to take it that far. Only books and miniatures for now. But, I am exploring all manufacturers who make the hooded warrior monks. Once I have a few more I'll let people know of my opinion of each,as related to size and quality. Have a good one.-TIG

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2009 6:06 p.m. PST

Lol, thanx TIG. There are some really good Sohei monks out there in metal right now. The Perry's do some outstanding 28's and Essex and Old Glory both do decent 15's (Essex early period, OG sengoku).

I have some pics of the Perrys painted up here:

Let me know if you need anything else on books, minis or movie rec's.

Mike O08 May 2009 2:44 p.m. PST

I own quite a few Ospreys (got my first on Napoleonic French back in the 70s) so I'm not a "hater" as such. However I've spotted some real howlers over the years and then watched these errors repeated, compounded and become "received wisdom".

Worst of all is when figure lines rely solely on the most poorly researched Osprey colour plates as their sources.

As an example (and just so we're not targeting Dr Turnbull!) I'm sure a lot of people have got AJ Bryant's "Early Samurai 200-1500"? Quite apart from the ridiculously long period covered much of it nothing to do with samurai (11th cent. court ladies? Desperation more like) can anybody spot two (three if you're being picky) really obvious errors with plate J1?

The blessings of 98,000 Kami upon the "sakigake" to get them! :)

WKeyser09 May 2009 9:30 p.m. PST

What rules do you use for wargaming, I am looking for battls not skirmish.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2009 10:39 p.m. PST

Hey William. I actually use 2 sets. I'll explain why below.

For army lists and for historical sceanrio information, I use "Killer Katanas 2" by Brain Bradford. It is the single most well researched set of rules on the Sengoku period ever written. Its both a set of historical rules and a data base of information for armies and battles of this period.

I am not thrilled with the game mechanics of KK2 though so for actual battles I use "Medieval Warfare" by Terry Gore. These are a general set of medieval rules (not Samurai specific) that are made for any battles between 450AD-1550AD.

They have stats/lists for samurai armies and work very well for the periodd I find. If you do a serach of TMP forums for Medieval Warfare you will find several useful topics. I have also written a lengthy review of MW and KK2 on Amazon which I will post links to below.

Medieval Warfare has a yahoo group as well which is very responsive to players questions. They are working on new army list books to be out by the end of this summer. Medieval Warfare does not require any re-basing and the game mechanic is very simple while still providing historical results. Hope that helps Will!



Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2009 11:09 p.m. PST

One little more gem I forgot (because my wife had borrowed it!).

Titled, "The Signore", its a historical fiction that follows a Portuguese Missionary's contact with Oda Nobunaga during the latters reign in Kyoto. Its based loosley on the writings of Louis Frois.

A good addition to the above lists for the avid Sengoku readers.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 7:22 a.m. PST

A belated update. Wargames Factory have an entry for Ikko-Ikki warrior monks in 15mm hard plastic:


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