Alphabetically arranged entries along with primary source documents provide a comprehensive examination of the lives of Japan's samurai during the Tokugawa or Edo period, 1603–1868, a time when Japan transitioned from civil war to extended peace.
The samurai were an aristocratic class of warriors who imposed and maintained peace in Japan for more than two centuries during the Tokugawa or Edo period, 1603–1868. While they maintained a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, as a result of the peace the samurai themselves were transformed over time into an educated, cultured elite—one that remained fiercely proud of its military legacy and hyper-sensitive in defending their individual honor.
This book provides detailed information about the samurai, beginning with a timeline and narrative historical overview of the samurai. This is followed by more than 100 alphabetically arranged entries on topics related to the samurai, such as ritual suicide, castles, weapons, housing, clothing, samurai women, and more. The entries cite works for further reading and often include sidebars linking the samurai to popular culture, tourist sites, and other information. A selection of primary source documents offers firsthand accounts from the era, and the volume closes with a selected, general bibliography.
- Highlights important events related to the samurai and overviews the background of the samurai
- Offers more than 100 alphabetically arranged reference entries for authoritative information about the samurai and their world
- Includes sidebars of interesting facts, notes the role of the samurai in popular culture, and mentions various tourist sites for readers to visit
- Provides suggestions for further reading, and an end-of-work bibliography directing users to other important works about the samurai
- Features more than 50 photos related to the samurai and their world
- Author Info
"This comprehensive collection of information on the history of Samurai will be a welcome addition to academic and public libraries."
"Vaporis has assembled an enormous amount of information—much of it heretofore unavailable in English—and presented it in an engaging and accessible format.... academic historians and other scholars will also find the volume to be an invaluable reference to have on hand when writing lectures or answering students' questions."
"Vaporis has accomplished what no scholar has before; a thorough, reliable encyclopedia of samurai culture and history useful for students, scholars, and casual readers alike. A classic that won't be surpassed anytime soon."
"This reference work by a cutting-edge academic is exceptional. As a single-authored encyclopedia with entries of uniform quality and lots of rare photographs, it fills a glaring educational need among students and general readers. Vaporis vividly conveys what life was like for samurai in the period 1568 to 1871. His breadth, judiciousness, and reliability of factual coverage, as well as his concise, enjoyable style, are superb for popularizing without watering down the material in a way that specialists will find enlightening."
- In the News
WarScholar, Samurai history - Constantine Vaporis interview, 1/12/2020
WarScholar, Samurai military history book – "Samurai" (ABC-CLIO Press, 2019) – Constantine Vaporis interview, 1/12/2020
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