Samurai Warlords Stephen Turnbull
The samurai were the military elite of old Japan, and the daimyo were the elite of the samurai. Samurai Warlords documents and describes the life of this group in rich detail for the first time.These were the samurai who succeeded first as warriors and went on to found petty kingdoms of their own, defended with armies of samurai who owed allegiance to them alone. From these original warlords grew great dynasties of daimyo, who enjoyed a symbiotic existence with the central government of the Shogun until all were swept away in the upheavals of the 1850s which gave birth to modern Japan.Stephen Turnbull enjoys a justified reputation as one of the West's most illuminating writers on Japanese history. Unlike his previous books on the samurai, this work examines separately and in depth each of the roles which the daimyo was required to play: warrior, commander-in-chief, founder of a dynasty, keeper of the peace and patron of the arts. To be a daimyo was to lead a demanding life, and after his death a warlord took on a new role as spiritual family guardian, to be honoured and, if necessary, bloodily revenged.The popular theory of modern Japanese industrial success is that it is based on loyalty to company and to country, inherited from the loyalty once given to the daimyo. This revealing book shows in dramatic fashion the precise nature of this fierce loyalty the tradition of self-sacrifice in deference to the needs of the group and identification with a leader that is so relevant to modern Japan. Stephen Turnbull writes entirely from Japanese sources. The colour photographs are all his own and the black and white illustrations provide fine historical detail. As in his acclaimed Samurai Warriors, a unique grasp of medieval Japan has been translated into colourful reality in James Field's detailed and exciting colour plates.