A Brief History of the Samurai, Paperback Book

A Brief History of the Samurai Paperback

Part of the Brief Histories series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


'Clements has a knack for writing suspenseful sure-footed conflict scenes: His recounting of the Korean invasion led by samurai and daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi reads like a thriller.

If you're looking for a samurai primer, Clements' guide will keep you on the hook' Japan Times, reviewed as part of an Essential Reading for Japanophiles series From a leading expert in Japanese history, this is one of the first full histories of the art and culture of the Samurai warrior.

The Samurai emerged as a warrior caste in Medieval Japan and would have a powerful influence on the history and culture of the country from the next 500 years.

Clements also looks at the Samurai wars that tore Japan apart in the 17th and 18th centuries and how the caste was finally demolished in the advent of the mechanized world.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Asian history
  • ISBN: 9781845299477

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This is an excellent, concise history of the samurai. Clements' scholarship is impeccable as always, but what I like best is his even-handed handling of the subject matter. Whenever there is competing or conflicting sources, schools of thought, or opinions (myths, Mongol invasion/kamikaze, Mishima, etc.), he clearly states them all and maintains his balance as he swiftly moves on to cover all the historical ground thoroughly. A must for any historian.

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