Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan

1st Edition

By Karl F. Friday


256 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415329637
pub: 2003-12-11
Hardback: 9780415329620
pub: 2003-12-11
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203392164
pub: 2004-08-02
from $25.98

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Karl Friday, an internationally recognised authority on Japanese warriors, provides the first comprehensive study of the topic to be published in English. This work incorporates nearly twenty years of on-going research and draws on both new readings of primary sources and the most recent secondary scholarship.

It overturns many of the stereotypes that have dominated views of the period. Friday analyzes Heian -, Kamakura- and Nambokucho-period warfare from five thematic angles. He examines the principles that justified armed conflict, the mechanisms used to raise and deploy armed forces, the weapons available to early medieval warriors, the means by which they obtained them, and the techniques and customs of battle.

A thorough, accessible and informative review, this study highlights the complex casual relationships among the structures and sources of early medieval political power, technology, and the conduct of war.


'Friday's book is elegantly written, well informed on Japanese research, and backed by abundant quotes from the relevant original sources. His frequent comparisons with European history are well chosen, his arguments convincing.' - Monumenta Nipponica

About the Author

Karl F. Friday is a professor of Japanese History at the University of Georgia. A specialist in classical and early medieval Japanese history, he has also written widely on samurai culture and Japanese warrior traditions.

About the Series

Warfare and History

This new series of single-authored books on war, warfare and society marks a major new publishing initiative in military history for undergraduate students. Covering the whole span of history, the series seeks to encourage works on the impact of war and the preparations for war on social, economic and political developments. The books will eschew the 'battles and generals' approach, and seek to place militarism in context.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Asia / General
HISTORY / Military / General