A richly illustrated study of the origins, recruitment, training, and combat of the ashigaru, a vital element of samurai armies. The ashigaru were the foot soldiers of old Japan. Although recruited first to swell an army's numbers and paid only by loot, the samurai began to realise their worth, particularly with arquebuses and spears, until well-trained ashigaru made up a vital part of any samurai army. Drawing on previously untranslated Japanese sources, Stephen Turnbull examines the origins, recruitment, training and use in war of the ashigaru. He surveys the range of ashigaru activity, including their roles as sailors and catapult artillery men as well as the disciplined ranks of warriors that they had become. Illustrated throughout with specially commissioned artwork and previously unpublished illustrations, this book tells the story of the ashigaru for the first time.
Read an extract of Ashigaru 1467–1649
Table of Contents
The ashigaru: a historical survey Ashigaru recruitment Organisation and command Campaign life of the ashigaru The ashigaru's experience of battle Museum collections Bibliography and further reading Chronology of the ashigaru The plates Glossary Index
25 Mar 2001
70 black and white photographs and 10 original colour artworks