Samurai Heraldry cover
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The dazzling spectacle presented by the armies of medieval Japan owed much to the highly developed family and personal heraldry of samurai society. From simple personal banners, this evolved over centuries of warfare into a complex system of flags worn or carried into battle, together with the striking 'great standards' of leading warlords. While not regulated in the Western sense, Japanese heraldry developed as a series of widely followed practices, while remaining flexible enough to embrace constant innovation. Scores of examples, in monochrome and full colour, illustrate this fascinating explanation of the subject by a respected expert on all aspects of samurai culture.

Table of Contents

Appearance of mon as early as Nara period · 12th C Taira & Minamoto wars, hata-jirushi · 13th/14th Cs: the Mongol invasions period, 15th/16th Cs: heraldry carried on shields, nobori banners, sashimono flags attached to armour, maku screens · Army organisation produces system of coloured unit flags/symbols · Buddhist & Christian symbolism · Uma-jirushi commanders' flags · Tsukai-ban messenger corps: the horo displayed cloak · 17th C: the fully developed system of the early Edo period.

Product details

Published Mar 25 2002
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 64
ISBN 9781841763040
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 58 b/w; 18 col
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Elite
Short code ELI 82
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Stephen Turnbull

Stephen Turnbull is widely recognised as the world…


Angus McBride


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