For beauty, precision and strength, nothing has ever matched the combination of form and function found in the armour of the samurai. For a samurai, the consummate warrior, his suit of armour was so much more than 'just' protective equipment that could save his life in the heat of battle--it was the embodiment of his personality, social status and very soul.
This volume, the first in a two-part series on the armour of the samurai, traces first the history of the samurai themselves and then examines the history and evolution of the cuirass or "dou," the armour protecting the samurai's chest. Drawing on over 20 years of research and technical work by Trevor Absolon, a leading expert, this is a complete study of this fundamental aspect of samurai armour construction. Stunningly illustrated throughout, this is more than just a detailed technical exploration, it is a meditation on a process that was, and still is, nothing short of an art form.
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Trevor Absolon's passion for history and militaria was well developed by the time he bought his first book by Osprey Publishing at the age of nine. He moved to Japan in the early 1990s and immersed himself in all aspects of traditional Japanese culture, becoming, in 2007, the first and only non-Japanese national to ever hold a formal rank and title in the prestigious Soma Noma-oi, or Wild Horse Chase, the oldest and last authentic samurai equestrian event still held in Japan which dates back to the 10th Century. Through his business and private collection Trevor has documented and studied tens of thousands of authentic items of samurai armour, which has helped him to achieve an unrivaled understanding of these fascinating items--attested to by his large international clientele of private collectors and renowned museums. Trevor has privately published three books on samurai armour and co-produced a documentary film about the Soma Noma-oi.
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