Art Makoto Sugawara The Ancient Samurai

ISBN 13: 9784915645037

The Ancient Samurai

 
9784915645037: The Ancient Samurai

The birth and development of the samurai class brought to the history of Japan an element colorful in the extreme. This class of professional warriors endured for a millennium, coming to an end only with the Meiji Restoration of 1868. The progressive role the samurai played as rulers is surprising from the viewpoint of world history. Without them, Japan would have remained as it was in ancient times, an easy target for colonization. The samurai class transformed the ancient society into the feudal society of the Middle Ages and provided a bridge for the final transformation to a modern nation-state. Makoto Sugawara approaches the subject of the ancient samurai, the true samurai in that they believed in the justice of self-sacrifice for one's master, in realistic terms through an examination of their historical nature. He discusses where and how the samurai were born, the war between the Minamoto and Taira clans, the struggle between the samurai and the nobility, and the rise and fall of the Kamakura Shogunate. In his chronicle he interweaves incisive portraits of such figures as Otomo no Yakamochi, the administrator-poet who adumbrated the samurai class; Taira no Kiyomori, the leader of the clan whose sudden demise has been the theme of blind lute players for centuries; Minamoto no Yoshitsune, whose panache and ambition brought his destruction; and Yoritomo, his cool, calculating brother who founded the Kamakura Shogunate.

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Makoto Sugawara
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