Samurai Armies of the Late Sengoku Period - Volume I

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This volume details the composition, hierarchies, strengths and weaknesses of a Samurai army, and examines how it fought. Other aspects include:

  • the differences between samurai and European warfare;
  • the roles assigned to samurai and ashigaru in different armies;
  • how these armies, some of which were over 100,000 strong, functioned;
  • marching orders and camp facilities of the armies and;
  • where each individual samurai stood in the order of battle.

The reader will discover what may seem to be abstract or strange ideas by way of the most detailed examples possible, in both words and pictures, that are based on a variety of Japanese sources.

  • Paperback
  • more than 75 illustrations, including 20 computer graphics by Rolf Fuhrmann, two full-page and two double-page drawings by Sascha Lunyakov
  • English text written and translated by Till Weber
  • 104 pages


  • Author’s note
  • Periods of Japanese History
    Basics of Japanese Military History c. 1600
  • Arms and Armour
  • Composition and Command Structure of a Samurai Army
    Lord, Family, and Vassals
    Command Structure
    Feudal Samurai Service and Professional Troops in Garrisons
  • Strength and Composition of Armies
  • Army Divisions and Troop Types
    Samurai Cavalry: Myth and Reality – The Takeda Re-Examined
    Infantry I: Specialists with polearms
    Infantry II: Missile Troops (Bow and Arquebus)
    Honjin – The Headquarters Unit
    Supply and Baggage Train
  • Samurai as Mercenaries
  • A Samurai Army in Action
    On the March
    In Camp
    In Battle – Sengoku Period Tactics
  • A Standard Basic Unit Reconstructed
  • Key Terms in Japanese and English
  • Bibliography

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