Friday, 27 April 2012

Bibliophilia: Samurai: An Illustrated History – Mitsuo Kure & Samurai: The Story of Japan’s Great Warriors – Stephen R. Turnbull

Samurai: The Story of Japan’s Great Warriors – Stephen R. Turnbull
Samurai: An Illustrated History – Mitsuo Kure

Okko featured a character in partial samurai armour. I have always found their armour interesting, and occasionally day dream that if I didn’t have a hundred other things I want to make, I would love to make some kind of cyber-samurai armour from Kevlar and titanium and carbon fiber. Not for any really practical reason, but it would look really damn cool. And it would keep me busy. My knowledge of samurais and the history of Japan is a bit spotty, so I got these out to study their armour a bit. 

Anything about samurais always talks about what noble warriors they are, and their code of honour and all that. I guess, but what I came away with more than anything (and admittedly I didn’t read every last word in these books) is how Japan was essentially involved in a centuries, millennium long civil war, where one rich scumbag fought against another rich scumbag. One feudal lord engaged in petty conflict with another feudal lord for gaining wealth, power, land, prove his martial prowess, whatever. And invariably it was always the little guy who got shafted. Warfare to defend against a foreign invader who will destroy your country, enslave your people? Okay. Warfare without end to see who has the bigger penis? Please.

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