The First Samurai : The Life and Legend of the Warrior Rebel, Taira Masakado

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Taira Masakado, a fifth-generation descendant of Emperor Kashiwabara, is a cultured aristocrat whose response to attack prompts an appropriate response. From that point, his actions border on outright rebellion where he ultimately claims he is the New Emperor. Masakado’s meteoric rise to infamy is quickly snuffed out and would seem no more than a footnote in 10th century Japanese history. Yet Karl Friday provides a prodigious amount of scholarly, textual support to demonstrate how Masakado truly represents the very first samurai whose loyalties and insurrections represented the drama that would inevitably recur in Japan’s rapidly evolving military, political and social structure of later centuries. Drawings, as well as extensive notes and a lengthy bibliography, accompany this in-depth, fascinating study of this first samurai’s world. Anyone interested in writing fiction about this Japanese period would do well to carefully read and fully appreciate this excellent, scholarly and frequently surprising work.

 

 

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Publisher

Published

Genre

Century

Price
(US) $24.95
(UK) £13.99

ISBN
(US) 9780471760825

Format
Paperback

Pages
220

Review

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