Samurai Horse and Foot Guards 1540-1724
Osprey Publishing (UK), Paperback, 9781846034787, 64pp.
Publication Date: March 23, 2010
Osprey's elite series title for Japan's samurai horse and foot guards, from 1540 to 1724. Each great samurai warlord, or daimyo, had a 'household division' of troops, known as the Hatamoto - 'those who stand under the flag'. The Hatamoto included the personal bodyguards, both horse (uma mawari) and foot (kachi); the senior generals (bugyo), the standard bearers and color-guard, couriers, and other samurai under the warlord's personal command.
Apart from bodyguard and other duties in immediate attendance on the daimyo, both horse and foot guards often played crucial roles in battle - their intervention could turn defeat into victory, and their collapse meant final disaster. As favored fighting men under the warlord's eye, members of the bodyguards could hope for promotion, and some rose to be daimyo themselves.
All three great leaders of the 16-17th century - including Oda, Hideyoshi and Tokugawa - had their own elite corps. Such troops were naturally distinguished by dazzling apparel and heraldry, with banners both carried and attached to the back of the armor, all of which are detailed in an array of color artwork specially created for this publication.
" Lavishly illustrated (as usual) by English artist Richard Hook and written by Dr. Stephen Turnbull, the book gives a very nice overview of the Hatamoto, who were Samurai warriors in the 16th through the 18th centuries.
Turnbull has drawn from his tremendous knowledge of Japanese history, culture, and customs to research and write a compelling overview that is certain to add to the casual reader’s understanding of this legendary group of warriors. Hook’s illustrations are colorful, vivid, and useful for wargamers wishing to recreate the period on the miniature battlefield.
This book will be a useful addition to the bookshelves of gamers and modelers, as well as those military buffs looking for something out of the ordinary. Well done in Osprey’s usual style!" -Charge! Civil War Wargaming