The Japanese longbow

From ancient times, the value of a samurai was assessed in terms of his prowess at kyuba no michi, the way of horse and bow, whereby the elite warrior would deliver arrows from his longbow while riding a horse.


The Samurai Sword (Katana)

The Katana (sword) of the samurai warrior is one of the best-known edged weapons in world military history. It is also probably the finest, being made using metallurgical skills based on tradition and observation, a process that has enabled 800-year-old swords to be preserved in perfect condition.

History of the Samurai Warrior

Japan, the home of the samurai, had been no stranger to war since the time of the rise of the samurai warrior. The samurai warriors were a distinctive social class and their establishment as a ruling elite during the 12th century, when the Battle of Dan no Ura in 1185 concluded a bitter time of […]

Military trends during the Sengoku Period

One of the most important developments in Japanese Samurai warfare during the Sengoku Period was the emergence of large-scale infantry tactics in an exact parallel to the similar trend that was happening in 16th century Europe.


Ninja (Shinobi) – Secret Assassins

For any military historian, the topic of ninja remains one of the most fascinating mysteries of Japanese samurai warfare. The word ‘ninja’ or its alternative reading ‘shinobi’ crops up again and again in historical accounts in the context of secret intelligence-gathering or assassinations carried out by martial arts experts.

Ikko-Ikki: Japanese Warrior Monks

During the Sengoku Period, the rule by the samurai class was sometimes severely challenged by the armies mounted by lower-class self-governing communities called ikki or leagues. The most powerful one was based on a shared adherence to the True Pure Land sect of Buddhism as the ‘Single-minded League or ‘Ikko-ikki’.