English Resources

This page will contain a list of sources I have found in English that contain information about the events and people of the Sengoku Jidai. These are also the sources I have used for the content of this website. This will be updated with the more sources I find.

Books

Sekigahara 1600: The final struggle for power by Anthony J. Bryant (1995).

This book focuses on the details surrounding the Sekigahara Campaign. It begins with the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the two years leading up to the Battle of Sekigahara, the battle itself, and the battlefield today.

The Samurai Warrior: The Golden Age of Japan’s Elite Warriors 1560-1615 by Ben Hubbard (2014).

As the title states, the book mainly focuses on the famous samurai and battles from 1560 to 1615, however, it does give some history before and after those years. It also looks at military weapons and tactics of these years.

The Ways of the Samurai by Carol Gaskin and Vince Hawkins (2005).

This book looks more at the daily life of a samurai, rather than certain samurai.  It does give an overview of Japanese history, mostly focusing on samurai history. Despite its focus being entirely on the samurai lifestyle, it does give a few case studies, such as the Battles of Kawanakajima and the Battle of Nagashino. It also mentions how the samurai legacy has been carried into the present.

Commanders: History’s Greatest Military Leaders by R.G. Grant (2010).

This book looks at the famous military commanders from the beginning of civilization to the year of publication. The is a small section that focuses on the Three Unifies: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu, as well as a write-up about the Battle of Nagashino.

African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard (2019).

The most recent book on this list, African Samurai is a mixture of Japanese history and historical narrative on the life of Yasuke. It focuses a lot on Christianity in Japan as well, since Yasuke travelled with Alessandro Valignano throughout Japan. The authors bring up interesting ideas about what Yasuke’s life would have been like and even bring up theories about his final years.

Samurai: The Code of the Warrior by Thomas Louis and Tommy Ito (2006).

Yet another book that focuses on the samurai lifestyle. It too, also gives an overview of the history of the samurai, focusing on the major events and some famous samurai.

A History of Japan: 1334-1615 by George Sansom (1961).

This book is part of a set of books that focus on the history of Japan. This book focuses from the years 1334 to 1615. This is one of the few books that focus on other aspects of the era, such as culture and politics.

Samurai Leaders From the Tenth to the Nineteenth Century by Michael Sharpe (2008).

As the title states, this is a book that focus on the famous samurai leaders during the samurai’s reign. This gives more information on the samurai themselves, rather than a mixture of samurai and battles.

The Samurai Sourcebook by Stephen Turnbull (2000).

This book is an encyclopedia of sorts. It focuses on the famous samurai from their beginnings to their end, and the battles they partook in. There is also a focus on military strategy, looking at weapons and tactics. While the list of samurai in this book is extensive, there are some lesser known samurai who have little information about them in the book, or they are not in the book at all.

Samurai Women 1184-1877 by Stephen Turnbull (2010).

Another book written by Stephen Turnbull, this one focuses on the women, mainly onna-bugeisha, from the dawn of the samurai to its end. However, I have found that it lacks some information, and completely omits Ii Naotora, who was woman who gave the Ii clan its independence. A good reference for some basic information about the women of this era.

Ninja Attack! True Tales of Assassins, Samurai, and Outlaws by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt (2010).

This book looks more at the ninja that were prominent during the age of samurai. Not only does it focus on ninja, their training, and weaponry, but also famous samurai who were against them, used them, or destroyed them.

Historical Fiction

Kicho and Nobunaga by Rumi Komonz (2011).

This work of historical fiction, focuses on Kicho, or Nōhime, and her life starting before her marriage to Oda Nobunaga. This is more of a romance novel, however, it has been well researched and brings up many interesting facts and possibilities about Nōhime. It sheds light of new evidence about Nōhime’s life, which will be noted in her biography on this site.

Taiko: An Epic Novelo of War and Glory in Feudal Japan by Eiji Yoshikawa (William Scott Wilson as translator/2012).

This work of historical fiction that is based on Taiko ki, a 20 volume book set written by Oze Hoan in 1626 on the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The book starts with his childhood and goes to the Battles of Komaki and Nagakute in 1584. While it does focus on Hideyoshi, it does tend to focus on Oda Nobunaga once he is introduced.

Websites

Rejected Princesses.com

This website has helped me on finding information on Tsuruhime and the theory on the Female Uesugi Kenshin article. This website is dedicated to telling the tales of women, both famous and forgotten to time. There are also books for sale and a store for other merch items.

The Samurai Archives Japanese History Page

This website is also known as the SamuraiWiki, for it has information about many of the famous samurai, as well as lesser figures and even some of the noted women of the era. The website covers the battles that the samurai fought in, as well as their culture and clan histories. There is also a podcast that accompanies the websites content, which can be found on the iTunes store.

 

Videos/Films

Warring States Japan: Sengoku Jidai

This six part YouTube series gives an introduction to the Sengoku Jidai, focusing on just the Three Unifiers of Japan. There is one last video that adds some information and corrects facts that they got wrong during recording. These videos are a good introduction to those who want a crash course about the events that happened during the last half of the Sengoku Jidai. The first video has been posted here.

 

Matthew Santoro’s REAL-LIFE Ninjas that will Blow Your Mind!

This video came out on January 28, 2019. Matthew Santoro is a channel dedicated to interesting facts, set up in a top ten list form. The video seems very well researched, however, he does classify Sanada Masayuki, Sanada Yukimura’s father, as a ninja. Further research is needed to clarify that, but nevertheless, it is a very informative video.