Listed here are websites, YouTube channels and/or videos, some books and films that really could not be done as a full review for the “Reviews” section (Note: Historical fiction novels will not be listed here but rather the “Reviews” page). Links will be provided and will be updated to make sure that they are still working. I know how hard it is to find English sources on this subject, so to help, this list has been provided for my readers.
Again, as stated in the reviews page, none of the links are sponsored content unless stated otherwise. The links are only here to help my readers find the sources that I have used in my articles.
Plagiarism is a huge problem in the academic world, especially in the world of blogging. I have seen articles taken directly from historians and other blog posts on other blogs and Wikipedia pages and they have not given the original author credit for their work. Many Japanese history bloggers want to keep our information available to the public for free (no one likes a paywall), since resources on much of Japanese history in English is difficult to find. If you decide to use any of these websites and books, including us, the Sengoku Archives, for your own research, please use citations and do not plagiarize. Thank you in advance.
Hideyoshi by Mary Elizabeth Berry (1982)
Do not let the age of this book fool you. This is the only in-depth biography on Toyotomi Hideyoshi for English readers. Not only does it focus on his life, but the political climate and world that Hideyoshi lived in. It also dives into his policies that he put into place after taking the title of kampaku. This book is only available in hardcover and in paperback.
Sengoku Jidai: Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu: Three Unifiers of Japan by Danny Chaplin (2018)
This book tends to be looked down upon by pseudo-historians, mainly because it is a self-published book. Nevertheless, this book is the only English source that talks about the events of the Sengoku Jidai in depth. It does focus a lot on the political background to certain events and talks about how everyday people would have lived during this age of constant war, something we do not get from most history books. It is well researched and contains a number of footnotes as well. While the paperback has gone up in price since I had purchased it myself, it is affordable for those who wish to read it on the Kindle.
In Search of Japan’s Hidden Christians: A Story of Suppression, Secrecy and Survival by John Dougill (2012)
This book is the good resource on the history of Christianity in Japan and the years of persecution that followed during the Edo Period. The author traveled all over southern Japan, visiting places that are significant for Christians in Japan. This was released before Martin Scorsese’s Silence (2016), but it does talk about the book it was based off of and its history. The history also extends past the Edo Period and goes into the lives of “Hidden Christians” in the present-day. The book is available in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats. Also available on Scribd with membership.
Tales of Idolized Boys: Male-Male Love in Medieval Japanese Buddhist Narratives by Sachi Schmidt-Hori (2021)
One of the newest books out on a topic that is not discussed much, this amazing book dives into the little-known world of the chigo, young boys who had sexual relationships with high priests of Buddhist monasteries in Japan. It also analyzes some of the most famous chigo monogatari (stories) from the Edo Period and is a great read for anyone who is looking to dive into the world of Japanese gender studies. The book is available in paperback and hardback, as well as Kindle.
Two Japanese Christian Heroes by Johannes Laures, S.J. (1959)
I happened to come across this book by chance while trying to find some information on Blessed Takayama Ukon. This book, while over sixty years old, provides a biography on two of Japan’s most famous Christian converts: Takayama Ukon and Hosokawa Gracia. While getting your hands on a physical copy might be difficult, Amazon has converted the text to Kindle format at a low and affordable price. A great read for anyone wanting to learn more about both Takayama Ukon and Hosokawa Gracia.
The Battle of Sekigahara: The Greatest, Bloodiest, Most Decisive Samurai Battle Ever by Chris Glenn (2021)
This book is extremely informative and dives into Sekigahara in detail. With hour-by-hour details, a timeline of events leading up to and after the battle, and information the makeup of the armies, this book is a must have for fans of the Sengoku Jidai. Available in hardcover and eBook.
The Samurai Invasion of Korea 1592-98 by Stephen Turnbull (2008)
A crash course to the Imjin War, also known as the Korea Campaigns. Mainly focuses on the battles of the campaigns than anything else, but it is still a decent read to get a basic understanding of the events of these campaigns. Available in paperback and eBook forms and is accessible on Scribd with membership.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi by Stephen Turnbull (2010)
This is a great crash course book on Toyotomi Hideyoshi that can be read in a couple of hours. Covers everything from the beginning to the end of his life in a span of 64 pages, mainly focusing on the military campaigns after Hideyoshi’s rise to power. The price seems high for the content, but even the back cover has it listed for $18.95USD…Kindle is cheaper for those who cannot afford paperback, and if you have an account with Scribd, it is included in your membership.
Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon–A Filipino Movement for the Canonization of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon (last accessed 6/28/2022)
This website is dedicated to all things relating to Bl. Takayama Ukon. This page has been updated even going into the 2022 year and has everything regarding the life of this samurai turned saint. A great resource for anyone who wants to stay up to date on his journey to sainthood.
JAPAN THIS!-Exploring Tokyo one place at a time (last accessed 6/28/2022)
This page was essential when it came to verifying information regarding the hauntings and history for the article on Hachiōji Castle, yet there is so much more to this page than just that. Run by Marky Star since 2008, JAPAN THIS! is a website dedicated to everything Japanese: from touring hot spots to what names of Japanese companies mean. He even does tours in Japan for those looking for a guide! (Check with travel restrictions for your country due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, as travel still might be restricted.)
Japanese Wiki Corpus (last accessed 6/28/2022)
This is a great website for the lesser-known figures of the Sengoku Jidai. This website is run by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and it was created to help translate Japanese Wikipedia articles into English, mainly related to Kyoto.
Matsumoto Castle Samurai | Matsumoto Gun Corps (last accessed 6/28/2022)
A recent discovery, this website is dedicated to the Mastsumoto Castle Gun Corps, who have been active since 1990. This page, run by MG Okuhara, focuses on the reenactments held at Matsumoto Castle as well as providing information about military life during the Sengoku Jidai in particular (after all, it was this era that introduced guns in warfare). They also have a YouTube page, which will be listed under the “YouTube Channels” category.
SamuraiWiki (last accessed 6/28/2022)
This page was one of the first I ever visited when learning about Japanese history. Also known as Samurai Archives, this site has information on samurai before and after the Sengoku Jidai and tends to have information about some not so famous figures. However, recently, some of the old pages I have been able to access before either do not exist (Matsunaga Hisahide for example). They do run a podcast as well.
I do not really need add a link to this one as we all know how popular Wikipedia is, and unfortunately, as much as all my teachers and professors told me not to, I sometimes have to use this online encyclopedia for research sometimes. This is mainly because certain people will only have a Wikipedia article and nothing more. I strive to find more information outside of Wikipedia, however, sometimes that is not the case. If sources are provided, I try to verify the information first, if possible, and if not, Wikipedia will be used as a source. This does not mean that Wikipedia is bad. This source is good if you are looking for a place to begin with research as they general provide enough basic information to work off of for research purposes. Wikipedia is where my journey into the world of the Sengoku Jidai began.
This YouTube channel is tied to the Matsumoto Gun Corps website listed above. This channel has informational videos as well as videos of the reenactments that take place there for those who cannot make it to Japan. A great channel for those who love military history.
While it is a small channel as of writing this, the Sengoku Studies is dedicated to Japanese history, culture and warfare from the 12th to 19th centuries. His videos recently, have been short videos focusing on samurai armor and weapons, great for any viewer who wants to learn about this era but is short on time. His video review on “Age of Samurai” comes highly recommended.
This YouTube channel is dedicated to the history of samurai as well as reviews of video games and films.