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Manuscript on paper entitled "Koyo gunkan massho gekan" with "Massho ketsuyo bon" [collective trans.: "The Shining Record of the Military Exploits of the Takeda Clan"]. Numerous illus. in black ink, many heightened in red, yellow, & blueish-grey wash. 37; 37; 44; 22 folding leaves; 32; 42; 50; 37 folding leaves. 18 parts in eight vols. 8vo (278 x 195 mm.), orig. wrappers, orig. manuscript title labels on upper covers, new stitching
N.p. [Japan]: n.d. [but 17th century].These texts give an account of the life and times of Shingen Takeda (1521-73), and his son Katsuyori Takeda (1546-82), the greatest warriors of a prominent military house active from 1185 to about 1600, a period of considerable chaos in Japan. The Takeda clan had a profound influence on the development of the concept of bushido, the warrior class ethical system, which in turn can be said to permeate much of modern Japanese culture. Our manuscript includes "accounts of the Takeda clan's rise and fall; their unique military tactics; the army's constitution; their laws and precepts; and descriptions of their weapons, customs, and lifestyle…the Koyo Gunkan came to have enormous influence on the young bushi of the peaceful Edo period (1600-1868), who used it as a history, military strategy, and ethics textbook…"The Koyo Gunkan subsequently became one of the most important reference works for scholars of bushido throughout the Edo period, when the concept assumed its mature form as a deliberately articulated ethical system and martial cult…"The Koyo Gunkan is a massive and often neglected primary source of medieval Japan, and it is a rich source of information on day-to-day life and culture during the Japanese medieval period."-Alexander C. Bennett, "Neglected Treasure. The Koyo Gunkan" in Sword and Spirit. Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan, Vol. II, ed. by Diane Skoss (1999)-(see the whole wonderful article for more on this clan, this text, its authorship, and its importance).This manuscript is partially written in kana and partially in kanji, suggesting it is an early copy (see Bennett).The finely drawn illustrations depict the strategic designs of castles; how to lay siege on castles; formations of soldiers (with comments on number of troops required, their specialties and armaments, etc.); the five elements of military strategy; cavalry carrying guns; a mountainous area where a battle took place; flags and banners; formations for specific battles; the strategies of Kansuke Yamamoto (1501-61), one of the most brilliant strategists of the Takeda Clan; battles at night, etc.Fine condition. Some occasional minor worming.
      [Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc. ]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      ABAA    

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