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Samurai Archives Japanese History Podcast


Follow your hosts on a trek into Japanese history, from ancient Japan to the end of the Samurai and all points in between - culture, warfare, literature, and interviews. Simply stated, our mission is to bridge the gap between the popular and the academic, and to bring the world of academic Japanese history accessible to a wider audience through discussion of topics and authors in an informative but informal manner. We encourage those listeners who want to know more to seek out works by the historians and authors we reference and interview, and to contribute to the conversation. Conversely, we hope scholars can view us as a way to reach a broader, non-specialist audience and raise the bar for general understandings of Japanese history. The Official Podcast of the Samurai Archives Japanese History page.

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Aug 21, 2011

In this episode of our Introduction to Japanese history series, we examine the rise of the warrior class during the Heian period. As the Heian period began, there was not a distinct warrior class, but armies were raised on an ad hoc basis when needed by the court to put down rebellions, bandits, and pirates. As the Heian period went on, provincial lords began to maintain professional warrior bands to protect their lands and legitimacy, and to go to war on behalf of the court. The court would continue to give these provincial lords legitimacy through bestowing titles and lands. But, as the Heian period went on, court control of these provincial lords and their armies began to weaken.

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Mentioned in this podcast: Friday, Karl. Hired Swords: The Rise of Private Warrior Power in Early Japan Stanford University Press, March 1, 1996

Friday, Karl. Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan (Warfare and History) Routledge; New edition edition (December 29, 2003)

Friday, Karl. Teeth and Claws. Provincial Warriors and the Heian Court Monumenta Nipponica Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer, 1988), pp. 153-185

Hall, John W. Government and Local Power in Japan 500-1700: A Study Based on Bizen Province ACLS Humanities E-Book, August 1, 2008

McCullough, Helen. The Tale of the Heike Stanford University Press; 1st edition (March 1, 1990)

Sansom, George. A History of Japan to 1334 Stanford University Press, 1958

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