This is a great book about the history of samurai and there role in shaping Japanese history. It details key eras, and battles thus it also has lots of colored pictures and diagrams of campaigns, and few battle diagrams.
Anyone who is trying to find out more about the armor of the differnt peiods should also check this book out cause it has tons of pictures of armor and names all the parts (note: it doesn't tell you how to make it though)and it explains alot about how the different families in Japan shaped the land. From the rise of the Samurai class to the Edo period and it even has a part about the Sengoku-Jidai or the age of the country at war (basically a huge 100 year long civil war)
A must have for people who prefer the samurai over the knight or if you just like the samurai.
This book is an excellent summary of samurai history, equipment and tactics. Of the Samurai books I've read, this is the best overall treatment.
The author covers each major period with a general description of the history of the period. He then provides profuse illustrations, battle maps, photos of reenactors and surviving artifacts.
It has the clear and easy to understand description and drawings of samurai armor. The photos of reenactors are really great. They really bring the subject to life.
The historical narative is brief and covers just the basics of the complex maneuvering, diplomacy and warfare that was characteristic for this period. Hard core researchers will probably find this thin,. But for a reader interested in a solid overview of the period, this book is great.