This fully illustrated new book describes and analyses the weapons and equipment traditionally associated with the samurai, Japan's superlative warriors. It examines the range of weapons used by them at different times and in different situations. Beginning with the rise of the samurai during the 10th century, this lively study traces the introduction of edged weapons (cutting and piercing) and missile weapons (bows and guns) over the next 500 years. The book shows clearly how they were employed by individual samurai using many previously untranslated primary texts, and explains how their use spread more widely among low-class troops, pirates and rebels. It also shows how schools of martial arts took over and changed the weapons and their uses during the peaceful Edo Period (1615-1868).