Amakusa Shiro (died 1638)

One of the heroic figures of Japanese history. While still relatively young this charismatic samurai led the rebels in the Shimabara Rebellion and commanded the defenders during the siege of Hara. He was killed along with all the surviving defenders when the castle fell in 1638. The heraldry used by the rebels was a simple Christian cross but an elaborate banner with angels survived and is in the Watanabe museum in Tottori.
A Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi. Translated by Victor Harris. An excellent and fascinating short book and a must have for any serious student of Samurai history. The book has an excellent historical introduction and the section on the life of the author is as good as the book itself. The focus of book is the way of the warrior, especially the swordsman and has much thought provoking text for the careful and diligent reader. Detailed footnotes add to the translation and the text is very interesting for any interested in Kendo or the martial arts, mixing philosophy with strategy, giving a real insight into the life and beliefs of a samurai.
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How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (16 April 2002), Amakusa Shiro (died 1638),

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