This book covers a long period of time and a fascinating and often neglected subject. It shatters some of the myths about the pirates of this area and period being only Japanese and highlights the interaction and impact of the Wako on Japanese historical events. It described several of the sea lords of the Japanese and works well as a companion book with other Ospreys covering the ships of the period and the Japanese invasion of Korea.
It is written by the leading expert on this period/ area Dr Stephen Turnbull and illustrated by an old favourite of Osprey readers Richard Hook. As usual for Osprey books it is filled with a large variety of illustrations, photos, maps and plans with some of the illustrations showing pirate bases being particularly interesting. As to the text is is packed with information and more heavy going than some other Ospreys due to the amount of events/ points of interest being covered, of particular interest are the chapters on the mechanics of a pirate raid and the three examples of a Wako’s experience of battle looking at three very different incidents.
The further reading section is also very detailed. My main criticism of the book is that it crams a lot into a 64 page book and in many areas just wets the appetite for more, that said it does very well in shedding a lot of light on a neglected subject.
Portrait of a pirate
The daily life of the pirates
Campaign life (1) the mechanics of a pirate raid
Campaign life (2) Defensive measures against pirate raids
The Wako’s Experience of Battle
Museums and collections
Author: Stephen Turnbull
Illustrator: Richard Hook
Pages: 64 pages
Publisher: Osprey Publishing