By Morgan Pitelka
Early Modern Japan, Vol.16 (2008)
Introduction: The following three essays focus on lesser-known aspects of the early modern warrior experience: food, shopping, and travel. While each essay is part of a larger scholarly project, the intention of the articles presented here is to serve as an introduction to warrior life. This brief opening essay is designed to provide a context for understanding the rich history of the early modern warrior experience. It begins with a brief sketch of one of the most famous warriors in Japanese history and the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616). It then reviews warrior demography and society, warrior cultural practices, and the urban character of the warrior experience, providing references to secondary literature in English while contextualizing the essays that follow.