I’ve been on a bit of a samurai kick recently, so Stephen Turnbull’s book Warriors of Medieval Japan was a welcome addition to the pack. It had large segments on Samurai, Ashigaru, Ninja and Warrior Monks, mostly focusing on the Warring States period. Interesting stuff I had no idea about beforehand. I wish there’d been a bit more pre-1400s stuff, but generally it was all good. Not thorough or exhaustive, but good enough to let me have an idea for stuff to use in role-playing games. I really like the idea that ninja in paintings (and all our modern conceptions of them – Storm Shadow aside) are clad in black because that was simply the convention for depicting someone who couldn’t be seen.