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O-umajirushi is a unique 17th-century compendium of samurai heraldry. It is the earliest surviving color compendium of Japanese crests and heraldry. At the time, woodblock printing was just starting to allow for widespread distribution of books in Japan. O-umajirushi took advantage of this technology to make color reproductions of the various banners and other devices used by 170 different samurai commanders. With the support of my Kickstarter backers, I’ve put together a translation of O-umajirushi annotated with the symbolism and stories behind the banners. My book presents copies of the original pages of O-umajirushi with translations, annotations, explanations, and comparisons, as well as 30 pages of context, background information, and historic images. It provides an in-depth look at samurai heraldry and into a key historical source.


You can download a PDF copy of my annotated translation of O-umajirushi below. I want this translation to be available to anyone who’s interested, so I’m making the PDF available on a “pay-what-you-want” basis. You can get the PDF for whatever you feel the it’s worth, or whatever your budget allows. You can download it for free if you want to; just put in zero. You can also download it for free, look at it, and then come back to pay me later if you decide that’s what you want to do. If you do chip in something, I’ll appreciate it. But more importantly, I hope you enjoy reading my translation of O-umajirushi.

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Hard Copy

You can order a paperback copy of O-umajirushi: A 17th-Century Compendium of Samurai Heraldry directly from me and also from other booksellers (ISBN 978-0-692-37740-6). There are also a small number of remaining copies of the limited edition deluxe hardcover available from me only. (Unlike the copies sent to Kickstarter backers, these will be unsigned.)

Buy Hardcover ($60)    Buy Paperback ($25)

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