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List of reference links for inspiration to players, GM's Et Al.

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On Jedai-Geki and Chambara cinema


Official Kamon (Mon) Registry of Japan


Shinto and Shintoism Guidebook. While I understand that  Shintao is not a direct import of Shinto, the information might give a bit more color for shugenja players


The Samurai Archives, fora list of various samurai factions and bits of  samurai culture through history


Samurai Clothing through the various periods


The Shinto Encyclopedia





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Additional Reading I have to suggest is mostly by Stephen Turnbull, who does a lot of leg work on the various periods of Samurai History. To wit:

Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603: A book covering the major sects of monks in Japan, activities, life styles, and all of the sorts of headaches they caused for samurai and each other, which could easily be adapted by L5R. Note: warrior Monks were used to defend trade and noble caravans from bandits, samurai, and some times other monks. The politics of things got interesting... 

Samurai Women 1184-1877: As the title would suggest, the book covers this history of Bugeisha (Lit: Female Martial Artist, Vern: Armed Female Gentry) including training, weapons, activities on the battlefield and in court and several historical examples of Bugeisha for inspiration.

Ninja AD 1460-1650: A lovely little book for aspiring Scorpion (and others) filled with the tactics and histories of the various ninja clans, day to day operations, usages in war and other circumstances, equipment and training as well as the down right dirty methods they used to get the job done.

Japanese Castles 1540-1640: as discussion of the different castle types common through this period, which actually has rather a lot of variation for aspiring GM's looking for ideas oh how to set up a castle grounds the players may be going to.

Japanese Castles in Korea 1592-1598: The designs of the castles used in Korea could be adapted to Crab or Mantis designs as they are known defensive castle designs which are meant to put up a far more robust defense than typical Castle design.

Japanese Fortified Temples and Monasteries AD 710-1062:  Given the level of turmoil during Japanese History and indeed in Legend of the Five Rings, various monasteries and temples had to fortify themselves to protect themselves against, bandits and raiders, various flavors of Shadowlands encroachment, or even Bushi. This book contains various designs for monasteries and the defenses typical of them 

Edited by TheWanderingJewels

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Samurai Commanders (1)1 940-1576 & Samurai Commanders (2) 1577-1638: A two volume set that covers famous samurai through history, giving historical profiles on tactics used during the periods listed as well as the personalities and activities of said commanders, as well as examples personalized armors which were quite ornate. L5R's art is rather restrained compared to some of the outfits seen. the volumes may serve as inspiration for character creation.

Katana: The Samurai Sword: A definitive volume on a samurai's signature weapon, covering the production of said weapon including the rituals and methodology being creation (GM's take note), the evolution of the design and use of said weapons in war and social situations, as well as Swordmasters and the development of various sword schools.

The Samurai Sourcebook: A hefty book by Turnbull that is a treasure trove of information on Samurai including:

1. An outline of Samurai History with many sidebars of often uncovered material that may be of use to GM's and players alike.

2. An expansive section on Personalties and Kamon (heraldry) which goes into depth of personal heraldry and within armies.

3.  An exceptionally detailed breakdown (seriously, the cover every component)  on Samurai Arms and Armor detailing each piece of Armor, and a discussion on the various weapons used.

4. Strategy and Tactics used by various samurai including Army Organization, Raising the Army, Life On The Campaign Trail, Castles in Warfare, The Battlefield, and After the Battle.

5. Battles, Sieges and Case Studies

6. Odds and Ends covering Religon, Bushido, and Hari-kiri 

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Japanese Demon Lore: Oni From Ancient times to present By Noriko K Reider



Introduction of Hikosan Shugendo (English Subtitles)


Onmyodou : The basis for Imperial Shugendou



Edited by TheWanderingJewels

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