A portrait of Japan's first significant samurai leader and his worldWas samurai warrior Taira Masakado a quixotic megalomaniac or a hero swept up by events beyond his control? Did he really declare himself to be the "e;New Emperor"e;? Did he suffer divine retribution for his ego and ambition? Filled with insurrections, tribal uprisings, pirate disturbances, and natural disasters, this action-packed account of Masakado's insurrection offers a captivating introduction to the samurai, their role in 10th-century society, and the world outside the capital--a must-read for those interested in early Japan, samurai warfare, or the mystique of ancient warriors.Karl Friday (Athens, GA) is a Professor of History at the University of Georgia. A renowned expert on the samurai and early Japanese history, he has authored four books and appeared on numerous A&E, History, and Discovery Channel programs. He is active on several Web forums.