The Five Battles of Kawanakajima are not that well known in the West, but they are one of the most celebrated incidents of the Warring States period in Japan (right behind those parts that are better known in the West, such as Nobunaga’s career and the Battle of Nagashino that forms the climax of Ran).

Turnbull starts with the most basic rundown of the situation, including the fact that while all the battles occurred near the plain of Kawanakajima, most of them could properly be termed something else entirely, and that you could count eight battles of Kawanakajima, by including three more that fit the pattern of the other five. But, most Japanese histories consider the same five battles between Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin as ‘the battles of Kawanakajima’, and this book focuses on them, and especially the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima as the main confrontation.

As usual with Osprey’s Campaign series, the background and events are well presented, with plenty of clear maps that show what was happening. Turnbull’s analysis is good, and only occasionally breaks down under the weight of the number of different things to keep track of. A very good book for anyone who has an interest in Japanese military history.