Fictional depictions of Japanese medieval warfare tend inevitably to focus on samurai, the military nobility. Whether the medium is cult movies or collectible models, Japan’s common foot-soldiers barely get a look-in compared to their samurai masters.
Ukrainian company Redbox, however, aims to buck this trend by producing plastic figurine sets of the Japanese peasant infantry.
There are three sets available: Ashigaru, Ikkō Ikki, and Japanese Peasant Infantry.
Ashigaru ((足軽)) literally meaning “light-footed”, were foot-soldiers employed by the samurai class. Unlike samurai, they wore minimal or no armour, but carried blades, swords and bows.
▼ Redbox makes not one but two Ashigaru sets: Archers and Arquebusiers (an arquebus being a type of firearm); and a Command and Support Group.
The Ikkō Ikki (一向一揆) were large groups of locals and peasants (including monks and priests) who rose up against the samurai in the 15th and 16th century.
The Japanese Peasant Infantry set comes with figures holding a variety of weapons – swords, knives and a long hammer (pictured on the front of the box).
Each set comes with 48 figures in 12 poses, which should be enough for any figure fan wanting to put together a diorama.
Website Plastic Soldier Review points out that the quality of the figures is not particularly high, and they come with excess plastic that needs to be trimmed off before painting. However, as they point out, “Redbox deserve credit for delivering an increasingly comprehensive range of figures on their chosen subject of medieval Asia.”
Featured image: Redbox
All other images: Redbox