During the 16th century, known in Japanese history as the Sengoku Jidai (Age of Battles or Warring States Period), vast armies led by rival daimyō (feudal lords) waged bloody conflict across most of Japan.
At the forefront of every army were the elite Mounted Samurai. Horses were scarce and a daimyō rarely had more than 10% of his forces mounted.
Nevertheless, as shock cavalry or as a harassing force, these mounted warriors were the best armed and armoured in any Samurai army.
Whether firing arrows from horseback or running the enemy down with spear and sword, these select warriors were feared out of all proportion to their actual numbers on the battlefield.