Records show that the Chinese invented gunpowder in the 800s. By the 1200s they had unleashed the first weapons of war upon their unsuspecting neighbours. This extraordinarily ambitious book traces the history of that invention and its impact on the surrounding Asian world - Korea, Japan, South East Asia and South Asia - from the ninth through the twentieth century. As the book makes clear, the spread of war and its technology had devastating consequences on the political and cultural fabric of those early societies although each reacted very differently. The book, which is packed with information about military strategy, interregional warfare and the development of armaments, also engages with the major debates and challenges traditional thinking on Europe's contribution to military technology in Asia. Articulate and comprehensive, this book will be a welcome addition to the undergraduate classroom and to all those interested in Asian studies and military history.