The Samurai Warriors
Samurais & histroy
The Japanese belonging to the military nobility in the pre-industrial Japan were called samurai. The word "samurai" means to serve and a samurai serves a lord.
Samurais evolved from saburais, guardians trained in martial arts who accompanied the tax collectors. At first, they were only mercenaries who served the emperor or the noble clans but, along with their increasing power and their victories came a new social status for them. When Taira Kinyomori had the control over the central government, he established the first samurai-dominated government.
After the 11th century history shows us a different face of the samurais. They had both military studies and training, and literary studies as well. They considered the pen as valuable as the sword. They even used to say "Bun Bu Ryo Do" which means :The pen and the sword in account. They were expected to be interested in dancing, literature, poetry and a board game named Go.
Bushido is the code of moral principles for the samurai. It means "The way of the Warrior". It contains principles about loyalty, mastery of martial arts and honor. For example, if a samurai lost his honor he could perform a ritual suicide called seppuku (also known under the name of hara kiri) to regain it. There are eight important virtues a samurai must take into consideration in war and in life: a sense of justice and honesty, self control, sympathy towards all people, respect for etiquette, respect for one's word of honor, absolute loyalty to one's superior, the responsibility to defend the honor of one's name and guild, courage and contempt for death.
Samurais are taught to have no doubts concerning their victory when they are going to the battlefield. It is said that if you think of victory you will not be wounded. The samurais think that if you are determined to die when you go to the battle you will not be taken by death. However, if you wish to survive you will die for sure. In conclusion, one of the main principles of the bushido code can be summarized into one sentence: Free yourself from fear!
Weapons of a Samurai Warrior
As for the sword they used, these weapons are still known all over the world for their beauty and sharpness. A samurai got his first real sword and armour. The samurai sword was considered the soul of the samurai. The samurais used to take two swords with them when going to battle: a longer one more than 24 inches-, called katana and a shorter one- between 12 and 24 inches-, called wakizashi. Taken as a whole, the two swords were called daisho. The samurai warrior even used to sleep with a wakizashi under the pillow. Samurais also had another weapon that looked more like a dagger and was called tanto.
There are many types of Japanese Weapons. They can have a straight or a slightly curved blade with two cutting edges set into a hilt or tsuka. They were first made of a combination between iron and carbon and were tested by cutting corpses or condemned criminals.
The year 1868 meant the death of the samurai class as Japan's feudal era come to an end.