Amazing History of Japanese Samurai



Samurai stories are world-renowned and there are an overwhelming amount of movies, plays and books that feature Samurai and related fictions. In fact Samurai is the name of a powerful military caste that existed in feudal Japan. Same as the stories about them, their real history is also enchanting for everyone irrespective of age.

In the 12th century, there were two strong clans in Japan, named Minamoto and Taira. Japan was in sooth suppressed due to the endless conflicts between these group. In those times, a governing system called Shogunate was established and the official title of the ruler was Shogun.

The second powerful rank in the Shogunate was Daimyo, which was almost alike the rank of Dukes in Europe. Samurai were the soldiers of Daimyo. Usually each Samurai had a master and if he misses one because of the compelled suicide of his master, he was named Ronin.

The Samurai class had many special rights. Unlike the common people who were not licensed to carry any weapons with them the Samurai was allowed to carry two swords with them. They even had the right to cut off any commoner who happened to offend them.

There were different ranks within the Samurai class as well. There were three basic classes of Samurai namely the housemen who were the administrators, the mounted samurai who were permitted to fight on horse back and the foot soldiers.

Depending upon the class they belonged to, every Samurai was authorized to own a specified proportion of the rice tax in the country. Bushido, that meant the way of warrior, was the code of life they followed. This code was built on the obedience towards Daimyo, their superior. When the feudal system disappeared, the Samurai people shifted into farming.

Suppuku was a strange convention among the Samurai people which represented a ritual of self-murder. This practice was performed either within a war or outside the battle in a public ceremony and was considered to be a honourable form of death. When the era of battles and feudalism came to an end in Japan, the Samurai caste shifted into bureaucracy.

The term Samurai needs no explanation because of the fame they accomplished through different kinds of media and fictions. Their history and life arouses curiosity in anyone outside Japan. Their strange practices and the perfect discipline are hard to swallow for the people around the world.

It was but natural that the Japanese artists of the time were stimulated by this warrior class which played a fundamental role in the governance of the country throughout the years. During the changing years many artists drew inspiration from the Samurai and depicted them through various means of art. Samurai art seems to have a great attraction on the people unfamiliar with the Japanese culture as well.

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