Japanese Samurai

Go back in History

Whats a Samurai

The samurai, members of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan, began as provincial warriors before rising to power in the 12th century with the beginning of the country’s first military dictatorship, known as the shogunate. As servants of the daimyos, or great lords, the samurai backed up the authority of the shogun and gave him power over the mikado.

(Samurai and Bushido Np)

How did the Samurai work?

Despite being deprived of their traditional privileges, many of the samurai would enter the elite ranks of politics and industry in modern Japan. More importantly, the traditional samurai code of honor, discipline and morality known as bushido–or “the way of the warrior”–was revived and made the basic code of conduct for much of Japanese society.

(Samurai and Bushido Np)

Samurai beginnings

Beginning in the mid-12th century, real political power in Japan shifted gradually away from the emperor and his nobles in Kyoto to the heads of the clans on their large estates in the country...During the Heian Period (794-1185), the samurai were the armed supporters of wealthy landowners–many of whom left the imperial court to seek their own fortunes after being shut out of power by the powerful Fujiwara clan. The word “samurai” roughly translates to “those who serve.” (Another, more general word for a warrior is “bushi,” from which bushido is derived; this word lacks the connotations of service to a master.)

(Samurai and Bushido NP)

How did the tradition spread

The establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate, a hereditary military dictatorship, shifted all real political power in Japan to the samurai. As Yoritomo’s authority depended on their strength, he went to great lengths to establish and define the samurai’s privileged status; no one could call himself a samurai without Yoritomo’s permission...Zen Buddhism, introduced into Japan from China around this time, held a great appeal for many samurai.

(Samurai and Bushido NP)

What is practiced in the samurai tradition

Its austere and simple rituals, as well as the belief that salvation would come from within, provided an ideal philosophical background for the samurai’s own code of behavior. Also during the Kamakura period, the sword came to have a great significance in samurai culture. A man’s honor was said to reside in his sword, and the craftsmanship of swords–including carefully hammered blades, gold and silver inlay and sharkskin handgrips–became an art in itself.

(Samurai and Bushido NP)

The Writers Thoughts

Basicly the samurai was a warrior in China and Japan, which became a widespread tradition and belief of many. It was a very disciplinary tradition but had benefits and meanings to it. Lastly the samurai was the main warrior in japan and china and they were usually very skilled trained and healthy.

Learning about this gave me a chance to go back in history to something that was very big in my family. Now I know in its full state what they were and how they came to be especially in Japan. So now learning about it enriched my life in a good way.

I did a lot better research than usual and it's because I am really interested in this topic since it is a part of my family history. Also there was a lot of information on the topic that is reliable and plentiful. So i was very engaged in learning and researching. The parts that were easy was finding the research. But some difficult things were the in text citations. The parts of the process that was effective for me was having an organized place to put my information. There was a part of the process that was not effective and that was having to put how the smaller question relates to the big question.

New Questions about Samurais

How did one become a Samurai?

How was the Samurai tradition passed down?

Will the tradition continue on?

Is the Samurai still used today?

Does one have to have roots of an ancestor to officially become a Samurai?

Works Cited

Works Cited

"Five Things You Probably Don't Know About The Samurai." Xpatnation. N.p., 04 Aug. 2015. Web. 18 May 2016.

History.com Staff. "Samurai and Bushido." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2009. Web. 16 May 2016.


Nolan, Steve. "End of the Samurai: Stunning Portraits of Japan's Warrior Class Captures Men at the Height of Their Power before 19th Century Demise ." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 17 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 May 2016.

"Posts Navigation." The Japan Daily Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2016.

"What We Can Learn from the Samurai." Anas Ebrahem. N.p., 16 Dec. 2013. Web. 19 May 2016.

"What We Can Learn from the Samurai." Anas Ebrahem. N.p., 16 Dec. 2013. Web. 19 May 2016.

"Yabusame." SHIZEN. N.p., 26 Nov. 2012. Web. 18 May 2016.

Paige Lacey

Period 3


Social Studies