Medieval Japan

Chapter 14

The Samurai

- Samurais were Japanese warriors.

- Samurai first appeared in Japan as early as the eighth century.

- But they truly rose to power in the eleventh century as elite warriors in service to their feudal lords, or daimyos.

- Other samurai served as guards of the imperial palace.

- The point of a samurai sword is called the kissaki. It is the hardest part to forge and often determines the overall quality.

- Samurais gave their swords names as they believed the sword contained their warrior spirit.

- Darth Vadors costume was inspired bye Samurais armor.

The Economy

-Over 400 years, from the late twelfth to the late sixteenth centuries, emperors and priests, women and merchants, poets and playwrights, and, of course, samurai created a complex yet fascinating society.

-Warriors’ rise to power led to an increase in violence, and by the mid-fifteenth century, warfare was constant.

-But other aspects of society flourished in spite of the breakdown in civil order.

-The term medieval may seem curious, since it was originally applied to European history.

-It described a “middle” period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the start of the Renaissance.