S is for Samurai

Say Japan and the first thing that jumps into people’s minds is sushi, then sakura, and then sake. But Samurai have to come in at a close fourth. Truth be told, Japan’s ancient warrior class played such an important part in this country’s history that remnants of their deeds and code survive them even into the modern era.

The Secrets of the Samurai have long been a source of fascination for East Asian scholars and casual admires of Japanese culture. From their ridged social hierarchy, to their prowess in battle, The Samurai enjoy the same cult status as heraldic knights do in Europe.

The Ways of the Samurai, like most aspects of Japanese life, were governed by strict social rules and adherence to the bushido code: that a samurai would devote himself to justice, courage, benevolence, politeness, honesty, honor and loyalty. While real life samurai (those like the Shinsengumi and the ones committed to Giving Up the Gun) have faded into legend, those who practice budo today continue to carry the torch into the future, and keep the history, and the culture, alive.

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19 thoughts on “S is for Samurai

    • They are fascinating. Their era was a very interesting (and tumultuous) time in Japanese history. I’m happy for the opportunity to visit some of the historic landmarks here in Kyoto. Some are even still stained with samurai blood.

      • I was just thinking about how all the children’s stories and shows here glorify ninjas but hardly ever talk about samurai. Of course, I do remember a fun Backyardigans episode my son liked called “Samurai Pie” where it was good samurai bakers vs. pie-stealing ninjas. 😉

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