Samurai

Samurai in armor in the 1860s; hand-colored photograph by Felice Beato
Kofun period helmet, gilt copper, 5th century, Ise Province
In the noh drama Sanjō Kokaji, the 10th-century blacksmith Munechika, aided by a kitsune (fox spirit), forges the tachi (samurai sword) Ko-Gitsune Maru.
The Gosannen War in the 11th century.
Heiji rebellion in 1159.
Samurai on horseback, wearing ō-yoroi armor, carrying a bow (yumi) and arrows in an yebira quiver
Samurai ō-yoroi armor, Kamakura period. Tokyo National Museum.
Men and women engaged in battle (16th century illustration).
Samurai of the Shōni clan gather to defend against Kublai Khan's Mongolian army during the first Mongol Invasion of Japan, 1274
Samurai Takezaki Suenaga of the Hōjō clan (right) defeating the Mongolian invasion army (left) at the Battle of Torikai-Gata, 1274
Samurai boarding ships of the Second Mongolian invasion fleet, killing the Mongolian soldiers aboard, 1281.
Kasagake
100px
Himeji Castle, built from 1333 by the samurai Akamatsu Norimura of the Akamatsu clan.
A hatomune dou from the 16th century, the historic armor was once used by Kenshin Uesugi, one of the most powerful daimyōs of the Sengoku period.
Matchlock
Battle of Nagashino (1575)
Korean and Chinese soldiers assault the Japanese-built fortress at Ulsan during the Japanese invasions of Korea, 1597
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who would later command the invasion of Korea, leads a small group assaulting the castle on Mount Inaba. Print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.
The Battle of Sekigahara, known as "Japan's decisive battle" (天下分け目の戦い, Tenka wakeme no tatakai'')
Samurai were the ruling class during the Tokugawa shogunate.
Kamei Koremi, a samurai and daimyō in the bakumatsu period
A studio photograph of a samurai, taken by Italian–British photographer Felice Beato, c. 1860
Iinuma Sadakichi, a Japanese samurai of the Aizu domain. He was the sole survivor of the famous group of young Byakkotai soldiers who committed suicide on Iimori Hill during the Battle of Aizu.
Samurai holding a severed head. After a battle, enemy's heads were collected and presented to the daimyo.
General Akashi Gidayu preparing to perform Seppuku after losing a battle for his master in 1582. He had just written his death poem.
Painting of Ōishi Yoshio performing seppuku, 1703
Edo-period screen depicting the Battle of Sekigahara. It began on 21 October 1600 with a total of 160,000 men facing each other.
Kōan Ogata, a samurai, physician and rangaku scholar in late Edo period Japan, noted for establishing an academy which later developed into Osaka University.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi with his wives and concubines.
Tomoe Gozen by Shitomi Kangetsu, ca. 18th century
Gyokusen-en, Japanese garden made by a Korean samurai Wakita Naokata and his descendants.
1890s photo showing a variety of armor and weapons typically used by samurai
Mounted samurai with horse armour (uma yoroi or bagai)
Kamakura samurai beheading (head collection)
Statue of samurai Kusunoki Masashige stationed outside Tokyo Imperial Palace.
Kasuga no Tsubone fighting robbers - Adachi Ginko (c.1880)
Hangaku Gozen by Yoshitoshi, ca. 1885
Japanese woman preparing for ritual suicide
Yuki no Kata defending Anotsu castle. 18th century
A samurai class woman.
Cross sections of Japanese sword lamination methods.
Diagram of the Katana sword.
Samurai with various armor and weapons, c. 1802-1814
Antique Japanese tachi
Antique Japanese katana
Antique Japanese wakizashi
Reenactors with Tanegashima at Himeji Castle Festival
Japanese arrow stand with a pair of Yumi bows.
The bow of the Kamakura period
The arrow of the Kamakura period
Ō-yoroi, Kamakura period, 13th-14th century, Kasuga Grand Shrine, National Treasure
Dō-maru with Black and White Lacing. Muromachi period, 15th century, Tokyo National Museum, Important Cultural Property
Toyotomi Hidetsugu's gusoku armour, Azuchi-Momoyama period, 16th-17th century, Suntory Museum of Art
Karuta tatami dō gusoku, Edo period. A lightweight portable folding (tatami) armour made from small square or rectangle armor plates called karuta. The karuta are usually connected to each other by chainmail and sewn to a cloth backing.
A re-creation of an armored samurai riding a horse, showing horse armour (uma yoroi or bagai).
Shell-shaped cask (Oitaragainari kawari kabuto), iron and papier-mâché for the shell, beginning of the Edo Period.
Face guard (Menpō). Edo period. Tokyo Fuji Art Museum.
Samurai in armor in the 1860s; hand-colored photograph by Felice Beato
Kofun period helmet, gilt copper, 5th century, Ise Province

Samurai (侍) were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan from the late 12th century until their abolition in 1876.

- Samurai
Samurai in armor in the 1860s; hand-colored photograph by Felice Beato

500 related topics

Relevance

Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate

Edo period

Period between 1603 and 1867 in the history of Japan, when Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyo.

Period between 1603 and 1867 in the history of Japan, when Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyo.

Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate
Bird's-eye view of Nagasaki bay, with the island Dejima at mid-left (1820)
The San Juan Bautista is represented in Claude Deruet's painting of Hasekura Tsunenaga in Rome in 1617, as a galleon with Hasekura's flag (red manji on orange background) on the top mast.
Itinerary and dates of the travels of Hasekura Tsunenaga
The house of the merchant (Fukagawa Edo Museum )
Social classes during the Edo period (Tokugawa shogunate).
Scaled pocket plan of Edo
A set of three ukiyo-e prints depicting Osaka's bustling shipping industry. by Gansuitei Yoshitoyo. 1854–1859.
Tokugawa coinage: Ōban, Koban, Ichibuban (1601-1695).
Nihonbashi Fish Market Prosperity (Edo period) by Utagawa Kuniyasu
Terakoya, private educational school
Wadokei, Japanese-made clockwatch, 18th century
Kaitai Shinsho, Japan's first treatise on Western anatomy, published in 1774
Karakuri puppet Moji-kaki doll made by Tanaka Hisashige. Using mechanical power, a puppet dips a brush into ink and writes a character on paper. 19th century
Red and White Plum Blossoms by Ogata Kōrin, 1712-1716
Mounting for wakizashi decorated with lacquer of maki-e technique. 18th century
The Great Wave off Kanagawa, full-colour ukiyo-e woodblock print, Hokusai, c. 1829–1832
Outer kimono for a young woman (uchikake), 1840–1870, Khalili Collection of Kimono
Dai-Roku Daiba (第六台場) or "No. 6 Battery", one of the original Edo-era battery islands
One of the cannons of Odaiba, now at the Yasukuni Shrine. 80-pound bronze, bore: 250mm, length: 3830mm
Matthew Calbraith Perry
Landing of Commodore Perry, Officers and Men of the Squadron To meet the Imperial Commissioners at Kurihama Yokosuka March 8th, 1854
Tokugawa Yoshinobu in later life
Kanrin Maru, Japan's first screw-driven steam warship, 1855
Samurai in western clothing of the Tokugawa Shogunate Army (1866).
Reading stand with Mt. Yoshino, decorated with lacquer of maki-e technique. 18th century
Ukiyo-e based on kabuki actors became popular. Ichikawa Danjūrō V in the popular kabuki play Shibaraku, by Utagawa Kunimasa, 1796
Ukiyo-e depicting Sushi, by Hiroshige
A boarding place for a ferry on the Miya River, which is crowded with people visiting Ise Grand Shrine. by Hiroshige
{{lang|ja-Latn|Inro}} and {{lang|ja-Latn|Netsuke}}, 18th century
Ladies fashion in 1700s by Utagawa Toyokuni

A revolution took place from the time of the Kamakura shogunate, which existed with the Tennō's court, to the Tokugawa, when the samurai became the unchallenged rulers in what historian Edwin O. Reischauer called a "centralized feudal" form of shogunate.

Late 19th-century photograph of a yamabushi fully robed and equipped, armed with a naginata and tachi.

Japanese martial arts

Japanese martial arts refer to the variety of martial arts native to the country of Japan.

Japanese martial arts refer to the variety of martial arts native to the country of Japan.

Late 19th-century photograph of a yamabushi fully robed and equipped, armed with a naginata and tachi.
Disarming an attacker using a tachi-dori ("sword-taking") technique.
Jujutsu training at an agricultural school in Japan around 1920.
A matched set (daisho) of antique Japanese (samurai) swords and their individual mountings (koshirae), katana on top and wakisashi below, Edo period.
A samurai wielding a naginata.
Judoka executing a throw (o-soto-gari).
Kendo training at an agricultural school in Japan around 1920.
Aikido shihōnage technique.
A full draw (kai).
The "yin-yang" symbol (Chinese: taijitu).

The historical origin of Japanese martial arts can be found in the warrior traditions of the samurai and the caste system that restricted the use of weapons by other members of society.

Recreation of a mounted warrior from the Mongol Empire. The Mongol empire was the second largest empire in history and its military was highly respected and feared.

Warrior

Person specializing in combat or warfare as an institutionalized or professionalized career, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based warrior culture society that recognizes a separate warrior aristocracies, class, or caste.

Person specializing in combat or warfare as an institutionalized or professionalized career, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based warrior culture society that recognizes a separate warrior aristocracies, class, or caste.

Recreation of a mounted warrior from the Mongol Empire. The Mongol empire was the second largest empire in history and its military was highly respected and feared.
Samurai, member of the Japanese warrior caste
14th century knight Pippo Spano, member of the Order of the Dragon
Wooden sculpture of an Anglo-Saxon warrior overseeing the faestendic in Joyden's Wood in Kent, England
Roman Warrior painting by Jacques-Louis David, in the Detroit Institute of Arts

The samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of Japan from the 12th to the late 19th century.

Kanji that make up the word shogun

Shogun

The title of the military dictators of Japan during most of the period spanning from 1185 to 1868.

The title of the military dictators of Japan during most of the period spanning from 1185 to 1868.

Kanji that make up the word shogun
Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (758–811) was one of the first shoguns of the early Heian period
Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun (1192–1199) of the Kamakura shogunate
Ashikaga Takauji (1336/1338–1358) established the Ashikaga shogunate
Ukiyo-e of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate
Shogun hearing a lawsuit at Fukiage (of Edo Castle) by Toyohara Chikanobu
Imperial Seal of Japan

The term was originally used to refer to the general who commanded the army sent to fight the tribes of northern Japan, but after the twelfth century, the term was used to designate the leader of the samurai.

Kuge

Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese Imperial Court in Kyoto.

Japanese aristocratic class that dominated the Japanese Imperial Court in Kyoto.

The kuge were important from the establishment of Kyoto as the capital during the Heian period in the late 8th century until the rise of the Kamakura shogunate in the 12th century, at which point it was eclipsed by the bushi.

A famous Japanese wooden kongorikishi statue of Tōdai-ji, Nara. It was made by Busshi Unkei in 1203.

Kamakura period

Period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shōgun, Minamoto no Yoritomo.

Period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shōgun, Minamoto no Yoritomo.

A famous Japanese wooden kongorikishi statue of Tōdai-ji, Nara. It was made by Busshi Unkei in 1203.
Head of a Guardian, 13th century. Hinoki wood with lacquer on cloth, pigment, rock crystal, metal. Before entering most Japanese Buddhist temples, visitors must pass large and imposing sculptures of ferocious guardian figures whose role is to protect the premises from the enemies of the religion. The aggressive stances and exaggerated facial features of these figures stand in sharp contrast to the calm demeanor of the Buddha enshrined inside. Brooklyn Museum
Japanese samurai boarding Mongol ships in 1281

The period is known for the emergence of the samurai, the warrior caste, and for the establishment of feudalism in Japan.

Miniature model of Heian-kyō, the capital during the Heian period

Heian period

Last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185.

Last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185.

Miniature model of Heian-kyō, the capital during the Heian period
Byōdō-in ("Phoenix Hall"), built in the 11th century (Uji, Kyoto)
Section of a handscroll depicting a scene from the "Bamboo River" chapter of the Tale of Genji, circa 1130
Drawing of Fujiwara no Michinaga, by Kikuchi Yōsai
Illustrated section of the Lotus Sutra, from the Heike Nōkyō collection of texts, 1167
"Genpei Kassen-zu Byo-bu" / Akama Shrine Collection
Danjō-garan on Mount Kōya, a sacred center of Shingon Buddhism
Painting of the bodhisattva Fugen Enmei (Samantabhadra). Ink on silk, 12th century
Statue of Kōmokuten (Virupaksa), the Heavenly King of the West. Wood, 12th century

The period is also noted for the rise of the samurai class, which would eventually take power and start the feudal period of Japan.

Mon of The Imperial House

Japanese clans

List of Japanese clans.

List of Japanese clans.

Mon of The Imperial House
Mon of the Minamoto clan
Mon of the Taira clan
Mon of the Fujiwara clan
Mon of the Tachibana clan
Mon of the Akita clan
Mon of the Asano clan
Mon of the Hōjō clan
Mon of the Honda clan
Mon of the (Mino) Ikeda clan
Mon of the Maeda clan
Banner with the Mon of the Matsumae clan
Mon of the Mori clan (森氏)
Mon of the Takeda clan
Mon of the Toki clan
Mon 'Mitsuboshi ni ichimonji' of the Watanabe clan
Mon of the Ryukyu Kingdom

After the Heian Period, the samurai warrior clans gradually increased in importance and power until they came to dominate the country after the founding of the first shogunate.

Fujiwara no Michinaga (966–1028)

Fujiwara clan

Powerful family of imperial regents in Japan, descending from the Nakatomi clan and, as legend held, through them their ancestral god Ame-no-Koyane.

Powerful family of imperial regents in Japan, descending from the Nakatomi clan and, as legend held, through them their ancestral god Ame-no-Koyane.

Fujiwara no Michinaga (966–1028)

As abdicated emperors took over power by exercising insei (院政, cloistered rule) at the end of the 11th century, then followed by the rise of the warrior class, the Fujiwara gradually lost its control over mainstream politics.

Daishō style sword mounting, gold banding on red-lacquered ground. 16th century, Azuchi–Momoyama period. Important Cultural Property. Tokyo National Museum.

Daishō

Daishō style sword mounting, gold banding on red-lacquered ground. 16th century, Azuchi–Momoyama period. Important Cultural Property. Tokyo National Museum.
Daishō, black waxed scabbards. 19th century, Edo period. Tokyo Fuji Art Museum.
Daishō style handachi "half tachi" sword mounting, silver stream design on green lacquer ground. 16th–17th century, Azuchi Momoyama-Edo period. Tokyo National Museum.
Daishō for formal attire with black scabbard, hilt winding thread and white ray skin hilt, which were regulated by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Daishō owned by Uesugi clan. Late Edo period.
19th century, Edo period. Tokyo National Museum.
Antique Japanese (samurai) daisho, showing the matched set of mounts (koshirae).
An Edo-period daishō koshirae on its stand. The long-sword is generally stored above the wakizashi, curving downwards. When hung for display, the tip points to the right.
Black lacquered hanamaru mon maki-e raden daishō koshirae (sword mounting). Meiji period.
Daisho kashira (pommel)
Daisho habaki (wedge-shaped collar)
Daisho tsuba and fuchi (hand guard and hilt collar)
Daisho tsuka (hilt)
A 19th century samurai wearing his daisho
A print depicting the fictional encounter between swordsmen Miyamoto Musashi and Tsukahara Bokuden, the former using both swords in the Niten Ichi-ryū style.

The daishō (大小)—literally "big-little" —is a Japanese term for a matched pair of traditionally made Japanese swords (nihonto) worn by the samurai class in feudal Japan.