Samurai

bushibukewarriorsamurai warriorJapanese samuraiwarrior classsamurai classSamurai warriorsSamurais Oda Kazusanosuke Nobunaga
Samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan from the 12th century to their abolition in the 1870s.wikipedia
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History of Japan

feudal JapanJapanese historyJapan
Samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan from the 12th century to their abolition in the 1870s.
Over the following centuries, the power of the Emperor and the imperial court gradually declined, passing first to great clans of civilian aristocrats – most notably the Fujiwara – and then to the military clans and their armies of samurai.

Bushido

Bushidōsamurai codeWay of the Warrior
They cultivated the bushido codes of martial virtues, indifference to pain, and unflinching loyalty, engaging in many local battles.
Bushidō is a Japanese collective term for the many codes of honour and ideals that dictated the samurai way of life, loosely analogous to the European concept of chivalry.

Edo period

Tokugawa periodEdo-periodEdo
Samurai were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan from the 12th century to their abolition in the 1870s.
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.

Japanese martial arts

Japanese martial artmartial artsJapanese
While the samurai numbered less than 10% of then Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
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.

Daimyō

daimyofeudal lordlord
They were the well-paid retainers of the daimyo (the great feudal landholders). By the end of the Tokugawa era, samurai were aristocratic bureaucrats for the daimyōs, with their daishō, the paired long and short swords of the samurai (cf.
The backgrounds of daimyō also varied considerably; while some daimyō clans, notably the Mōri, Shimazu and Hosokawa, were cadet branches of the Imperial family or were descended from the kuge, other daimyō were promoted from the ranks of the samurai, notably during the Edo period.

Kyūdō

kyudoJapanese archeryarchery
Skilled in mounted combat and archery (kyūdō), these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions; the most well-known of which was Sakanoue no Tamuramaro.
Kyūdō is based on kyūjutsu ("art of archery"), which originated with the samurai class of feudal Japan.

Taira clan

TairaHeikeHeike clan
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was typically a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans.
Taira clan was a major Japanese clan of samurai.

Taira no Kiyomori

KiyomoriKiyomori TairaTaira Kiyomori
The victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position.
He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan.

Heian period

Japan (Heian period)HeianHeian era
In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, and sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court.
The period is also noted for the rise of the samurai class, which would eventually take power and start the feudal period of Japan.

Kamakura period

Japan (Kamakura period)KamakuraKamakura-period
Instead of ruling from Kyoto, he set up the shogunate in Kamakura, near his base of power.
The period is known for the emergence of the samurai, the warrior caste, and for the establishment of feudalism in Japan.

Hōgen rebellion

HōgenHogen RebellionHōgen'' Rebellion
Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which later pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160.
It created a foundation from which the dominance of the samurai clans would come to be established.

Kuge

court noblecourt nobilitynoblewoman
Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power, eventually surpassing the traditional aristocracy.
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.

Katana

samurai swordswordsamurai swords
The Japanese sword (katana) became renowned around the world for its sharpness and resistance to breaking.
It was used by the samurai of ancient and feudal Japan.

Shōgun

shogunateShogunBakufu
Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, and began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. By the end of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867, the Japanese navy of the shōgun already possessed eight western-style steam warships around the flagship Kaiyō Maru, which were used against pro-imperial forces during the Boshin War, under the command of Admiral Enomoto.
In the early 11th century, daimyō protected by samurai came to dominate internal Japanese politics.

Ashigaru

Ashigaru Pikemanlow-ranking samurai
Use of large numbers of infantry called ashigaru ("light-foot", due to their light armor), formed of humble warriors or ordinary people with naga yari (a long lance) or naginata, was introduced and combined with cavalry in maneuvers.
Ashigaru were infantry employed by the samurai class of feudal Japan.

Naginata

glaiveko-naginatapikes
Use of large numbers of infantry called ashigaru ("light-foot", due to their light armor), formed of humble warriors or ordinary people with naga yari (a long lance) or naginata, was introduced and combined with cavalry in maneuvers.
Naginata were originally used by the samurai class of feudal Japan, as well as by ashigaru (foot soldiers) and sōhei (warrior monks).

Toyotomi Hideyoshi

HideyoshiHashiba HideyoshiHideyoshi Toyotomi
Importantly, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (see below) and Tokugawa Ieyasu, who founded the Tokugawa shogunate, were loyal followers of Nobunaga.
Hideyoshi left an influential and lasting legacy, including: restricting the possession of weapons to the samurai; the construction and restoration of many temples, some still visible in Kyoto today; and the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598).

Minamoto clan

MinamotoGenjiGenji clan
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was typically a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans.
Some of Tōru's descendants in particular settled the provinces and formed buke.

Fujiwara clan

FujiwaraFujiwara familyFujiwara period
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was typically a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans.
Lesser members of the Fujiwara were court nobles, provincial governors and vice governors, members of the provincial aristocracy, and samurai.

Hakata-ku, Fukuoka

HakataHakata-kuHakata, Fukuoka
On 29 July 1279, five more emissaries were sent by the Mongol empire, and again beheaded, this time in Hakata.
In the early Edo period, Kuroda Nagamasa, appointed the lord of Chikuzen Province, and most of his samurai vassals lived in Fukusaki, on the opposite shore of the Naka River from Hakata.

Boshin War

Boshin Civil WarJapanese Revolution1868 rebellion against the shogunate
By the end of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867, the Japanese navy of the shōgun already possessed eight western-style steam warships around the flagship Kaiyō Maru, which were used against pro-imperial forces during the Boshin War, under the command of Admiral Enomoto.
The war found its origins in dissatisfaction among many nobles and young samurai with the shogunate's handling of foreigners following the opening of Japan during the prior decade.

Enomoto Takeaki

EnomotoTakeaki Enomoto
By the end of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867, the Japanese navy of the shōgun already possessed eight western-style steam warships around the flagship Kaiyō Maru, which were used against pro-imperial forces during the Boshin War, under the command of Admiral Enomoto. Naval students were sent to study in Western naval schools for several years, starting a tradition of foreign-educated future leaders, such as Admiral Enomoto.
Viscount Enomoto Takeaki was a Japanese samurai and admiral of the Tokugawa navy of Bakumatsu-period Japan, who remained faithful to the Tokugawa shogunate and fought against the new Meiji government until the end of the Boshin War.

Satsuma Rebellion

Seinan WarSeinan Civil War1877 rebellion
In 1877 there was a localized Samurai rebellion that was quickly crushed.
The Satsuma Rebellion or Seinan War was a revolt of disaffected samurai against the new imperial government, nine years into the Meiji Era.

Genkō Bōrui

Genko Boruigreat stone barrier
The Japanese defenders recognized the possibility of a renewed invasion and began construction of a great stone barrier around Hakata Bay in 1276.
In addition to improving the organization of the samurai of Kyushu, they ordered the construction of a large stone wall and other defensive structures at many potential landing points, including Hakata Bay.

Daishō

daishotwo swordsmatched pair
By the end of the Tokugawa era, samurai were aristocratic bureaucrats for the daimyōs, with their daishō, the paired long and short swords of the samurai (cf.
The daishō —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.