Minamoto Yoritomo establised Japan's military society. The military society was led by a shogun, in other words a commander-in-chief. Emperors hold no real power, they're just a figurehead of Japan, instead the shogun have all the power.
Shoguns are basically the most important daimyo and actual ruler of Japan. Daimyos are large landholders with private armies. Daimyos hire samurai, Japanese warriors, to fight for them and for loyalty, in exchange for land and protection.
All samurai dressed in heavy armor while in battle. They wear kimono, a colorful robe, under their armor, baggy trousers and shin guards made of leather or cloth. The samurai armor was made of rows of small metal plates, which were coated with lacquer and laced together with colorful silk cords. This armor was strong and flexible enough for the samurai to move freely.
The armor's chest and back were covered in boxlike panels of armor and metal sleeves covered their arms. They also had broad shoulder guards and panels that hung over his hips provided extra protection. They also wore a ferocious-looking iron mask to frighten enemies and before they put on their helmet they burned incense in it, so their head smelled good if their head were cut off.
Samurai fought with bows, arrows, spears and swords. Long bows took great strength to use. Sometimes bows can be up to eight feet long. Samurai used spears to knock off riders and kill enemies, on foot with one powerful thrust. Samurai made their swords flexible enough not to break and hard enough to be razor sharp. Samurai commonly carried two types of swords, a long one with a curved blade and a shorter one to cut off heads.
The very first way samurai fought and trained was called, "The Way of the Horse and the Bow." Then later on the art of swordsmanship became more important than archery. Samurai practiced until they could shoot accurately without thinking. They also had to learn to breathe properly and shoot their enemies while riding galloping horses. Fencing and swordsmanship was just as demanding. They learned how to make the enemy to make the first move, stay out of range of an enemy's sword, fight in tight spaces and fight multiple opponents. Lastly, they learned to use their enemy's strength against them.
To become a samurai, you will have to go through the ceremony, but there's tasks you will need to go through first. You will learn the skills of a warrior and how to live by the bushido, the warrior's code of honor. Samurai had to learn self-control, so they can overcome emotions that will interfere with battle, such as the fear of death. Bushido is "The Way of the Warrior." It called on a samurai to be honest, fair and fearless in the face of death. Samurai were also expected to guard their personal honor. Seppuku was ritual suicide that samurai used to perform for the price of not living by the bushido code. Samurai prepared themselves by taking a bath and dressing in all white clothing. They were served all their favorite foods and when they were finished they got served a sword. They used it to plunged it in their stomach, trying to make a complete circle and there was a swordsman behind them to quickly cut off their head to end their agony.
By the 17th century, samurai were expected to be students of culture and fierce warriors. The two most important aspects of culture were writing and literature. They practiced calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing and poetry.
Another aspect of culture samurai practiced was the tea ceremony. It fostered a spirit of harmony, reverence, and calm. This was an important way to form political alliances among other samurai.
A monk found a popular form of Amida Buddhism. All buddhists believed that all people could reach paradise. Honen taught believers that they can reach paradise by relying on the mercy of Amida Buddhism.
Another version Buddhism, Zen, appealed to most samurai because of its emphasis on effort and discipline. Zen was all about self-reliance and achieving enlightenment through meditation.
In the 12th century, the woman of the warrior class enjoyed honor and respect and by the 17th century, the samurai women were treated as inferior to their husbands. In the 12th century, the wife of a samurai had to promote the family's interest and managed the household. If her husband died, she could inherit his property and perform his job as a samurai. In the 17th century, the women's position weakened. Girls couldn't even choose their own husbands, instead families arranged their marriages, so their daughters increased in position and wealth.