The way of the Samurai By Dane Spraue, period 5

Armor

The Samurai wore colorful armor.

Samurai wore a kimono under their heavy armor.

Their heavy armor was strong, but flexible enough for them to move freely.

Metal sleeves covered the arms.

They used frightening masks to convey fear to their enemies, and protect their faces.

They would burn incense inside their helmets, so if they were decapitated, it would smell sweet.

Some Samurai even wore thigh guards as well.

Weapons

Samurai sharpshooters would wield up to 8 foot long bows

Samurai would use spears to knock enemies off of their horses.

Yet, the Samurai's most iconic weapon was its katana.

It was a high quality iron, and curved so it could strike and be unsheathed in one motion.

Training

The samurai would go through physical and mental training.

They would be trained by zen Buddhist monks

And exercise an art called tai chi, which is similar to yoga.

Their religion helped them face death bravely.

Were trained by archer masters.

Trained to shoot without thinking and breathe properly.

Samurai were fencing masters and could fence without thinking.

Learned to fight with hands using martial arts

Spiritual training.

Samurai favored zen buddhism

It relied on quite self reflection

They believe it helped them in battle.

It helped them face death.

Amida Buddhism believed that anyone could reach the pure land.

They believed that if they preyed to amida enough when they die they will be taken to the pure land.

Mental training

This is a brain.

The samurai learned self control.

The samurai learned to control their fear of death, which might interfere with fighting.

They also learned how to be prepared and alert at all times.

Young samurai were forced to spend days without eating.

They had to march barefoot in the snow.

They had to think of themselves as already dead.

They could never relax.

Does being a samurai sound easy to you?

Bushido is an unwritten moral code all samurai followed.

It stressed morality, honesty, and bravery.

They lived by this code and were intensely loyal to their daimyo.

If they were dishonored, or their master died, they committed seppuku.

Seppuku is ritual suicide.

Samurai started training young, and first learned to shoot arrows accurately.

They were also mentoured by a Buddhist monk, which taught them the ways of the religion.

Women would have to learn to use weapons to fend off thieves and defend their homes while the husbands went to war.

Some women became so good, they became samurai themselves.

12th century life

12 century Japan was known as the Heian period.

It was noted for its strong art and literature.

It was when Buddhism was on the rise.

China had the most influence.

And Samurai culture was on the rise.

17th century culture

Life during that time was mostly noted on its government system.

It resembles the lord-vassal system from medieval Europe.

Small land land owners would trade land for protection, and they would have to fight in the military.

The lords were also called daimyo.

Then there were the private armies of samurai that served the daimyos.

Lastly there was the shogun, the real ruler of the countries and was the top daimyo.

Japan became a military society because on one word: figurehead.

The emperor was a figurehead.

The shogun held real power, and the shogun was the leader of the military.

Credits:

Created with images by madmrmox - "Samurai (4)" • bykst - "sword katana japanese long sword" • abuellaloca - "A Year to Live Workshop: Journaling, Coastways Beach" • IsaacMao - "Brain" • sasint - "ancient architecture asia" • cdrummbks - "tale of the genji" • sybarite48 - "Athée-sur-Cher (Indre-et-Loire)" • jamesnaruke - "Shogun!"

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