The Life of a Samurai

How did Japan become a military society?

Japan became a military society because a guy named Yoritomo came to power as a shogun and made his own military government with its own capital in a city called Kamakura.

Explain the shogun, daimyo, and samurai structure and the loyalties involved

A shogun was pretty much a commander-in- chief and they had most of the real power although there was still an empire. Daimyos were warlords that would hell the shoguns rule the land. Daimyos were supported by large groups of samurai's. Daimyos were expected to be rewarded for their obedience and loyalty with land, money, or administrative office. Samurai were the top warriors of Japan. They were elite warriors that were trained to keep fight until the war was over or until they were killed. As time went on Shoguns pretty much lost most of their power and the Daimyos started to take over ruled. At this time samurai warriors allied themselves with Daimyos.

Describe and show pictures of samurai armor and weapons

When ever samurais went to battle they were always dressed with heavy armor. They had shin guards to protect their legs. The samurai had very unique armor. It was made of metal coated with lacquer and put together with silk. They wore helmets to protect their head and also they wore armor around their whole body so that if they got shot or sliced by a blade it hope fully wouldn't perce through their skin. The weapons that they used were bow and arrows and they used a one edged sword called a katana.

Describe their military training and fighting styles.

Becoming a samurai was not easy it took lots of training mentally and physically. Young samurai would have a apprentice that was a bow master and that bow master would teach them mental and phsyical techniques. They would keep practicing how to shoot a bow and arrow until they could shoot without thinking and with good accuracy. They were taught breathing techniques so that they could shoot their enemies while riding on a galloping horse. Samurai also had to know how to use a blade by forcing their opponent make the first move, how to stay out of range of there opponent blade, and how to fight more than one opponent at the same time.

How did someone become a samurai? What were the stages?

Back then the samurai were very important to society. They were the best soilders Japan had. But they weren't always like that. In order to become a samurai they had to go through a lot of training. The training they had to go through were mental and physical training. Physical training: They had to have a lot of self controll such as not eating for a long time marching barefoot in the snow and having to sit with good posture without complaining. Samurais could not relax ever. Samurais were also supposed to be trained in writing and literature. They had to practice the art of calligraphy and the art of beautiful writing. Another thing that samurai's were trained on were tea ceremony's. The samurai's were invited to a small room by a person called a Tea Master. They had to follow certain steps perfectly each time they were invited. Mental training: The last thing that they had to learn was spiritual strength. They would follow a religion called Amida and Zen Buddhism.

What is Bushido?

Bushido is a code developed over several centuries. Bushido means the way of the warrior. This cold is very serious and I samurais life, all samurais must follow it. Samurai's also had to have a lot of loyalty and personal honor. A samurai was supposed to be so loyal that he would lay down his life for his lord. It also called for a samurai to be honest, fair, and fearless in the face of death.

What other values/idols/customs did samurais live by?

Samurais were to value loyalty and personal honor more than their lives.

Discus Seppuku. ( ritual suicide )

Seppuku was a ritual suicide that a samurai had to follow if they broke the Bushido. There were many reasons for Seppuku like killing yourself if you are going to get captured in war or for preserving personal honor. If you broke Bushido your family would have a bad name until you restored it by killing yourself. Also samurai would have to perform seppuku if they committed a crime.

Discuss Amida Buddhism and Zen Buddhism.

Amida: The person who founded Amida Buddhism was a monk and his name was Honen. These Buddhist believed that all people could reach paradise by relying on the mercy of Amida Buddah. Amida was a Indian prince when he became a Buddah. Honen said in order to enter the Pure Land they would have to repeat Amidas name over 70,000 times a day. Then Honens disciple Shinran told all the people that in order to reach the Pure Land you only needed to say his name once. Zen: the people who created Zen Buddhism were called Zen masters. The zen master created a garden called the zen garden that was strictly focused on meditation. They symbolized nature instead of imitating it. Zen stressed self reliance and echieveing enlightenment through meditation. Zen Buddhist would sit in the Zen garden meditating for hours while sitting up straight. Zen helped samurai learn discipline, focus their minds, and overcome the fear of death.

How did the role of woman in samurai society change?

What was life like in the twelth century and the seventeenth century?

The position of woman in samurai society declined since the 12th century. You would think that they would be treated nicer but they were actually treated way worse. Back then in the samurai's wife was treated with respect and honor, but then in the 1700s they were treated very poorly. In the 12th century the wife of a samurai would help around the house and promote their family's interests. But in the 17th century the woman were treated by there class. Peasants women were treated very nicely by there husbands because they did think that one was better than the other. But in a samurai's family the samurai thought that he was way better than his spouse so he treated her with zero respect.

Thank you for listening!!!!!!

Credits:

Created with images by madmrmox - "Samurai-238x300" • Fæ - "Sahyoenosuke Minamoto no Yoritomo Attacking an Enemy on Horseback LACMA M.84.31.96" • madmrmox - "samurai_armor_y_16full"

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