SAMURAI Grace Bates (period 2)


The decline of Japan's Central Government

  • the central government of Japan was headed by the emperor (he looked like he had all the power but he had none)
  • the Fujiwara family ruled Japan for 300 years
  • in the 1100s, the Fujiwara clan was failing
  • DAIMYO¬†were landowners and they didn't pay taxes to the government
  • daimyos had private armies with trained warriors called SAMURAI
  • military leaders called SHOGUNS took control
  • Japan was under a shogun government for almost 700 years

Japan now had a Military Society with an Emperor and military leaders called Shoguns. While landowners, Daimyos had their own warriors called Samurai.




Samurai Armor, Weapons and Fighting

A Samurai went into battle with heavy armor and a lot of weapons including bows, arows, spears and swords.

Samurai Training and the Warrior Code

  • they were expected to be honest, brave and loyal
  • their physical training included martial arts, fencing and shooting
  • mentally a samurai had to learn self control over their emotions
  • they had to learn how to handle pain and suffering
  • Bushido was a samurai's code of behavior. It required them to be honest, fair and fearless of death
  • it was their duty to be loyal to their lord....they would die for their lord
  • Seppuku is ritual suicide. When a Samurai didn't follow the Bushido code of conduct, they would have their Seppuku Ceremony

Training in Writing, Literature and Tea Ceremony

  • Samurai had to learn Caligraphy and how to write poetry
  • Samurai participated in a Tea Ceremony. The Tea Ceremony brought a spirit of harmony, reverence and calm.

Spiritual Training

  • most Samurai were buddhist and there are 2 types of buddhism, Amida Buddhism and Zen Buddhism
  • Amida Buddhists believe that everyone reaches paradise
  • Zen Buddhists focus on effort and discipline

Women in Samurai Society

  • women in the Samurai Society declined overtime
  • in the 12th century women were treated with honor and respect
  • in the 17th century women were treated less than their husbands

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