Samurai By: Yeonji Baek

The Rise of a Military Society

How did Japan become a military society?

In Japan, the emperors did not have that much power. Even though they were the ruler, the military leaders like shoguns and daimyos took control of the government. Because the military leaders too power, Japan became a milotary society like that.

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

The social structure was: the emperor, shogun and daimyo, samurai warriors, peasants and artisans, and lastly merchants. The shogun was the real ruler or Japan, and the daimyo was a large landowner with a private samurai warriors to protect them.

Samurai Armor, Weapons, and Fighting

Describe and show pictures of their armor and weapons
Samurai warriors went to battle with very heavy armors. Their armors were made of rows of small metal plates. Boxlike panels protected the samurai's chest and back. They put on many more protections to protect themselves. Also, samurai warriors wore scary looking iron masks to scare the enemies and protect themselves.
Samurai warriors often fought with bows and arrows, spears, or sword. By using bows and arrows, they knocked down the enemies by shooting them. With spears, they knocked down the enemies from their horses. However, with the most important weapon, swords, they cut through the enemies.
Describe their military training and fighting styles. (Find pictures if you can).
For to become a samurai, people had to go through a long training. As a young samurai, they had to master archery. For example, they had to practice shooting until they can hit the target without thinking. Also, they had to learn how to shoot the enemies while riding the horse. They also learned many things like swordsmanship or martial arts when their sword breaks.

Samurai Training and the Warrior Code

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

To become a samurai warriors, you had to be hereditary from samurai family. However, in some cases, some of them became Samurai. For the people who weren't herdited from the samurai family, they had to show great talent in swordsmanship and had to be a great scholar.

What were they trained to do physically and mentally?

Samurai warriors mastered archery skills, rode the horses, shot the enemies while riding on the horse, learned swordsmanship, martial arts, and many techniques to train them physically for the battles. To train mentally, they had to endure pain and suffering by starving for several days, marched barefoot on snow, and held stiff postures for hours. Samurai warriors could never relax, so they had to develop "sixth sense".

What is Bushido?

Bushido is the code of honor and morals developed by the Japanese samurai. The samurais had to be honest, fair, and fearless in the face of death.

What other values/ideals/customs do Samurai live by?

Samurai warriors had to respect the lords and protect them until they die. Also, samurais had to guard their personal honor.

Discuss Seppuku

If one samurai failed to live with Bushido, they had to pay the price by Seppuku, or ritual suicide. There were several reasons on why they did seppuku. For example, some samurai killed themselves when the lord died because of injustice.

Training in Writing, Literature, and Tea Ceremony

The samurai warriors were expected to be a student and a warrior. They learned a writing called calligraphy which you need a brush, ink, and paper. They also learned poetry called haiku. Haiku was three lines and had 5, 7, and 5 syllables. Samurai warriors also learned tea ceremony. It promoted a spirit of harmony, reference, and calm. It also taught to form political alliances with other samurais.

Spiritual Training

Discuss Amida Buddhism and Zen Buddhism

Amida Buddhism taught the people that the believers of Amida Buddhism can reach paradise by relying on a man named Amida Buddha. On the other hand, Zen Buddhism was more appealing to the samurai warriors because it was based on effort and discipline. Zen Buddhism taught that you can reach enlightenment by meditation.

Women in Samurai Society

How did the role of women in Samurai society change?

The role of women in Samurai society declined over time. In 12th century, they had respect and honor. However, in 17th century, their lost their power to their husbands.

What was life like in the 12th century?

In 12th century, the woman helped the family manage the household and promote the interest. Even though women rarely fought, they were expected to be good and brave as the men.

What was life like in the 17th century?

In the 17th century, the women's position in Samurai culture weakened. The women were in their husband's control in normal samurai family. However, some women were respected because they went out on the battle with their husbands.

Thank you for watching


Created with images by madmrmox - "mean_samurai"

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