The Way of the Samurai


The Seven Samurai

One of my favorite movies is “The Seven Samurai”; when watching this movie you will see how a Samurai is disciplined, skilled, and wise.  They don’t just rush into battle, they observe and they plan.  In the movie you see how one of the men calls himself a “Samurai”. However, when you see the other real Samurai, you learn that just calling yourself one doesn’t make you one.  Eventually, this man learns what a true Samurai is.  If you have some time check out the movie.  After watching this movie again I decided that the Samurai would be the perfect choice to write about.

The Best of the Best

The Samurai. The word conjures up images of a level-headed and equally skilled warrior.  The Samurai are military nobility.  The word Samurai basically means “attendance to nobility”.  The samurai were elite soldiers much like the Navy Seals of today.  They were the best of the best.  The image of the samurai is that one of strength and discipline.

Bushido

There were many political changes in Japan that would pave the way to the Samurai.  Japan was filled with different clans and shoguns. During these battles the Japanese armor evolved into what looks like the basic Samurai armor. Eventually a code of battle was established, this is known as bushido, also an ethical code.

Bushido is described as the “way of the warrior” and encompassed the basic rules behind the Samurai’s code of conduct.  This code was one of honor, duty to one’s master, and loyalty until death.  Literary study and military study was essential to become a Samurai.  The Samurai became the role models for all classes in Japan.

The Last Samurai

The Samurai as a military class would eventually die out, and many Samurai found themselves going into a newly organized military and becoming high-ranking officers.  Other Samurai would become scholars and writers.  The last Samurai battle is said to be in the year 1877.

It is the combination of military skill and literary study that made a skilled, thinking warrior.  This is why the Samurai are still admired today.