Facts about Samurai: Things You Don’t Know

Surely learning the facts about Samurai is a unique topic that many people search on Google. Are you like that? In Japanese history, there are many Samurai you may not know such as Miyamoto Musashi, Akechi Mitsuhide, Saigo Takamori, Minamoto Yositsune, Tomoe Gozen, and Yukimura Sanada. To this day the spirits of these generations remain and are regarded as an example to follow.

If you’ve ever watched movies, watched some shows, or read books, you’ve probably heard of a warrior in world history named Samurai. There are many facts about Samurai, it is interesting, and fascinating for the searcher. Therefore, if you want to learn more deeply, you can read our article as a very useful document to understand better, adding to your treasure of knowledge.

20 cool facts about Samurai

Until now, the name Samurai is still known for the meaning of protector, compliance, and nobility. But you will be very curious about the origin and facts about Samurai. Then there are 20 facts about Samurai you should know:

1.1 Samurai make up about 5% of Japan’s population

According to research, Samurai made up about 5% of the population of Japan in the Middle Ages. As a separate army of lords, protect the vast lands of the lords.

1.2 Samurai and their students had a close relationship

In ancient Japanese society, words used to refer to close relationships such as Shudo, Wakashudo, and Nanshoku. Relationships between adult men and younger adolescents. There is no Samurai who does not participate in the “fun” with his lover. Even if you do not participate, you may face some problems behind your back.

Besides, you can’t understand by default that all Samurai is like that. But it is a little more common.

1.3 Samurai carrying two swords

Much of the hierarchy in Japan is strict and complex. Because they live in a stratified society, influenced by privileges based on rank. Who can carry two swords? It was understandable that elite Samurai were allowed to carry two swords. Those two swords are called Katana- main, long weapons; Wakizashi- the sword of defense, small.

1.4 Samurai’s wife and daughter can be independent.

When the Samurai went to war, their wives and children stayed at home to take care of the housework. To do so, they have been well educated and know the martial arts style is a plus. Wives are taught to use long spears to protect themselves, knocking down their opponents.

1.5 Japanese women are warriors

According to statistics, about 30% of the warriors in the Samurai battle are women. That proves that they are really talented, strong, and very well-educated. Participants can only be the wife or daughters of the Samurai.

1.6 Samurai with a high bun


Japanese Samurai look cool, but why do they wear their hair like that?

Among the popular hairstyles, the most used hairstyle is still the high bun. The origin of this hairstyle is related to the use of ancient hats in China during the Heian period, by nobles. This hairstyle is called chonmage. Moreover, they shave completely.

Variations of this model appeared more frequently. Chonmage was not used during the Meiji period (19th century). The sekitori does not apply the form of shaved heads but instead wears high buns. Those who watch a lot of movies with Samurai will probably understand those cultures.

1.7 Samurai was the inspiration for Darth Vader’s helmet design

The movie “Star Wars” builds on inspiration from Japan. But it also has some personal creativity, but the image of Japanese culture is still sharp. On the helmet is a protective plate similar to the warrior’s kabuto helmet. This hat also has a very special feature. It can decapitate enemies.

Learn about the character of the movie, you can see that the shape is quite similar to Samurai. Costumes and weapons are similar. Maybe that’s the success of Star Wars.

1.8 The symbol of the samurai is the dragonfly

With the katana sword, you can identify and think of Samurai, but the dragonfly symbol is little known. Dragonflies can only fly forward as well as samurai, they must face the enemy directly, not backward.

Dragonflies are animals with a civilized lifestyle, bringing a unique and separate meaning. The insect or kachimushi has excellent hunting ability, and the will to not give up. It represents the souls of the deceased.

1.9 Adhere to a strict code of ethics


Strict guidelines have to be followed by samurai.

The meaning of the word bushido is the way of the warrior, the unwritten code of conduct. Warriors live or die according to strict rules. That rule was influenced by Zen Buddhism. Just maintain and as strength keep the country at peace. Samurai follows the rule and can end their life so that this rule is always maintained, showing loyalty to the obligation.

1.10 Wearing complex armor

The indispensable outfit of warriors when going to the battlefield is armor. Armor is a hindrance to movement or small movements. It can completely change the way swords are used. Iconic costumes mainly.

How is Samurai’s Armor designed? The warriors in battle move very flexibly and are very well protected thanks to the very delicate costume design and good silk material. The threads crisscrossed each other to resist the cuts made by the Katana sword. The beautiful lacquered armor is an art form.

One of the most outstanding details of the armor is that it can resist bows and arrows. But against opponent punches is not clearly confirmed. Even so, it is still the best, most optimal, most effective defense to help the knight successfully counter the enemy’s attacks.

1.11 Samurai is an artist

The Samurai were well-educated, and good war skills, literature, and art were equally important to them. It shows that these are high-class Samurai. Possibly poetry, can patronize sculptors, and attend literary parties attended by court monks and aristocrats. During that party, artistic performances such as sword dance, kenbu will be performed.

1.12 They are a whole social class


The samurai are formidable warriors with outstanding leaders.

According to legend, at first, the servants close to the nobles were Samurai. It was then developed and called the bushi class, which were mid and upper-class soldiers. In order to freeze and stabilize the social order, the Samurai developed into a closed caste in the early Tokugawa period.

Every Japanese has a bit of Samurai blood by far. Even though in earlier times only 10% of Japan’s population were Samurai.

1.13 They are highly educated and cultured

Samurai warriors were highly educated, good at math, and generally very well educated. There are many unique art forms produced by the Japanese, of the Samurai culture such as rock gardens, flower arrangements, etc. Calligraphy, literature, poetry, and ink painting are also studied by them. used to this day.

1.14 Descendants of the Ainu are Samurai

Those who come from a lowly social background in Japan are also considered to be samurai, the most respected person in society. The Ainu are the indigenous people of the Hokkaido region, a minority group in Japan. Ainu is a society that lives and sustains its livelihood by hunting, possibly by fishing, and by planting trees.

The Ainu are discriminated against, even in their own land, on all of these factors: territory, language, religion, and customs, with the Japanese. To reduce this distinction, the tendency to marry Ainu and Japanese has increased. That method really gives good results.

1.15 They must be outlawed

Why should the Samurai be outlawed? What proves it? Did you know, the disadvantage of the samurai class is mass suicides? After the defeat in battle and loss of honor, the Samurai resolved by suicide. Just like that, the suicides were on a large scale.

Junshi or suicides related to the Samurai, work for the concubine and his wife. Historically, this practice has been detrimental to Samurai, they have been outlawed many times.

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1.16 Against the traditional hierarchy

What is the mission of the Samurai? They must serve the lord for life. But there are also Samurai who choose another path as a more rebellious career path. They actively refused to serve the lord, serving themselves.

Not serving the lord, the Samurai were still respected and sought after. Respect for what they serve, what they exchange for money. Rorin is just a famous person in history.

1.17 Katana used in combat and some other weapons


For Japanese martial artists, the katana is a long, slightly curved, single-bladed traditional Japanese knife.

Katana is a Japanese knife, with a slightly curved design, and one blade, very sharp used by martial artists. Katana is forged long, thin iron billet, fired, then folded in two halves, and continued to forge to create grain patterns. Those veins are like the eyes of wood, and can also bend like waves. It is not only a weapon in combat but also a work of art, an ornament showing the status of its owner.

Samurai used not only swords but also long bows, spears, cannons, and guns depending on the time. Around the time of the 17th-19th centuries, the Samurai chose the flint rifle as a great weapon.

1.18 Miyamoto Musashi is the most famous samurai in history

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Oda Nobunaga, Hattori Hanzo, and Miyamoto Musashi are all famous people in history. But perhaps for many years, the most famous was Miyamoto Musashi. A master swordsman, and martial arts philosopher, is a ronin. Miyamoto Musashi hones his skills through his final match with Sasaki Kojiro, making Musashi the greatest swordsman in Japan.

1.19 Samurai becomes a newspaper reporter

After the Meiji Restoration, many Samurai became newspaper reporters. During that period, Japan had to face two choices: keep the traditional feudal way or open a comprehensive reform. And around the same time the Samurai disbanded, they used their acquired skills of reading and writing to find new jobs.

An opportunity that opens up a career path in journalism, it develops widely. It is because they are passionate about reading poetry, writing and writing newspapers, and adding other forms of communication. The Samurai is so talented.

1.20 The samurai helped create Japanese culture

The samurai strictly follow the rules, they live a life that many people appreciate and admire. Why so? Here are the principles:

Principle 1: Fairness

The two words fairness always come first. Life must be right and wrong, and this fairness makes them able to regulate themselves so as not to fall, affecting the spirit of the Samurai.

Principle 2: Sincerity

A moral quality is expressed through action. Sincerity proves responsible, delivering on promises. The Samurai exercised sincerity by fulfilling, responsibly, the promise to the master.

Principle 3: Kindness

Benevolence and generosity are to create strength, to live tolerantly with colleagues, and not to threaten those who are weaker than themselves.

Principle 4: Respect

Respect for the prime minister in particular and respect for colleagues and enemies in particular. Without respect, you are just a strong man bullying the weak, boasting.

Principle 5: Devotion

Samurai have a life principle, dedication. Titles, desires, power, and money will be restricted by Samurai.

Principle 6: Courage

Courage is a must for any Samurai or Japanese soldier. In combat, courage will be the strength to defeat the enemy.

Principle 7: Honor

Individual honor, or collective honor, the honor of the whole nation when defeating the enemy is the pride of the Samurai.

3. FAQs

3.1 What is interesting about the samurai?

Samurai are pacifists, they love to fight. The interesting thing about Samurai is not lacking, you can learn about the costumes and weapons of the Japanese Samurai. The traditional Kimono sets have cumbersome details that have been limited in design, but the fabric is good, bringing comfort to the user when going to battle. Or about the spirit of Samurai- cultural beauty; female samurai warriors; sword – part of the soul of the Samurai;…

3.2 What are female Samurai called?

Female Samurai is called Onna-bugeisha. They are aristocracy, have been well educated since childhood, familiar with fighting for the purpose of self-defense, and family protection, and can also fight on the battlefield. The percentage of women is about 30%.

3.3 How old is the Samurai?

Shinto is the soul of Japan. Samurai was hereditary in the medieval and early modern period from the late 12th century until its abolition in the 1870s during the Meiji era.

3.4 What is Samurai’s weakness?

The weakness of the Samurai is that they often die in the first minutes of the battle, when the opponent’s squad is large, and strong, with cannons and muskets.

3.5 How tall was a Samurai?

Samurai is the martial class of Japan that includes both shōgun and daimyo. It can also be understood that Samurai is a part of the martial arts class, standing above some other martial arts divisions.

3.6 Did Samurai ever fight?

The Samurai fought many times. Among them is Musashi who has lost about 60 duels. And there are many other battles of different Samurai.

4. Conclusion

The facts about Samurai are too many, there are many facts that will surprise and surprise you. But Samurai is a class of martial artists that is respected by many people, always an example for subordinates to follow. The rules of the samurai are very strict, the warriors are resilient on the battlefield. Despite the principles, there are still cowardly Samurai who lack courage.

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About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.

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