Your Ad Here

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Samurai

"For these guys, surrender was NEVER an option"

Anime: Rurouni Kenshin (Battousai the Slasher)

...looks cooler than...


Who He Was

An upper-class warrior in feudal Japan also called a bushi or "war-man". Samurai were bound to a strict code that saw them preferring to fight to the death or commit ritual suicide (seppuku/harakiri) rather than surrender.


Weapons
Samurai were allowed to wear two swords, a longer katana and a shorter wakizashi and had the right to cut down anyone who rubbed them up the wrong way. The oldest swords were straight, but a desire for tougher, sharper swords gave rise to the curved blade we know today.


The finest blade in history, the sword was a three-ply combination of iron and carbon cooled at different rates to produce a weapon that was frighteningly sharp, yet flexible. A blade was tested by cutting through the bodies of corpses or criminals. A single blow could slice a person into two!


For Honour and Glory!
The samurai were experts in fighting from horseback and on the ground and also practiced unarmed combat. The early samurai fought with the bow and arrow but encounters with Mongol invaders in the 13th century led to a change in fighting style. Samurai then began to use their swords more as well as the naginata (a pike-like weapon).


Golden Moments
In 1185, the Minamoto clan defeated their enemies the Taira, with the help of their samurai. Their leader Yorimoto became the first shogun, or overlord, with the emperors reduced to figureheads for the next 700 years.


Decline
Samurai gradually lost their military role. By the end of the shogun era, most were bureaucrats. In 1867, samurai were banned from carrying swords and the last shogun was toppled in 1868. Former samurai revolted during the next few years, but these uprisings were pointless against a new national army with modern weapons.


Catch Him in Action in
Th historic Tale of Genji, the saga of the Minamotos, and the world's first novel. On screen, watch Akira Kurosawa's samurai classics of the 1950s, or try The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise.


3 comments:

The Bimbo said...

This has got probably nothing to do with your post.. but I got Love a katana for our anniversary and I've been fearing for the safety of all the things in the room since. haha

DT said...

Hi Bobo..that's a great gift actually. Im sure he's very proud to have a katana. Becareful with ur bunny...LoL..

ARON WONG DOT COM said...

wahhhh katana!! hmmm i was thinking about bleach!!! hehehehe

Recent Posts

Free Blogspot Templates