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Thomas Clapper

on 2 November 2009

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Transcript of Samurai

Samurai a member of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan.
The wakizashi itself was a samurai's "honour weapon" and purportedly never left the samurai's side. He would sleep with it under his pillow and it would be taken with him when he entered a house and had to leave his main weapons outside. The katana is characterized by its distinctive appearance: a curved, slender, single edged blade, circular or squared guard, and long grip to accommodate two hands. It has historically been associated with the samurai of feudal Japan, and has become renowned for its sharpness and cutting ability, to the point that its purported cutting capabilities have reached mythical status shogun (shgn)
The hereditary commander of the Japanese army who until 1867 exercised absolute rule under the nominal leadership of the emperor.

The samurai's importance and influence grew during the Heian Period, when powerful landowners hired private warriors for the protection of their properties. Towards the end of the Heian Period, two military clans, the Minamoto and Taira, had grown so powerful that they seized control over the country and fought wars for supremacy against each other. In 1185, the Minamoto defeated the Taira, and Minamoto Yoritomo established a new military government in Kamakura in 1192. As shogun, the highest military officer, he became the ruler of Japan.
When Toyotomi Hideyoshi reunited Japan, he started to introduce a rigid social caste system which was later completed by Tokugawa Ieyasu and his successors. Hideyoshi forced all samurai to decide between a life on the farm and a warrior life in castle towns. Furthermore, he forbade anyone but the samurai from arming themselves with a sword.
According to the Edo Period's official hierarchy of social castes, the samurai stood at the top, followed by the farmers, artisans and merchants. Furthermore, there were hierarchies within each caste. All samurai were forced to live in castle towns and received income from their lords in form of rice. Masterless samurai were called ronin and caused minor troubles during the early Edo Period. Samurai employed a range of weapons such as bows and arrows, spears and guns; but their most famous weapon and their symbol was the sword.

1868's when Samurai lost all privileges (during the Meniji Restoration)

1867 Fifteenth Shogun resigns and government is reestablished by emperors- capital moved from Kyoto to Tokyo

samura Beliefs -------> Zen attracted samurai class because of it's simplistic method of one's decision making-Life and death combat, they needed to be prepared to die. They never had a second thought- Zen was religion of the the will of the samaria- reached to achieve the enlightenment Game Time!!! After a defeat, some samurai chose to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) by cutting their abdomen rather than being captured or dying a dishonorable death. What was "the shogun"? The Samurai finally lost complete power in 1896.

True or False? What does the word "Samurai" mean? What was the large sword of the Samurai called? What was their small sword that they always had on them called? End of the samuria Debated that Samurai remaining in power would have caused less corrupt government, WWII may not have occurred

Samurai were taken down because evil men in Meniji period claimed that they were "outdated" which was not true-standard of life was better than china
Takei, Toru. Samurai Mentality And Christianity. Portland, Or.: Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN), 2006.

"Japanese History." International Debates 1.6 (2003): 162-192. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 25 Oct. 2009.

Rickman, John "Sunset of the Samurai. (Cover story)." Military History 20.3 (2003): 42. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 25 Oct. 2009.


The Kamakura Period (1192 to 1333) Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573 - 1603) With the fall of Osaka Castle in 1615, the Tokugawa's last potential rival was eliminated, and relative peace prevailed in Japan for about 250 years. As a result, the importance of martial skills declined, and most samurai became bureaucrats, teachers or artists. Edo Period (1603 - 1868) What is Dr. Bedford's favorite cousin's name? The iron sand in Japan far more pure, lacking sulfate and phosphorus
Tatara- Japanese furnace
Tama agony the type of steel/iron produced Step 2: Forging the Sword Step 1: unique type of steel 3 men 3 months
Harmon- the non-mirror like line on the sword Step 3 polishing the Katana Different types of stones for each sword, these stones cost thousands of dollars. Mongols

First invasion 1274

Second invasion 128 Bedford
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