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Samurai, Bushido and its

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Rick Tate

on 15 March 2016

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Transcript of Samurai, Bushido and its

Samurai, Bushido and its
impact on Japan

Members of a powerful military caste in Feudal Japan
-They rose to power in the 12th century with the country's first military dictatorship(Shogunate)
They served the daimyos (great lords)
and backed up the shogun to give him power over the migado(emperor)
Early History
From 794-1185, the samurai were armed supporters of wealthy landowners.
The word samurai roughly translates as "Those who serve"
-Another more
general term for warrior was "bushi"
Rise of the Samurai
Beginning in mid 12th century, power in Japan shifted from the emperor to heads of the warring clans in the country.
-The wealth of samurai was measured in terms of "Koku". (One koku was supposed to be the amount of rice it took to feed one man for a year-about 1500 pounds)
Kamakura Period
The establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate established by Minamoto Yoritomo shifted all real power in Japan to the samurai.
-Yoritomo defined the samurai's privileged status.
-No one could call himself a samurai without Yoritomo's permission
Zen Buddhism
was introduced to Japan from China.
-It's austere and simple rituals as well as a belief that salvation come from within
provided the basis for the Samurai's code of behavior

Influence of Buddhism
The Sword
During the Kamakura period, the sword came to have great significance in Samurai culture.
A man's honor was said to reside in his sword
-The craftsmanship of the swords became an art in itself (hammered blades, gold and silver inlays)
Muromachi Period
After defeating two Mongol invasions and internal conflicts, Japan emerged into a period of economic expansion as well as a golden period for Japanese art
-This included the tea ceremony, rock gardens, flower arranging, theater and painting.
Tokugawa Shogunate
In 1615 with the unification of Japan this started a period of 250 years of peace and prosperity
-Samurai took on more civil responsibilities and embraced the principles of Confucianism which focused on loyalty and duty.
-The principles of Bushido emerged as a general code of conduct.
The code of Bushido influenced by both Buddhism and Confucian thought emphasized military skills and fearlessness in the face of the enemy.
-Bushido emphasized frugality, kindness, honesty and care for one's family member, particularly one's elders.
Peaceful Japan
Many Samurai became bureaucrats to took up a trade.
In 1588, the right to carry swords was restricted only to samurai.
-Many samurai became "two-sword men" wearing both a long (Katana) and short (Wakizachi) sword
Samurai who lost their masters were called Ronin
(men of the waves)
Meiji Restoration
In the mid 19th century, the stability of Japan was undermined by a variety of factors including peasant unrest due to famine and poverty.
-The US Navy arrived in 1853 under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry to get Japan to open up for international trade.
-In 1858 Japan signed a commercial treaty with the US, followed by Russia, Britain, France and Holland.
This controversial decision led to a call to restore the power of the emperor and in 1868, Emperor Meiji was officially restored to power.
-Feudalism was abolished in 1871 and in 1876, the wearing of swords was forbidden to anyone except national armed forces.
-Several samurai rebellions were put down by the armed forces
Bushido in Modern Japan
In the wake of the Meiji Restoration, Shinto was made the state religion (It was entirely Japanese) and bushido was adopted as its ruling moral code.
-By 1912, Japan had built up its military and by the 1930s, there was a revival of its military traditions leading directly to imperial aggression and Japan's entrance into WWII.
Japanese soldiers brought antique samurai swords into battle and made suicidal "banzai" attacks according to the bushido principle of death before dishonor or defeat
-At the wars end, Japan drew on its sense of honor, discipline and devotion to a common cause to rebuild itself and eventually become one of the world's greatest economic and industrial powers in the late 20th century.
China, Japan and Western Civilizations Timeline
Using the two-sided handout create a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts the Knight's Code of Chivalry with the Code of the Samurai.
Kahoot Quiz
Let's review with a short 10 question quiz
-You may pair up
-You will need your phone
-Use the code at kahoot.it
Who were the Samurai?
What was
the Code of Bushido?
What about the Samurai???
Full transcript