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IN History & Culture ON 10 Jun, 2015
Samurai are known as legendary warriors and also a well-known class of people in ancient Japan. They fought evil with their swords and armor. They were noble fighters. They always followed a strict moral code to govern their entire life. Samurais were most active warriors. The Samurai warriors were both men, women and children also. Women were highly trained in martial arts and sometimes, they also have to participate in the battle. Samurai culture also accepted homosexuality with a very open mind. And yes, they used dead enemies to check their sword's sharpness by hanging them from a tree and by making 16 systematic cuts through the body.
People of Samurai did not dress to impress, but still they were consider as the most fashionable people of that era. It was designed according to their comfort zone and to fit their need as warriors. Their daily wear outfits include hakama trousers and a kimono or a hitatare. Kimono was usually designed in silk material. They used wooden clogs or sandals for footwear. The topknot hairstyle was widely spread in Samurai fashion.
It is one of the most terrifying things about the Samurai people. It is the horrible suicide a Samurai has to must perform if he fails to follow bushido or is likely to be captured by enemy. Seppuku is considered as an extremely honorable way to die. It is also known as 'Hara-Kiri'. Piercing the stomach with a short blade and moving it from left to right is the "battlefield" version of seppuku. It is a tortuous affair. There is also a formal seppuku, starts with a ceremonial bathing. It is a quite long process. Samurai is dressed in white robes and his favorite meal is served to him. As he finished his food, a blade is placed in his plate by which he has to write a death poem or message in his traditional tanka text. Then finally the attendant finishes him by cutting his head off.
Samurai Warriors did really well in education. They were not only warriors, but actually more than that. When Europeans where not able to read, people of Samurai were doing well with education. They were considered as most educated people of that time. Even they were highly skilled in mathematics. This is also the reason why they have contributed so much in cultural and artistic endeavors.
Samurai warrior used slimmer, smaller version of the straight swords known as called a 'Chokuto'. Then they also switched to curved swords which is known as 'Katana'. Bushido was the word which was dictated that a samurai's soul was in his katana. It is consider as the most important weapon carried by the Samurai warriors. It was used as their status symbol. They also used yumi as weapon, which they used to practice religiously.
Samurai is quite masculine term, but women who were trained in martial arts and strategy were also Samurai. They were known as 'Onna-Bugeisha'. They also used to participate in combat along with their male counterparts. They used weapon name 'The Naginata'. It is light in weight and has blade like sword.
Samurai people always seem quite large and well-built in pop culture. The armor and weapons made them look huge. The 16th century samurai were quite tiny. On comparing Samurai with average Japanese person, members of the samurai class were noticeably hairier and their skin was lighter. Their height ranges somewhere between 160 to 165 centimeters.
Under special circumstances, someone outside Japan could fight alongside the Samurai, and even become one Samurai himself. The first Westerner to receive the dignity of samurai was William Adams. This honor can be given only by powerful leaders.
Samurai actively encouraged the presence of same-sex relations in their culture. They were extremely open minded. An experienced samurai and a youth who was getting trained under him had these kind of relationships. The practice was known as 'wakashudo'.
The samurai has to wear their weird-looking, ornate armor. The samurai armor was always designed for mobility. The armor was made of lacquered plates of which has to be either of leather or metal, and was bounded together by laces of leather or silk. The arms were protected by rectangular shoulder shields and light known as 'armored sleeves'. The right hand of this dress was often left without a sleeve so warrior can make maximum movement.
Up to 10 percent of Japan's population was samurai. The term 'Samurai' meant 'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility'. Samurai was actually a entire social class. They were present in large number, so they highly influenced the Japanese people.
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