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Women and Families of Samurai. By: Laci Miller, Hannah Furmon , Alex Stadler , and Bre Gray. Introduction .

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Women and families of samurai

Women and Families of Samurai

By: Laci Miller, Hannah Furmon, Alex Stadler, and Bre Gray


Family life was more extended and traditional . Samurai would often go off to defend their daimyo and women would stay at home and watch the children. Women may even fight along side other samurai depending on skill. Honor was very important to the people. Samurai lived their lives by Buddhism ideas and Confucianism. Life was somewhat accurately portrayed in the film The Last Samurai.

Bushido influences
Bushido Influences

  • Samurai went by various codes, religions, and philosophies. Bushido focused on honor, duty, and loyalty unto death. It was influenced by Zen Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Zen buddhism
Zen Buddhism

  • The Japanese government feared Buddhism temples for the power they had on the people so they banned the practice. Yet the practice was more frequently used. People believed in the religion as a preventer of disease and overall protector of the people. Samurai were always fighting with danger and were impressed in the Zen monks. They were not phased by violence. Also , Buddhism provided an idea of a place beyond(reincarnation). Some would quit fighting and join as monks.

Women life differences of classes
Women Life :Differences of classes

  • Women of Samurai classes had duty and still had to honor their families. Women in upper classes had more of a leisure lifestyle.

Samurai women
Samurai Women

  • Women were to protect their homes and children. Some women even went to war with other samurai if they were skilled enough. After the Tokugawa Layasu unified Japan, roles of women were changed. Men were home more often so women just oversaw their children’s education and kept with the house. Honor was important equally to the men and women. Women would commit seppuku to honor their families.

Taka and h er family
Taka and Her Family

  • Taka was depicted as an obedient wife which coincides with Confucianism. She often was shown doing house chores. The children were shown practicing sword fighting and schooling.

Cultures in last samurai
Cultures in Last Samurai?

  • Katsumoto still went with the traditional method of seppuku in the battle field. He was also depicted praying to Buddha. Again Taka was a very obedient wife.

  • Accurately portrayed?- The importance of honor was represented well.


Did most samurai live in mountains like Katsumoto? No, most lived in the community or around the area to enforce laws.

In real life the situation of Algren would have been different. He was an enemy and would probably be treated like one.


  • 8. Do you feel that Taka was an accurate representation of a woman from the samurai class? What character traits influenced your opinion? Yes,She was very obedient and she did her job as a mother.

  • 9. The Last Samurai ends with the audience guessing as to what happened between Captain Algren and Taka. What do you think of this relationship?

  • Realistically, this probably wouldn’t take place. He was from a different culture and he killed her husband.

Group question
Group question

  • Imagine that you have no prior knowledge of early Japanese history, how might this Hollywood production influence your understanding of what life was like for the women and familiies of the samurai class?

    • Hollywood does make a movie more inticing . The y might change up true events for the purpose of selling the movie. So it could have a negative affect on your understanding.