Samurai By Joseph Klein
Feudalism • The shogun (like the king) ruled the country through the daimyo (like the nobles), who were the heads of the samurai (like the knights). • Peasants farmed the land in exchange for protection by the samurai, who operated under a code of conduct known as bushido (like chivalry).
Shogun • Owned all Japanese lands and made important decisions. • Sold these estates to Daimyo. He was the real man in charge the emperor was for show.
Daimyo • Lords of the estates. They controlled the Samurai and the land bought from the Shogun. • People who lived on the estate were loyal to their Daimyo.
Samurai • The samurai (or bushi) were the members of the military class, the Japanese warriors. • 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. • Samurai fought for their Daimyo until death.
Code of Bushido • Samurai were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of bushido ("the way of the warrior"). Strongly Confucian in nature, Bushido stressed concepts such as loyalty to one's master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior. • After a defeat, some samurai chose to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) by cutting their abdomen rather than being captured or dying a dishonorable death.
Samurai Weapons • Samurai used Katana’s (swords) and Bows and arrows. • Samurai also used spears, sickles attached to chains and many other forms of blade.
Samurai Women • Women were responsible for maintaining the household while the men were at war. • Women took care of the crops, cooking, clothing and food for the house.
Samurai Hair • The Samurai hairstyle is called a topknot. A topknot is the hair in a bun on the top of the head. • Only Samurai were allowed to have topknots.
End of the Samurai • In 1868, the Meiji Restoration signaled the beginning of the end for the samurai • The new government created a conscripted army in 1873; many of the officers were drawn from the ranks of former samurai. • In 1877, angry ex-samurai revolted against the Meiji in the Satsuma Rebellion; they lost the Battle of Shiroyama, and the era of the samurai was over.