Japanese Warriors | Ninja | Samurai

The diversity of the Japanese warriors is what stands out most to us. Not only does Japan have one iconic warrior class in the deadly and mysterious Shinobis, the Ninja, it also has another legendary warrior class in the mighty Samurai. Throw in the peaceful but deadly warrior monks the sohei, the mountain hermits the yamabushi, and the relentless piracy of the Wokou and you have a mix of warriors that would stand strong against any nation.

legendary warrior class in the mighty Samurai.

1. Susan B. Hanley, Everyday Things in Premodern Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997) p. 18
2. Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: A survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan (Castle Books, 1999) p. 83
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid., pp. 86-87
5. Ibid., p. 113
6. Ibid., p. 87
7. Ibid., p. 88
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid., p. 91
12. Ibid., p. 96
13. Ibid., p. 91
14. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture (New York: Pantheon Books, 1959) p. 188
15. Ratti and Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: A survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. p. 91
16. Ibid., pp. 92-94
17. Ibid., p. 92
18. Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1983) p. 1
19. Ratti and Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: A survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. p. 92
20. Yamamoto, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai. pp. 39-40
21. Ratti and Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: A survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. p. 104
22. Ibid., p. 109
23. Hanley, Everyday Things in Premodern Japan. p. 190
24. Ratti and Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: A survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. p. 109
25. Ibid., p. 112
26. Hanley, Everyday Things in Premodern Japan. p. 18
27. Ratti and Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: A survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. p. 111
28. Hanley, Everyday Things in Premodern Japan. p. 18
29. Ibid., p. 48
30. Ratti and Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: A survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. p. 95
31. Hanley, Everyday Things in Premodern Japan. p. 43
32. Ibid., p. 89
33. Ratti and Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: A survey of the Martial Arts of Feudal Japan. p. 96
34. Ibid., p. 119
35. Ibid.
36. Ibid.
37. Ibid., p. 120
38. Ibid.
39. Ibid., p. 123
40. Ibid.
41. Ibid., p. 121
42. Ibid., p. 122


A yakunin, Japan. | Samurai, Japan and Japanese warrior

Katana Swords, Samurai Warrior, Japanese ..

If you think of the a warrior monk, then the Sohei are probably what you are imagining. These Buddhist warrior monks who lived in feudal Japan were both peaceful but powerful. Even though the tradition of Buddhism follows a more pacifistic approach to life with the five precepts which were the ethical guidelines of Buddhism, the Sohei were very much products of their time. The Sohei were realistic in their approach to life, wanting peace but happy to fight should the need arise. These warrior monks were not afraid to arm themselves with the tools, weapons and armour suitable of the time, that allowed them to compete with the powerful Samurai warriors on many occasion.


AN ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN JAPANESE WAR CRIMES

Later these warriors would grow in numbers, and they would become employed in wars over the battle for land between the ruling clans of the time. As the demand for warriors skills in this wild times continued, the samurai developed not only their fighting skills, but their ethical codes. Over time these noble warriors would come to rule over Japan, a true warrior class for the ages.

Samurai Gourmet | Netflix Official Site

These seemingly peaceful mountain hermits while deeply religious, were also highly skilled in martial arts and deadly warriors in their own right. The yamabushi were students of many things, and their secluded home in the mountain was the perfect place for them to master their skills in the martial arts. While it is hard to pin down exactly what martial art, or which type of techniques they practised, it’s thought that one was the art of sumo, along with various other armed and unarmed combat skills. There is also a lot of information on how the yamabushi influenced many other classes of Japanese warriors, in particular the ninja warriors who shared many skill sets with the yamabushi.

Ancient Japanese Culture and History of Japan

Reischauer wrote, “Yoritomo extended his control over the Kanto area, and his younger brother Yoshitsune then seized the capital area for him and pursued the Taira down the Inland Sea to its western end, where he finally annihilated them in 1185 at Dan-no-ura in a naval battle.” (1989, 43) That conflict became known as the Gempei War. In recognition of the Minamoto clan, in 1192 the emperor declared Yoritomo to be the realm’s shogun, thus beginning the reign of the warrior class. (King 1993, 44) That happened one year after the return of Eisai, founder of Japan’s first definitive Zen sect.

Samurai - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Following several such attacks by the Japanese, a typhoon — known as a kamikaze, or “divine wind” — destroyed the Mongol army. From this battle onward, the Japanese warrior class regarded the sword as the weapon of choice. Because great strength of will and concentration, as opposed to just technical skill, are needed to succeed in lightning-fast blade duels, the samurai turned to Zen.