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You are applying Western mentality to Japan. Samurai means "servant." A samurai's purpose is to serve his lord. Whether anyone fights, child or no, is up to the lord, not up to the child's father. Likewise, the age at which a man might be accepted as a retainer to a lord is purely at the lord's discretion, so there is no fixed answer to your question. If ...


There are no set ages for participating in combat. Generally speaking however, the first battle for a young samurai was in their early teens, roughly around 15 years old (opportunities permitting). Examples include Hōjō Ujiyasu at Ozawahara in 1530 (15), Takeda Nobukatsu at Temmokuzan in 1582 (15), and Date Masamune against the Sōma clan in 1581 (14). Cases ...

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