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33

Yes, there were. Below are examples from Siam, the Philippines, China, Mexico and Indonesia. Ayutthaya (Siamese Kingdom) Probably the best known one was Yamada Nagamasa (born 1590, died 1630) in the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Over a period of 15 years, he ...rose from the low Thai nobility rank of Khun to the senior of Ok-ya, his title becoming Ok-ya ...


29

The usual explanation is that Japanese culture believed the soul resides in the abdomen. Since the ritual of seppuku or harakiri is usually meant to provide an honourable death, cutting open the abdomen was an act that "bares the soul", so to speak. The Meiji educator Dr. Nitobe Inazō wrote in his famous Bushido: the Soul of Japan that: [T]he choice of ...


29

There would seem to be quite a number of possibilities, including: Businessmen Japanese business interests in India were extensive between the two world wars. Putting this together with "In the 1880s, 23 percent of prominent Japanese businessmen were from the samurai class; by the 1920s 35% were." (as cited by ed.hank from Wikipedia Samurai in his comment),...


27

Short Answer Roughly speaking, in the early decades after 1867: ~7% became educators ~16% became public servants ~25% became corporate employees the rest became unemployed or farmers Overview Most of them actually did not do particularly well. After the Meiji Restoration, the samurai became the new shizoku class and initially received stipends from a ...


20

That crest is called a marunikatabami (丸に片喰 or 丸に酢漿草). The design is an encircled creeping woodsorrel flower. As such it is considered a variation of the more primary, and popular, katabami (片喰) crest, which is the same minus the circular border. The creeping woodsorrel grows extremely well as a wild weed; it is known for being difficult to uproot once it ...


18

As it is, all three are interesting for being completely different methods of achieving a high quality of steel. Equally interesting is that they are each of high quality in different ways. As for Tamahagane, the iron that was available in Japan was actually very poor compared to that found in Europe. It had a characteristically low carbon content, and the ...


18

(Some) Indians, and (some) Japanese share a common religion, Buddhism. This religion was founded in India in the sixth century B. C.,spread over East Asia, and found its way to Japan in the sixth century C.E. A young Japanese Buddhist, samurai or not, might be interested in visiting northern India in the 1920s in order to trace his religious "roots." That ...


16

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 ...


12

The Meiji Restoration that took place between 1868 - 1912 saw many of the traditional rights and privileges of the Samurai class drastically changed or removed entirely. In 1869 all Samurai were renamed as Shizoku and the Samurai class ceased to exist. In 1869 members of the samurai class and quasi-samurai were legally categorized as either shizoku or ...


11

This is the mitsuwari-ken-hanabishi (三つ割り剣花菱) crest, a rather obscure design used by the Aki Clan (安芸氏) of (surprise, surprise) Aki Dstrict in the Tosa Province of Shikoku. The Aki Clan is said to be descended from Soga no Umako, a powerful minister in Ancient Japan whose descendants were later exiled from the capital after a power dispute in the royal court....


10

That appears to be a maru-ni-mitsu-kashiwa (丸に三つ柏) crest, also known as a maru-ni-makino-kashiwa (丸に牧野柏). It is an encircled, three-leafed version of the kashiwa crest designs, one of the Big Ten styles of crests. These crests features an underlying design derived from the leaf of a Daimyo Oak tree. In Winter, dead leafs of a Quercus dentata tree do not ...


8

(I think the question really has two parts: (a) effects of the samurai's ethics, and (b) the effects of something called "bushido". I will address them in order.) Legacies of the Samurai In the early years of the Meiji Renewal, the samurai were enrolled as the shizoku, and saw their privileges and stipends gradually abolished. The bulk of them were viewed ...


8

There is a Chinese saying (in pinyin), "Hao tie bu da ding, hao ren bu dang bing." (Good iron is not used to make nails. Good men do not become soldiers.) For most of Chinese history, soldiers were vilified, rather than honored. Hence, they would not generally be regarded as members of the upper class, which was occupied by landowners and philosophers. ...


7

The samurai used to change their masters a lot, especially in the Sengoku era. A rōnin who came from a defeated clan where his master has been killed can attach himself to another clan and serve as a samurai. In the movie Seven Samurai, several farmers hire rōnin to protect their farms from bandits. the movie describe them as noble heroes who stand up for ...


6

These devices are calls Mons in Japanese languages and they are essential elements of Japanese heraldry. Mons are Japanese arms used to decorate and identify an individual or family. Since a Mon is hereditary, it is equal with a arms in concept but not in principles. Personally, I think Japanese heraldry has some similarities to Polish heraldry, because of a ...


6

Perhaps most telling is that the phrase is bad Classical Chinese. If I were to put it in English as "Evil, namely slay," that is not perfectly correct but would give a sense of the mangled grammar. The Ruroni Kenshin catchphrase is an uneducated riff on Chinese philosophical statements like 心即理 which are quite subtle in meaning and misunderstood by many ...


6

That is a bishi (菱, lit. "rhombus") mon, specifically, a maru-ni mitsu bishi (丸に三つ菱, lit. "circle with three rhombuses"). (Left: mitsu bishi mon | Right: maru-ni mitsu bishi mon Traditionally, the bishi or rhombus design was heavily associated with the Yoshimitsu line of the Seiwa Genji clan. This specific mon, and its non-circled ...


5

This mainly took place in the "interregnum" between the Muromachi (ended 1573) and Tokagawa periods (began 1603) when there was a power vacuum that left a lot of samurai "stranded." As in the answer to another question, this occurred in Thailand, where the king had originally hired samurai as mercenaries, but they tried to take over his kingdom. Isolated ...


5

The Dutch hired Japanese mercenaries to conquer the Banda islands in 1621. They were not gentle. @Tom Au alludes to this, I think.


4

From what I've read, Clavell's portrayal of the Samurai culture in Japan is not too far from the reality. For example, this guidance from Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578): Fate is in Heaven, the armour is on the breast, success is with the legs. Go to the battlefield firmly confident of victory, and you will come home with no wounds whatever. Engage in ...


4

A ronin is always a samurai. A samurai became masterless upon the death of his master due to circumstance (assassination/murder, war, natural causes) or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege due to an apparent misgiving. https://books.google.com/books?id=V14nI8RKPkwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=ronin+samurai&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JOptT6qAD-...


4

Apparently, Yoshioka Matashichiro was the 12 year old son of Seijūrō: This second defeat was a complete loss of face for the Yoshioka family and their school. Looking for revenge, the school challenged Musashi again. This time, 12 year old Yoshioka Matashichiro, the oldest son of Seijuro was chosen as the leader of the challenge. However, because of his age,...


4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_swordsmithing A couple of the claims written in the answers above need to be discussed with counter points; The ancient Japanese samurai sword that we are talking about was specifically developed to address the brittle nature of steel that time, no it was not brittle by yesterday's standard or today's. Precisely ...


4

I live in Japan and have lived here 35 years. The Samurai disappeared in the 1860-1870's (sword-bearing was banned in 1876). So while he was from a samurai family, that wouldn't have meant much between 1919 and 1939. In the late Edo period, many of the smarter samurai became bureaucrats, sending young (mostly men) people around the world to learn and acquire ...


3

missing connection/link between these two era of japanese history I think you are exaggerating the ideological transformation brought by Meiji Restoration. The main emphasis was economic modernization, not social equity. How did modernization of Japan in the Early twentieth century affect the Samurai and why was there such a strong influence of the ...


2

Before China was unified there was a warrior class(mostly noblemen), until the warlords realized that they could hire peasants with a cheap price and give them cheap weapons to expand their army. After that, most noblemen became scholars or military commanders, because of the change in the tactics of warfare(the ceasing of chariot warfare and agreed warfare,...


2

Korea had a Yangban class which might be compared with samurai status but was closer to the Chinese scholarly ruling class. Most historians hold that the scholar class achieved power in China (or Chinese dynasties of whatever race, except perhaps the Mongol Yuan one) while the warrior class gained power in Japan. During the late 17th, 18th and early 19th ...


2

[Note: this became an answer because it was far too long to post as comments. It doesn't really answer the question, but will hopefully put OP or someone else on the right track.] Some google image searching suggests it might be the heraldic symbol of one or more Daimyo clans: http://hakko-daiodo.com/kamon-c/cate0/hoshi/hoshi6.html [JP] http://www.shop-...


2

It is definitely not a full answer but may help you to have a general feel about the Edo era. Some basic facts to help with the perspective: The samurais appeared much before Edo, and had several functions, mostly carrying out military tasks. The Tokugawa-shogunate (Edo era) brought several changes: 1) the class system was created, therefore you had to be ...


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