Samurai

Samurai (侍), usually referred to in Japanese as bushi (武士, [bu͍ꜜ.ɕi̥]) or buke (武家), were the military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany persons in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean "those who serve in close attendance to the nobility", the pronunciation in Japanese changing to saburai. According to Wilson, an early reference to the word "samurai" appears in the Kokin Wakashū (905–914), the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century.

from Samurai (Wikipedia) CC BY SA 3.0

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Best Tourist Souvenir-- Samurai Umbrella! images

Best Tourist Souvenir-- Samurai Umbrella!

Purchasing a real samurai sword in Japan is very difficult, especially after they enforced the laws against the possession of knives a couple years ago. I also assume that taking a samurai sword out of Japan will definitely be a hassle at the airport. A better option might be purchasing the samurai…(112 words)

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GenS

Following in the footsteps of the Samurai of Fukushima images

Following in the footsteps of the Samurai of Fukushima

We began our junket in Shirakawa, Fukushima prefecture. The leaves were turning and the scenery was beautiful. First on our stop was the castle. The pine trees on the grounds Shirakawa Komine Castle were immaculate and the main gate was imposing. What I learned on this trip was that what I had prev…(1043 words)

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DeepJapan Editor

Slip Inside the Cracks: Samurai Spirit Tourism in Fukushima Prefecture images

Slip Inside the Cracks: Samurai Spirit Tourism in Fukushima Prefecture

Through the years, I’ve had many people “back home” ask me about Samurai Spirit and ninjas. Is there any place in Japan left where one can find these things?This is a kind of question very difficult to answer. Of course, it is possible to find museums that feature many of the tools and stories …(1064 words)

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DeepJapan Editor

Samurai battlefield spectacle -tradition over 1000 years - images

Samurai battlefield spectacle -tradition over 1000 years -

Soma-nomaoi (literally means wild horse chase in Soma) is a traditional Shinto ritual and local festival in Soma City, held every July for three days, its history over 1000 years Originally developed as a military training and now it's widely known as the biggest samurai on horse festival i…(722 words)

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Zara

Geisha Makeover in Asakusa, Tokyo images

Geisha Makeover in Asakusa, Tokyo

You might know about Geisha, who is a female entertainer, trained in the traditional arts, singing and dancing, and serves as a party companion and hostess. Maiko is an apprentice of Geisha. In Asakusa, you can be a Geisha and Maiko and have photos taken.There are some places you can experience …(384 words)

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skymaho

Jidaigeki Period Dramas Teaching Japanese Morals images

Jidaigeki Period Dramas Teaching Japanese Morals

Jidaigeki (時代劇). Let me tell you the book definition of Jidaigeki first for many of you may not know this term at all. It is Literally "period dramas", they are most often set during the Edo period of Japanese history, from 1603 to 1868. Some, however, are set much earlier, such as Heian period—…(494 words)

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AustinA

Hand-made Camping Knife and where to buy and sharpen knives. images

Hand-made Camping Knife and where to buy and sharpen knives.

Snow Peak is a famous camping equipment manufacturer from the Tsubame Sanjo area of Niigata Prefecture. It was started by the father of the current president as a manufacturer of carpentry and work tools. But Yukio Yamai, the founder, was an experienced mountaineer, so he decided that he should m…(431 words)

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mikekato

What is the samurai spirit? :Samurai Spirit Tourism in Fukushima Prefecture images

What is the samurai spirit? :Samurai Spirit Tourism in Fukushima Prefecture

My quest was simple, escape the incessant noise and constant attention grabbing craziness that is life in the modern world and especially Tokyo. Don’t get me wrong I love living in Tokyo. It has been my home for 17 years but every once in awhile I need to retreat and gain a fresh perspective. When …(1118 words)

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DeepJapan Editor

Odawara Castle - Worth a Visit! images

Odawara Castle - Worth a Visit!

When you are in Odawara area, the Odawara Castle is worth a visit. It is actually located in a fairly short walk from Odawara Station. You can see it from the station as this castle is built upon a small hill. What I liked most is a beautiful red bridge leading across the moat into the castle g…(269 words)

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EmiOnishi

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum images

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum

Japan is synonymous with master sword-making. This status has been cultivated through popular culture with the myriad of samurai and ninja movies that have been made over the years. While Hollywood often focuses on the fanciful side of the Japanese sword, within Japanese popular culture it tends to…(307 words)

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Kenji

Japan's Sengakuji Temple and the 47 Famous Samurai (Part 1) images

Japan's Sengakuji Temple and the 47 Famous Samurai (Part 1)

Have you heard of “Chushingura” or the legacy of the Forty-Seven Ronin?The image of elegant Samurai, a picture of honor and integrity; this is the path of the “Bushi” or warrior. “Bushi-do” literally means “Warrior-path” with “do” the Chinese Character for “Path”.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v…(387 words)

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Experience Zen images

Experience Zen

People feel different things when they hear the word “Zen.” It can conjure images of rock gardens, meditating monks, or spiritual Nirvana. Zen(禅) has influenced and can be found in many of the things we find around us daily. The meaning of zen varies with different schools of practice, but a good …(227 words)

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Kintaro-man

Hakuhinkan ginza shop, vstone robot shop are good places to collect souvenirs for kids images

Hakuhinkan ginza shop, vstone robot shop are good places to collect souvenirs for kids

Hakuhinkan Ginza - http://www.hakuhinkan.co.jp/guide_en.html is a place to visit for sure. Here you can find lots of toys, puzzles, gadgets from Japan that will surely be liked by kids from any country. Its an awesome place. Vstone - kids robots building place - http://www.vstone.co.jp/english/…(121 words)

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suku

One of the best sword museums and sword artisans communities can be found in Okayama Prefecture images

One of the best sword museums and sword artisans communities can be found in Okayama Prefecture

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum and Craft Center is located in Setouchi city, Okayama Prefecture. Just a short train ride from Okayama station to Osafune station and a 10 minute taxi ride for 500yen to the museum. You can walk to the museum (it takes about 25 minutes) but if you are unfamiliar with gett…(218 words)

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JudithMikami

Japan's Sengakuji and the 47 Famous Samurai (Part 4) images

Japan's Sengakuji and the 47 Famous Samurai (Part 4)

One figure stands out among the line of Samurai statues standing quietly behind protective glass in the Sengakuji Temple Museum. It was chilly in the stark room but the items behind the glass caught my heart and instilled a warmth of pride even though I am not Japanese and I don't really know the f…(995 words)

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One of the Most Ancient and Interesting Bridges in Japan images

One of the Most Ancient and Interesting Bridges in Japan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeL_cyyKVeMThis is a place steeped in history, pulsing with riveting stories of banished Samurai, castles and the Iwakuni Han. Home to Japan’s naval air force and the US Marines, Iwakuni is where the US and Japan work together to try and keep this part of the wor…(599 words)

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Wear a kimono and transform into a person from Japan’s Edo period images

Wear a kimono and transform into a person from Japan’s Edo period

The Edo period is a familiar historical time period for those who are interested in Japanese history. The Edo period began in the year 1603 and came to an end in the year 1868. The samurai and ninja were prevalent and flourished in Japan during this time period. Tokugawa Ieyasu formed the shogu…(318 words)

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DeepJapan Editor

Five Rings images

Five Rings

If you are generally interested in Japanese samurai warriors, it is imperative to know about the most famous one: Musashi Miyamoto. Miyamoto was actually a masterless samurai, but in both legend and reality, is credited with the most victories in duels against other samurai.He wrote a book, whi…(110 words)

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KurtisW

Fun Children Activities in Japan, Learn Martial Arts images

Fun Children Activities in Japan, Learn Martial Arts

Bushido refers to the samurai way of life, the "yamato damashii" or the samurai spirit. It is a general attitude towards life including things like respecting hierarchal relationships, putting great emphasis on loyalty, and dying with honor. Since samurai don't exist anymore, its difficult to see o…(575 words)

GenS image

GenS

Novelty in the modern day images

Novelty in the modern day

Japanese swords (nihonto) have been used by Japanese warriors since very far back into the first millennium. The modern day "katana" was actually a more well developed blade that came into popular usage around the 12th century. It was from then that the blade began to have a few changes to length a…(181 words)

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KurtisW

Why Japanese people have been able to live close with nature. images

Why Japanese people have been able to live close with nature.

If you go to a Ryokan a traditional Japanese hotel.I'm always amazed how Japanese people use small ponds, trees, plants to make space so as it feels more open then it really is.The Japanese believe so called gods live in many things.They put their hands together and bow to long living trees…(244 words)

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Yuuki I

Making one's departure images

Making one's departure

Okuribito isn't exactly a Jidaigeki film, but since many samurai are sent to their great reward in the big castle in the sky Okuribito can be remotely related. In any case, it's an excellent film and if you haven't seen it you should. Watching it will give you a better understanding of the Japanese…(144 words)

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Joe Peters

Edo Tokyo Museum/Edo Tokyo Hakubutsukan images

Edo Tokyo Museum/Edo Tokyo Hakubutsukan

If you are really interested in Japan culture and the way things used to be and how people lived in Tokyo, then you must put this on your list of places to visit while in Tokyo. You will find original and replicated exhibits which are built to scale. You will see models painstakingly built to sca…(160 words)

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Kevin

Traditional TV Dramas Jidaigeki - Mito Koomon (Mito Mitsukuniko) images

Traditional TV Dramas Jidaigeki - Mito Koomon (Mito Mitsukuniko)

Jidaigeki and Traditional Japan Mito Koomon (AKA - Tokugawa Mitsukuni)This past weekend, I decided to take a trip to a place call Mito city located in Ibaraki prefecture, north – north - east of Tokyo and with a train, it takes a little over an hour with rapid express or bit more than 2 hours w…(469 words)

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AustinA

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum images

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum

I studied ancient Greek when I was in college and although fascinating, it was hard to use phrases like, "the donkey pulls my cart" in everyday conversation. Sword making is an ancient tradition in Japan and as with ancient Greek, I was curious as to whether it held some utility in today's society.…(403 words)

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Kenji

Japan's Sengakuji and the 47 Famous Samurai (Part 3) images

Japan's Sengakuji and the 47 Famous Samurai (Part 3)

A quick read-up on the story of the 47 Ronin who avenged their Lord will give the pertinent details on how the plan was executed and how the Ronin successfully found and exacted revenge on Kira Yoshinaka one snowy morning in Tokyo. He desperately begged for mercy from the Ako Clan members and was u…(1225 words)

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If you come to Japan, let's watch a movie! images

If you come to Japan, let's watch a movie!

In Japan, there are a lot of movies that are not screened overseas.Overseas, Japan's movie hero is samurai and ninja?In Japan until now, more than a ninja and samuraiUnique hero or heroine has been drawn in the movie.High school girl fight with a machine gun, story,Love story of a g…(159 words)

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Siteseeing

Use a sword to know the soul of Old Japan images

Use a sword to know the soul of Old Japan

Kendo is cool, you'll learn how to use a sword without getting hurt.You'll get a feel of the Samurai!But that's not all, and knowing how to use the sword is not the point.Kendo is Budo, you meditate before a session and also after a session.You bow before a match, and you bow after a matc…(169 words)

Yuuki I image

Yuuki I

Although a little bit far from Tokyo actually, I would like to recommend Kamakura City. images

Although a little bit far from Tokyo actually, I would like to recommend Kamakura City.

Although a little bit far from Tokyo actually, I would like to recommend Kamakura City, Home of Samurai. The City is a very historical place where Japan's first samurai government was established at the end of twelfth century. You will probably enjoy Rickshaws nearby the historical place, Tsuruga…(100 words)

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yiino