A Zen warrior who captured the imagination of many, the samurai were a part of the military nobility of feudal Japan. Serving clans and their lords, they were trained in military tactics and armed combat, and their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Here are a few things you might not know about these legendary fighters.
30. Live by the Code
The samurai followed a code known as bushido, which means “the way of the warrior.” Today, we follow a similar code called “cul-de-sac of the couch potato.” It’s basically the same. Just with more Doritos.
29. Die by the Code
If a samurai failed to follow the bushido code or was captured by the enemy, they were expected to commit ritual suicide in a process known as seppuku that involved self-disembowelment by his own hand and then decapitation by an attendant. This was considered an extremely honorable, albeit a rather messy way to die.
Although many people believe that samurai were a small, elite warrior force like Navy SEALS, they were, in fact, an entire social class and, at the peak of their power, up to 10% of Japan’s population were samurai. So much for exclusivity.
27. The Clothes Make the Samurai
Samurai were style-makers, influencing the fashion of the era. Although their clothing was elaborate, every aspect of it was designed to fit their needs as warriors. Their regular outfit consisted of wide hakama trousers and a kimono or a hitatare, a two-part vest which left the arms free and could quickly be removed in case of a surprise attack. The samurai fashion sense was just as sharp as their swords.
26. The Hair Up There
The most distinctive part of samurai fashion was the topknot hairstyle. That being said, in todays world, wearing a man bun does not make you a samurai.
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