The Samurai (侍) was the typical military noble belonging to ancient feudal Japan. The name Samurai comes from the verb "saburau" which means "to serve" precisely to indicate the samurai as "one who serves".
Another term, dating back to the Edo period, to indicate this caste of warriors, perhaps even more so than the samurai, is the word "bushi" which literally means "warrior", a term currently used to indicate the warrior nobility.
The samurai, on the other hand, who did not need any daimyo (ancient feudal lord) because they died in battle or because they had lost the favor of their lord, were called "ronin". The samurai were a cultured caste, because in addition to martial arts, they practiced Zen arts such as cha no yu or shodo (art of calligraphy).
Over time, then, at the arrival of the Tokugawa era, the samurai lost their value and their military function by simply becoming bureaucrats of the Shogun (equivalent of the General) using their sword only for ceremonies. Finally, with the Meiji renewal, the samurai class was completely abolished to adopt a national army following the Western style. Despite this, the bushido (samurai code of honor) has survived time and is today a set of moral, behavioral, ethical and religious principles for Japanese society.
The word Samurai 侍 originates in the Heian period, when it was still pronounced "saburai" which, as already said, meant "one who serves". Then in the Edo period, "saburai" became "samurai".

However, there are some terms that can be synonymous with samurai and are used depending on several factors:

Buke: indicated one belonging to a military family.
Mononofu: is the most archaic term to indicate the "warrior"
Musha: is the abbreviation for Bugeisha and indicates "the man of martial arts"
Shi: it is the ideogram that is then read in Japanese samurai
Tsuwamono: was the archaic term to indicate the word "soldier" or in any case a brave person.
The samurai used a great variety of weapons. In the Tokugawa period it was believed that the soul of a brave samurai resided in his "katana" (sword) which was entrusted to the samurai only after he turned thirteen.
In fact, at that age the boy who belonged to the military class was given a wakizashi (traditional Japanese short sword) and an adult name, thus officially becoming a samurai. This gave them permission to always carry a sword with them; this ritual lasted until the first half of 1500 when it was completely forbidden to carry weapons.
Another weapon wielded by samurai was the bow: the Japanese bow, if wielded by a samurai, was a very powerful weapon: its size made it possible to shoot arrows with maximum precision at a distance of 100 but also 200 meters. In the 15th century, another very powerful weapon was the spear (yari) which in the hands of the infantrymen became even more effective than a katana.
Bushido is the samurai code of honor. It is a code of conduct and a set of precepts on the way and style of life. In Bushido the rules of discipline, military and moral applied by the samurai are collected: they are rules inspired by the principles of Buddhism and Confucianism then adapted to the caste of warriors. Bushido demands values ​​such as honesty, piety, loyalty, duty and honor and were to be pursued for life. Failing to comply with one of these principles, the warrior was dishonored and forced to atone for this with seppuku or better known in the West as Harakiri.

The principles of Bushido were and are seven:

義, Gi: Honesty and Justice
Be scrupulously honest in your relationship with others, believe in justice that never comes from other people except from yourself. The samurai must never be uncertain about honesty and justice.
勇, Yuu: Heroic Courage
Rise above those who are afraid to act and hide in the shell of not living. A samurai must have heroic courage which is risky and dangerous but allows one to live fully and comprehensively.

仁, Jin: Compassion
Training makes a samurai strong. The samurai must also acquire a power that must be used for the common good. Therefore, he must have compassion and never miss the opportunity to be of help to others and if he does not have the opportunity, the samurai does everything to find one.

礼, Rei: Dear Courtesy
Samurai have no reason to be cruel and don't have to prove their strength. The samurai is kind, even with his enemies and if he doesn't know how to show respect he is considered the worst of warriors. A samurai is not respected for his strength in battle but for his kindness to others.

誠, Makoto or Shin: Complete Sincerity
When a samurai wants to perform an action, it is to be considered already completed, however nothing prevents him from completing the intention of that same action. The samurai does not need to "give a word" or "promise". Talking and acting are the same thing for him.

名誉, Meiyo: Honor
There is only one judge of honor for a samurai: himself. Every action or decision is a consequence, a reflection of what one really is. You can hide from everyone but not from yourself.

忠義, Chugi: Duty and Loyalty
For the samurai, performing an action or expressing something means becoming the owner of that something or that action. He takes full responsibility for it by accepting every possible consequence. The samurai is loyal to those he protects and defends and always remains faithful to them.
The sakura (or cherry tree), today taken as a symbol of all martial arts, was in ancient times adopted by the samurai as an emblem of their belonging warrior class.

The cherry tree for the samurai represents the beauty and transience of life: in the flowering it shows a splendid show in which the samurai reflects the grandeur of his figure as a great warrior but a storm is also enough for all the flowers to fall to the ground exactly like the samurai in battle.

An ancient verse says:

Hana wa sakuragi, hito wa bushi which means among the flowers, the cherry tree, among men, the warrior!
Incredibly, the structure of the original samurai armor hasn't changed much over the centuries. Traditional construction required hundreds of small iron or leather plates (kozane) to be tied with silk or leather ribbons. This construction was later simplified with the use of larger plates riveted to each other or still tied in silk as in the most ancient armors. The iron was often coated with lacquer to prevent rust and this use remained unchanged for six hundred years. Bamboo, contrary to what is often read, was never used for the original samurai armor, being reserved for training armor.
Feudal Japan was structured in regions controlled by a daimyō. Depending on the importance and wealth of this daimyō, there may or might not be a school of gunsmiths specific to the fief. Some types of samurai armor are therefore immediately recognizable as specific to certain areas, but most of those made in the Edo period were produced by independent shops that sold their products in the capital and were bought there by samurai from all over Japan.
Most of the samurai armor we see around date from the Edo period (1615-1867) and were never used for a fight since the last battle that was fought in samurai Japan was that of Sekigahara, in 1600.

However, among the impositions of the shogunate during the Edo period, the most important was certainly the forced residence in Edo, the sankin kotai, an ingenious invention aimed at impoverishing and at the same time controlling their own feudal lords (daimyō). This imposition in fact provided that periodically all the daimyō went to Edo - and did so with expensive and sumptuous processions (daimyō gyoretsu) - to supply the shogunate with soldiers and to leave their families there as hostages. The double residence between the capital and its own fiefdom and the social need to lead a luxurious life during the stay in Edo, therefore led to the emptying of the coffers of the various daimyō, to the benefit - among other things - of a production of samurai armor very elegant, sumptuous and extravagant. This relaxed climate of political stability in fact leads the armor to be an important symbol of social status and no longer a means of defense; for this reason, during the Edo period (1603-1867) the skill of blacksmiths moved more towards aesthetic characteristics than towards functional ones. Starting from the mid-18th century, the splendor of lacquers and colored bindings, the use of chiseled and gilded borders and ornaments on the entire armor and the continuous search for unusual decorations are the true characteristics of the armor of this period. Some gunsmiths then specialized in embossing techniques (uchidashi) producing dô, menpo and kabuto of extraordinary quality. In this period the ô-yoroi and dô-maru of the rich medieval style came back into vogue, with large sodas and complex binding that emphasized the skill of the gunsmith, and some of the most beautiful armor ever made was produced.
In the 19th century, wars are now a very distant memory and although the tendency to imitate ancient models in a luxurious key does not seem to diminish, however, the truly talented gunsmiths begin to disappear, those who were first of all masters in iron working and who knew how to build helmets and masks that were works of art.


This particular type of fan is rigid, has a flat and elongated structure, both round and square, initially built with a large leaf or animal hair. Later improvements were made by the Japanese, using bamboo and paper. The bamboo handle and sunburst support the washi sheet, a type of paper created with natural fibers, which has a good consistency, resistant and translucent, is then glued to the frame.
It was born in China and in the sixth century it spread to Japan, immediately becoming a much loved accessory by Japanese ladies and nobles, combining them with the colors and refinement of their dresses. Used not only to shelter from the summer heat, but also from the icy wind or from prying eyes. In addition, the paper top is used as a canvas, poets and painters delight in showing off their skills.
Often floral backgrounds were drawn that represented nature in bright colors, and over these paintings a poem with elegant strokes was written. The handle could also be decorated, with simple and subtle motifs, painted or engraved. Then replaced by sensu (folding fan), because it is much more comfortable to carry with you, since the uchiwa cannot be folded.
Even today, however, they can be found for sale in Japan, with traditional prints of landscapes or famous people. Through the art of origami there are those who delight in creating uchiwa, customizing them as they wish.
In the beginning it was made with a large leaf and animal hair; later instead of bamboo strips tied together in a radial pattern to form the frame (both round and square), then covered with a sheet of washi paper. Both this and the handle were therefore painted and engraved: in fact, the pastimes of the scholars and artists of the time poured onto it. The uchiwa were in fact meticulously painted taking inspiration mainly from nature: peonies, cherry branches, bamboo canes, cranes, butterflies, crickets, dragonflies, nightingales. Often then they became backgrounds for refined poems. Therefore, the useful (defending oneself from the heat in summer and from the lashes of the wind in winter as well as from prying eyes) was combined with pleasure.
Nowadays, all kinds of them are on sale and reproduce traditional decorative motifs, famous ukiyo-e, portraits of well-known personalities and hanami (fireworks).
A fan still used today is the gunbai, made of wood and sometimes covered with metal plates, the samurai used it to communicate with their troops, today during the sumo fights the Gyoji (referee) uses it to proclaim the winner. A fan still used today is the gunbai, made of wood and sometimes covered with metal plates, the samurai used it to communicate with their troops, today during the sumo fights the Gyoji (referee) uses it to proclaim the winner. A Gunbai or Gunbai Uchiwa (軍 配 団 扇) is a non-folding fan, usually made of wood. It was used in ancient Japan by samurai officers to communicate with their troops. Nowadays, it is used by professional Sumo referees. 
Madara Uchiha was famous during his lifetime for using this fan in battle. Obito Uchiha later used this fan as the legendary Uchiha, before returning it to his ancestor reincarnated during the Fourth Ninja War. It is a large fan with tomoe drawn on it and has a long handle with bandages twisted around the base, like a long chain attached to the base. When Obito started using it, it appeared with a purple tint and a black border, with graves drawn on it, with the chain going into his sleeve. During the Third World War Ninja is seen hanging on a wall inside the cave of the Mountain Cemetery.
Obito predominantly uses it to attack using the chain to guide the fan which he can also use as a shield due to its durability, he was able to block the Super Mini Teriosphere too without receiving any significant damage. Madara uses him both as a shield and as a mace in combination with his Kamatari, and also allows him to use various techniques.


  1. It is said that the color of the cherry blossoms was originally white but that, following the order of an emperor to have the samurai who fell in battle buried under the cherry trees, the petals turned pink for having sucked the blood of those nobles. warriors. Even those who, among the samurai according to their code of honor, decided to commit suicide, it seems they used to do it right under the cherry trees “. The Japanese spring is characterized by the Hanami, the traditional festival of cherry trees in bloom which name derives from “hana” which means “the flowers”, “mi” (miru) which means “to see” hence the literal translation “admire the flowers “, in fact the Japanese in this period can enjoy the beauty of the flowering cherry trees, the sakura. Wonderful valleys in full bloom make the landscape a fairy tale, not for nothing the Hanami festival has ancient traditions, even millenary. There are 60 places famous for their large blooms and within a few days they attract real rivers of people who come to admire the delicacy of these trees. The spectacle of sakura in bloom takes up most of spring and can be admired from early April (in the south of the island of Honshu) until mid-May (in northern Hokkaidō). The party is also an opportunity to get together and have an outdoor picnic based on fresh fish, the famous sushi, accompanied by Japanese beer and sake, to be sipped in the shade of flowering trees. And while drinking under the cherry blossoms, the hope is that a pink petal carried by the wind will plunge into your own cup of sake. During the night the party does not stop, it would be a shame to waste time since the flowering lasts very little, but the party from Hanami becomes Yozakura or “The night of the Cherry”. The sakura that is celebrated does not bear fruit, it is a particular type cultivated solely for its flowers. The beauty of these flowers consists in their eternity, these flowers never wither, the wind scatters them in the skies, disappearing from view still in perfect condition. It is for this reason that the samurai adopted them as a symbol, an eternal youth, without aging, without withering, which is just what they hoped for, that is to have a life that could honorably break (in battle or with seppuku) still in the vigor of the years.
Another version on why the Samurai have adopted the sakura as their symbol, says that it is for their ephemeral beauty, or that when the flowering is at its peak the Japanese already regrets it as it is destined to end very soon, and hence their love for beautiful things that do not last is also born, that passion that makes them fine aesthetes, which grants them the wisdom to enjoy the moment while knowing how close the sunset is, indeed perhaps precisely in function of that. Also for this almost magical characteristic of not withering, for Japanese art and culture, the cherry tree in bloom is the symbol of immortal and perfect beauty, even if so ephemeral. The hometown of Japanese cherry trees is Yoshino, its hills are colored with a warm pale pink: the legend tells that the trees were planted in the 7th century AD, in the Nara period, by the priest En-no-Ozuno, who is said had put a curse on anyone who dared to bring them down. Whatever happened, yamazakura are at the root of hundreds of hybrids subsequently obtained, and have become the Japanese variety par excellence; Empress Jito (645-702) came here to admire its flowering.
Hirosaki Castle is one of the favorite destinations for the party, it is surrounded by 5000 cherry trees, hosts the Cherry Blossom Festival (23 April-5 May) In Tokyo you can visit the Ueno park which, with its thousand trees, is one of the busiest in the city. In Kyoto, the Maruyama park which, with its immense weeping cherry tree, is the favorite destination for hanami parties. In Osaka with the castle park which houses more than 400 cherry trees and the castle lights up at night. In the seventh century, based on the flowering of the cherry trees, the type of harvest was predicted, if the flowering was abundant, then it predicted a good harvest. The tradition began with the upper feudal class, which celebrated under the cherry trees, with an abundance of food and drink. The next century, the working class also began the traditional celebrations. In spring, Japanese cuisine also changes and becomes characteristic. You can taste Dango, a specialty made from rice flour, or Sakura Mochi, a red bean paste wrapped in a cherry leaf.

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