The Japanese warrior, known as the samurai, has played a significant role in Japan's history and culture throughout the centuries. Their ancestors can be traced back to as far as can be remembered. Some stories have become mysterious legends handed down over the centuries. In this report you will learn who the samurai were, their origins as we know them, how they lived and fought and their evolution to today. It will be clear why the samurai stand out as one of the most famous group of warriors of all times.
Looking back in time, the first Japanese battles recorded are in the first few centuries AD. At this time Japanese warriors went across the sea to Korea to help one kingdom battling two rival kingdoms. Four hundred men set out
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The movements were based on strategies of attack, defense, and counterattack" (Gaskin & Hawkins 73). However, the only way these young samurais would ever gain experience is to take part in actual battle. So the sons of the samurai would follow their fathers into battle to test their newly learned fighting techniques. The samurai were also known for having a psychic awareness of the world around them in addition to their great skill. This is something practiced from an early age as well. An example of this keen awareness is seen in the story of three brothers told by their father. The father decided to test the ability of his three sons. He placed a vase on top a door so that it would fall when someone entered. The youngest son entered the room and he cut the vase in half with his sword before it hit the ground. The father's response was, "This son has a long way to go." Then he called for his middle son, this son caught the vase right above his head. This time his father's response was that, "he is strong and improving but still has much to learn." Finally, the oldest was called into the room, when he reaches for the door he immediately feels the weight of the vase. He slides the door open a crack and catches the vase and walks in. His father replies, "This son is doing well." (Gaskin & Hawkins 75). Their goal for perfections and their training and dedication were endless.
The samurai is famous for