Samurai Swords – The Japanese Sword and Its Significance in History
Samurai are Japan’s hereditary military aristocracy and officer caste from the late 12th Century to their extinction in the 18th Century. They were initially the most well-organized retainers of the feudal daimyos. They typically had high social status and special privileges including wearing two knives in their belt. Samurai were called to serve as viceroy or governor in each area where they established bases. These were their only form of uniform and they were also known as the blue-clad warriors.
Samurai were known for their fierce and cruel behavior towards all others.
Though they ruled for centuries, they were only permitted to wear blue garb for defense purposes. Some Samurai were allowed to wear white so they could blend into the conquered civilian population and blend in with the new lifestyle of Japan after the Meiji Period. The Samurai were famous for their ability to fight with honor and die gloriously.
Historically, Japan’s rise to greatness was ignited by the samurai.
Japan’s rise to greatness began when the samurai got involved in politics and helped to draft a constitution for the new Japan. This gave way to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. With the coming of this new Japan, the role of samurai changed from being warriors to advisers, cabinet members, and even religious leaders. In the present day, samurai swords are popularly seen in the country’s history books, common homes, and gardens.
The role of samurai changed during the feudal era.
Samurai were no longer warriors but clerks. This change marked a drastic change from their traditional roles. The role of the samurai then was limited to defending the borders of Japan against foreign invasion. Samurai were no longer allowed any participation in politics or religion, and their lives span was drastically decreased during the reign of Meiji. As a result, the number of samurai that fought in defense of Japan decreased significantly during the turbulent period.
As Japan began to slowly rebuild itself after the Meiji Period
the number of samurai began to increase once again and as a result, their role in society and the institution of Japan continued to be heavily regulated. Samurai were still allowed to participate in battle, but their role was greatly reduced. Samurai swords were never used in battle for the same reason that they were prohibited from carrying them in battles – they were too easily damaged.
During the rule of Meiji, the Samurai were allowed to wear kimono
but their dress remained traditional. They were also allowed to preserve their unique culture, and there are many stories of them taking part in Samurai dance and traditions. However, as the years passed and the Samurai gradually became a mundane and forgotten class, they became extinct in Japan. There is yet to be any evidence of a Samurai being killed in a battle since 1615, and since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the Samurai have been largely forgotten.