Essential Knowledge – Samurai
Date : December 28, 2020
By Michael Mandaville


I love Samurai movies because they are so unique culturally, allowing me to see inside an amazing era of Japan’s  rHistory.  I remember seeing the ”Lone Wolf and Cub” series at the Fox Venice theater in West Los Angeles a long time ago.   Recently, I saw the Mandalorian and noted the similarity to my son and his friends.  And lo and behold, here was proof that I was on the right track.

Samurai are the fierce warriors of the Japanese feudal era.   I looked up Samurai on Wikipedia and the entry is quite excellent.  The entry provides not only solid historical and cultural references but warfare references too on the martial arts criteria and battle formations.

Samurai (/ˈsæmʊraɪ/) were the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan from the 12th century to their abolition in the 1870s. They were the well-paid retainers of the daimyo (the great feudal landholders). They had high prestige and special privileges such as wearing two swords. They cultivated the bushido codes of martial virtues, indifference to pain, and unflinching loyalty, engaging in many local battles. During the peaceful Edo era (1603 to 1868) they became the stewards and chamberlains of the daimyo estates, gaining managerial experience and education. In the 1870s samurai families comprised 5% of the population. The Meiji Revolution ended their feudal roles, and they moved into professional and entrepreneurial roles. Their memory and weaponry remain prominent in Japanese popular culture.

The greatest Samurai Films ranked according to IMDB are: