History Main / Samurai

25th Oct '16 11:56:01 AM DouglasFir
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* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' finally got around to using a samurai theme in 2009 with ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger''.
** ''Shinkenger'' inevietably got its American counterpart as ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai''; but even before then, ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' had a Green Samurai Ranger, even though the ''Sentai'' character he was based on was a ninja rather than a samurai.
** In ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' there was a MonsterOfTheWeek called the Samurai Fanman, who likely fit the Trope InNameOnly.

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* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** ''Sentai''
finally got around to using a samurai theme in 2009 with ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger''.
**
''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger''. ''Shinkenger'' inevietably got its American counterpart as ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai''; but even ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai''.
** Even
before then, ''Samurai'', ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' had a Green Samurai Ranger, even though the ''Sentai'' character he was based on was a ninja rather than a samurai.
** In ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' there was a MonsterOfTheWeek called the Samurai Fanman, who likely fit the Trope InNameOnly. InNameOnly.
** The Gao Warriors, the Gaorangers' ancient predecessors from ''Series/HyakujuuSentaiGaoranger'', are samurai-themed warriors (their ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce'' counterparts are more like [[SettingUpdate Western-style knights]]). Also, one of the monsters of the week in both series was a samurai monster.
15th Oct '16 2:21:44 AM VutherA
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Members of the feudal military class, they had considerable social status, and after the end of the 16th century until the mid-19th century they were the only Japanese legally allowed to own swords (with the exception of swords having blades less than 24 inches, which were legally considered ''wakizashi'' and legal for non-samurai to own), causing wearing both a long and short sword (called the "daishō", literally "big-little") to become a symbol of the samurai.

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\n[[caption-width-right:350:"Bushido is realized in the presence of death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. There is no other reasoning." - Yamamoto Tsunetomo, paraphrased]]

Members of the feudal military class, they had considerable social status, and after the end of the 16th century until the mid-19th century they were the only Japanese legally allowed to own swords (with the exception of swords having blades less than 24 inches, which were legally considered ''wakizashi'' and legal for non-samurai to own), causing wearing both a long and short sword (called the "daishō", ''daishō'', literally "big-little") to become a symbol of the samurai.



Not to be confused with the CyberPunk "StreetSamurai" character type. A more modern take is the CorporateSamurai, who takes the general ethos of the samurai and applies it to a modern setting. The DistaffCounterpart is YamatoNadeshiko, a Japanese woman expected to be loyal, respectable and capable of fighting.

See also JidaiGeki. You were probably expecting their iconic "katana" swords to get a mention around here, so for that, see the page KatanasAreJustBetter (and don't forget not EveryJapaneseSwordIsAKatana). JapaneseSpirit also incorporates a lot of old samurai tropes and virtues into modern manga.

to:

Not to be confused with the CyberPunk "StreetSamurai" character type. A more modern take is the CorporateSamurai, who takes the general ethos of the samurai and applies it to a modern setting. Speaking of which, those two character types definitely got made because EverythingsBetterWithSamurai. The DistaffCounterpart is YamatoNadeshiko, a Japanese woman expected to be loyal, respectable and capable of fighting.

See also JidaiGeki. You were probably expecting their iconic "katana" ''katana'' swords to get a mention around here, so for that, see the page KatanasAreJustBetter (and don't forget not EveryJapaneseSwordIsAKatana). JapaneseSpirit also incorporates a lot of old samurai tropes and virtues into modern manga.
15th Oct '16 1:56:26 AM VutherA
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Members of the feudal military class, they had considerable social status, and after the end of the 16th century until the mid-19th century they were the only Japanese legally allowed to own swords (with the exception of swords having blades less than 24 inches, which were legally considered ''wakizashi'' and legal for non-samurai to own).

Theoretically, samurai were supposed to follow the ''bushido'' code of honor, which stressed loyalty to one's master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior. However, the degree to which individual samurai actually adhered to ''bushido'' (which as a formal concept may be NewerThanTheyThink, according to historians) varied about as much as the degree to which individual knights in Europe adhered to the code of chivalry -- which is to say, you could find everything from bandits in armor to saints of the battlefield. Although women could be and frequently were warriors, the social and military rules for them were somewhat different than for men (and the word samurai itself, being inherently linguistically masculine, was/is not technically used for females).

to:

Members of the feudal military class, they had considerable social status, and after the end of the 16th century until the mid-19th century they were the only Japanese legally allowed to own swords (with the exception of swords having blades less than 24 inches, which were legally considered ''wakizashi'' and legal for non-samurai to own).

own), causing wearing both a long and short sword (called the "daishō", literally "big-little") to become a symbol of the samurai.

Theoretically, samurai were supposed to follow the ''bushido'' code of honor, which stressed loyalty to one's master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior. However, the degree to which individual samurai actually adhered to ''bushido'' (which as a formal concept may be NewerThanTheyThink, according to historians) historians, though patterns and traditions in common with the concept certainly existed throughout the centuries) varied about as much as the degree to which individual knights in Europe adhered to the code of chivalry -- which is to say, you could find everything from bandits in armor to saints of the battlefield. Although women could be and frequently were warriors, the social and military rules for them were somewhat different than for men (and the word samurai itself, being inherently linguistically masculine, was/is not technically used for females).



Samurai are popular heroes in period stories, and no few {{anime}} feature them. Such heroes, naturally enough, tend to be paragons. Outright subversions tend to be for specific characters and even then usually criticizing the upper class as a whole. Samurai and their code of ethics were featured heavily in Japanese military propaganda during the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII early twentieth century]]. For [[WarIsHell obvious reasons]], they are much less popular in [[UsefulNotes/SouthKorea certain Asian countries]].

When samurai are presented negatively, expect them to be wearing their [[TinTyrant full armor, including an elaborately designed and intimidating helmet.]] When they're being presented as paragons, expect them to at least be [[HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic helmet-less]], or sometimes wearing nothing but a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakama Hakama]]. Speaking of samurai armor, it was usually made of leather-backed iron scales laced with silk, or later on, iron or steel lames riveted together. While it was often coated with lacquer to prevent moisture from rusting the metal, [[DeadUnicornTrope it was never made of wood like some sources claim]].

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Samurai are popular heroes in period stories, and no few {{anime}} feature them. Such heroes, naturally enough, tend to be paragons. Outright subversions tend to be for specific characters and even then usually criticizing the upper class as a whole. Samurai and their code of ethics were featured heavily [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun in Japanese military propaganda propaganda]] during the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII early twentieth century]]. For [[WarIsHell obvious reasons]], they are much less popular in [[UsefulNotes/SouthKorea certain Asian countries]].

When samurai are presented negatively, expect them to be wearing their [[TinTyrant full armor, including an elaborately designed and intimidating helmet.]] When they're being presented as paragons, expect them to at least be [[HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic helmet-less]], or sometimes [[ArmorIsUseless wearing nothing but but]] a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakama Hakama]]. {{Ronin}} in particular probably aren't going to be armored and maybe be visually contrasted to armored samurai - though what with {{Ronin}} tending to be WalkingTheEarth, it's pretty logical they aren't going to be able to hauling full armor around. Speaking of samurai armor, it was usually made of leather-backed iron scales laced with silk, or later on, iron or steel lames riveted together. While it was often coated with lacquer to prevent moisture from rusting the metal, [[DeadUnicornTrope it was never made of wood like some sources claim]].



See also JidaiGeki. JapaneseSpirit also incorporates a lot of old samurai tropes and virtues into modern manga.

to:

See also JidaiGeki. You were probably expecting their iconic "katana" swords to get a mention around here, so for that, see the page KatanasAreJustBetter (and don't forget not EveryJapaneseSwordIsAKatana). JapaneseSpirit also incorporates a lot of old samurai tropes and virtues into modern manga.
3rd Oct '16 1:37:24 PM VutherA
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A popular misconception holds that the samurai were the counter-culture to the {{ninja}}; that is, whereas samurai tend to came from the upper classes and were [[KnightInShiningArmor honorable warriors who fight face to face and use no "dirty" tricks]], ninjas tend to be from the lower classes, were skilled at [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty unorthodox warfare]] and would not hesitate to use backstabbing, poison, or spying to gain the upper hand. This is commonly seen in works featuring ninjas, [[SamuraiInNinjaTown in which samurai and ninja were either depicted as mortal enemies, or ninjas being mercenaries hired by the samurai to do the unsavory wetwork honorable samurai would not do]]. However, the aforementioned depiction is not historically accurate. In RealLife, while some ninjas were mercenaries, most ninjas were actually samurai themselves. The idea that the ninja were something separate from the rest of Japanese society came about during the Edo period (a 250 year long period of ''peace''), after Tokugawa Ieyasu became shogun and unified the country. Edo-period samurai started assuming the values of the court-aristocracy, while simultaneously resurrecting centuries-disused aspects of the samurai honor code from before the Mongol invasion, and didn't like to talk about ''actual'' warfare--they also pretended they were primarily swordsmen, while the main role of the samurai was actually {{Horse Archer}}s (and warfare in the century before the Edo Period involved extensive use of gunpowder weapons, another useful implement of war the samurai distanced themselves from during the Edo Period). Many modern historians believe the entire concept of ninjas being the counter-culture to the samurai was invented by Edo-period novelists to avoid showing recently gentrified samurai involved in anything remotely dishonorable.

to:

A popular misconception holds that the samurai were the counter-culture to the {{ninja}}; that is, whereas samurai tend to came from the upper classes and were [[KnightInShiningArmor honorable warriors who fight face to face and use no "dirty" tricks]], ninjas tend to be from the lower classes, were skilled at [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty unorthodox warfare]] and would not hesitate to use backstabbing, poison, or spying to gain the upper hand. This is commonly seen in works featuring ninjas, [[SamuraiInNinjaTown in which samurai and ninja were either depicted as mortal enemies, or ninjas being mercenaries hired by the samurai to do the unsavory wetwork honorable samurai would not do]]. However, the aforementioned depiction is not historically accurate. In RealLife, while some ninjas were mercenaries, most ninjas were actually samurai themselves. The idea that the ninja were something separate from the rest of Japanese society came about during the Edo period (a 250 year long period of ''peace''), after Tokugawa Ieyasu became shogun and unified the country. Edo-period samurai started assuming the values of the court-aristocracy, while simultaneously resurrecting centuries-disused aspects of the samurai honor code from before the Mongol invasion, and didn't like to talk about ''actual'' warfare--they also pretended they were primarily swordsmen, while the main role roles of the samurai was in war were actually {{Horse Archer}}s Archer}}s, archers and spearmen (and warfare in the century before the Edo Period involved extensive use of gunpowder weapons, another useful implement of war the samurai distanced themselves from during the Edo Period). Many modern historians believe the entire concept of ninjas being the counter-culture to the samurai was invented by Edo-period novelists to avoid showing recently gentrified samurai involved in anything remotely dishonorable.



** ''Film/SevenSamurai'', which spawned a SciFi {{anime}} based off it, ''Anime/SamuraiSeven''. Also, ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'' was a ForeignRemake of it.

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** ''Film/SevenSamurai'', ''Film/SevenSamurai'' (and noticeably has one of the titular characters [[spoiler:who actually isn't a samurai]] rail against the feudalism system that the samurai enforce rather than simply treat them as paragons and heroes), which spawned a SciFi {{anime}} based off it, ''Anime/SamuraiSeven''. Also, ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'' was a ForeignRemake of it.
28th Sep '16 1:43:58 PM Basara-kun
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Added DiffLines:

* As the name implies, ''VideoGame/SengokuAce'' series is based on the Sengoku Era with {{Magic}} and {{Steampunk}} elements. In this games, the Samurai you can choose are Ayin in ''Sengoku Ace'' and the 2 {{sequel}}s (who also appears in other Creator/{{Psikyo}}'s games), Shoumaru and Hagane in ''Sengoku Blade'', and Masamitsu in ''Sengoku Cannon''. Also, various villains of the series are Samurai as well, like Shoumaru's father in ''Blade''.
8th Aug '16 12:42:06 AM Mhazard
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* ''{{Vocaloid}}'': Gackupo ({{Gackt}}) is portrayed as a stereotypical samurai, complete with [[KatanasAreJustBetter a katana]].

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* ''{{Vocaloid}}'': ''Toys/{{Revoltech}}'': There's the [[DemBones Skeleton Samurai]] in the Takeya series.
* ''Music/{{Vocaloid}}'':
Gackupo ({{Gackt}}) is portrayed as a stereotypical samurai, complete with [[KatanasAreJustBetter a katana]].
19th Jul '16 12:42:15 PM Gamermaster
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** Signum has a lot of samurai-like qualities despite Ancient Belka being closer in line with Medieval Europe. Levi the Slasher even calls her "Bushido".
** Micaiah Chevelle of ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid''

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** Signum has a lot of samurai-like qualities (like her loyalty to Hayate and being TheStoic) despite Ancient Belka being closer in line with Medieval Europe. Levi the Slasher even calls her "Bushido".
** Micaiah Chevelle has a {{Katana|sAreJustBetter}} Intelligent Device (one of ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid''the few that speaks Japanese instead of German or English), and her Barrier Jacket resembles a Kendo uniform.
19th Jul '16 12:34:17 PM Gamermaster
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* Micaiah Chevelle of ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid''

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* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''
** Signum has a lot of samurai-like qualities despite Ancient Belka being closer in line with Medieval Europe. Levi the Slasher even calls her "Bushido".
**
Micaiah Chevelle of ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid''''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid''
17th Jun '16 8:27:17 PM jormis29
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* ''TableTopGames/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' plays the trope ''very'' straight, and actually gets a fair number of the societal details right as well - although Bushido is a somewhat [[SeriousBusiness bigger deal]] than it was in real life, primarily for dramatic purposes.
* In ''TableTopGames/{{Pathfinder}}'', the samurai is a sub-class of the [[KnightInShiningArmor cavalier]]. Ironically, despite the fact that the samurai is perhaps an iconic Lawful-requiring class, the Pathfinder samurai has no alignment restriction, nor does its parent the cavalier. This is particularly noteworthy when contrasted with D&D, where they both had to be Lawful, and especially since Pathfinder does retain many of the classic alignment-restrictions on classes (ThePaladin must be LawfulGood, bards and barbarians must be Chaotic, druids must be Neutral, monks must be Lawful).

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* ''TableTopGames/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' plays the trope ''very'' straight, and actually gets a fair number of the societal details right as well - although Bushido is a somewhat [[SeriousBusiness bigger deal]] than it was in real life, primarily for dramatic purposes.
* In ''TableTopGames/{{Pathfinder}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'', the samurai is a sub-class of the [[KnightInShiningArmor cavalier]]. Ironically, despite the fact that the samurai is perhaps an iconic Lawful-requiring class, the Pathfinder samurai has no alignment restriction, nor does its parent the cavalier. This is particularly noteworthy when contrasted with D&D, where they both had to be Lawful, and especially since Pathfinder does retain many of the classic alignment-restrictions on classes (ThePaladin must be LawfulGood, bards and barbarians must be Chaotic, druids must be Neutral, monks must be Lawful).
22nd May '16 6:19:55 AM MikeD
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One thing you won't hear a lot about in samurai fiction is the practice of ''shudo'', which means "[[{{Shotacon}} the way of the young.]]" ''Shudo'' was a form of pederasty that was commonly practiced by the samurai class, and was considered a very high and noble form of love. The practice fell out of favor during the Meiji Restoration due to cultural influence from Europe (which preferred its boys to be prostitutes - facilitating plausible deniability - rather than publicly-acknowledged lovers), and has often been the victim of omission and whitewashing in both fiction and historical accounts, though it occasionally crops up in the YaoiGenre.

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One thing you won't hear a lot about in samurai fiction is the practice of ''shudo'', which means "[[{{Shotacon}} the way of the young.]]" ''Shudo'' was a form of pederasty that was commonly practiced by the samurai class, and was considered a very high and noble form of love. The practice fell out of favor during the Meiji Restoration due to cultural influence from Europe (which preferred its boys to be prostitutes - facilitating plausible deniability - rather than publicly-acknowledged lovers), and lovers). ''Shudo'' has often been the victim of omission and whitewashing in both fiction and historical accounts, though it occasionally crops up in the YaoiGenre.
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