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Samurai Cowboy
Konnichiwa, pardner.

But every day there's a new thing comin'
The ways of an Oriental view
The sheriff and his buddies with their samurai swords
You can even hear the music at night
The Doobie Brothers, "China Grove"

Essentially a melding of The Wild West and Feudal Japan, even if the setting also takes place in the future or has Cattle Punk elements.

The earliest association between samurai and gunslinger tropes was probably Akira Kurosawa, who modeled several of his samurai films after American Westerns. Fittingly, several of his films were remade as actual Westerns (e.g. Yojimbo into A Fistful of Dollars, and Seven Samurai into The Magnificent Seven). This helped tie in the close association between these eras.

Also, Ronin and The Gunslinger seem to occupy the same place in the stories of their respective cultures. Both are essentially an updated version of the Knight Errant, drifters with Mysterious Pasts Walking the Earth, dueling rivals, fighting bandits, embodying stoicism and self-reliance, and aspiring to self-discipline, often while struggling with their inner demons.

The similarities between the idealized forms of the Bushido code and the Code of the West are undeniable, as well- Placing honor and duty above all, protecting the weak, killing only when required but unflinchingly doing so when it is, valuing equally intelligence, Heroic Resolve, and physical ability. This makes it only natural that the two characters should begin to blend together in an East-meets-West world. The fact that they're both iconic warrior-types of their respective nations is also a plus.

Note that a cowboy moving to old Japan, or a samurai or kung fu master moving to the Old West, does not count. Such situations often lead to this trope, which is about explicitly blending the two — but not always.

May be a result of wanting to justify the combination of Sword and Gun with Katanas Are Just Better and Revolvers Are Just Better

A Sub-Trope of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot.

Compare Street Samurai, Corporate Samurai, Cyber Ninja, The Gunslinger, Ronin, Sword and Gun, Space Western.

Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Andy, the crazy cowboy from the "Cowboy Funk" episode of Cowboy Bebop decides to become a samurai (complete with katana) at the end of the episode, after Spike beats him.
  • In the Captain Harlock spinoff Gun Frontier, the Old West incarnation of Tochiro is one of these. He shows some traits of this in other entries in the franchise like Cosmo Warrior Zero.
  • GUN×SWORD which takes place on a Space Western planet where cowboys and mecha roam. The protagonist Van is a cowboy who wields a metallic cloth that can turn into a sword, with its hilt looking an awful lot like a gun handle with a trigger included. Plus he pilots an Armor that uses a sword. In addition, his rival uses a gun that looks like a Japanese sword handle, with his two very long magazines kept in his belt, making it look like he's carrying a daisho.
  • The one-off antagonist Rai-Dei the Blade of the Gung-Ho Guns in Trigun is basically a samurai on a Wild West planet. He is treated as outrageous and insane. He dodges bullets. He wears a fringed leather vest with hakama and his katana can fire its blade if necessary. In the manga, he does all of this on rocket skates.
  • Justice from Afro Samurai at first seems like a straight example of The Gunslinger even fighting Afro's father (who is using a katana) to a standstill with two pistols in one of the most badass fights of the series he eventually plays this straight when it is revealed that he has a hidden third arm that wields a katana.
  • Azuma Mutsu's arc from Shura No Toki is arguably this. Azuma, while isn't a samurai or a cowboy, is a Japanese man thrown into a cowboy/frontier setting and ended up mixing characteristics from both sides.

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Music 

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • The Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Zuko Alone," complete with a Showdown at High Noon. Though Zuko uses Chinese-style swords, the effect is the same.
  • Weilding twin katanas as well as a gun, and being an explosives expert and being a lone ranger type, Transformers Prime Wheeljack could well be said to be one of these.
  • Often utilized in Samurai Jack; the title character would often take the role of the Lone Stranger who comes to help a town in need.


Bounty HunterWestern CharactersCircuit Judge
SamuraiBushido IndexSamurai in Ninja Town
PlanimalNinja Pirate Zombie RobotWinged Unicorn
New Old WestThe WesternDawn of the Wild West
Red Steel 2ImageSource/Video GamesSinister Shades

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