Saturday, June 1, 2019
The Samurais, The Ultimate Stoics :: essays research papers
The Samurais, The Ultimate StoicsFor seven centuries, the Samurai were Japans warrior class. As a classof warriors and knights, they dominated society in feudal Japan. Their code or Way of the warrior, bushido(History of the Samurai-www),called for a lifespan ofduty, discipline and self control, on and as well as off the battlefield(History of the World-Houghton Mifflin Company- Boston288). His the true andbravery to his lord was much more important than his loyalty to his friends,family and even their emperor. Their philosophy was one of freedom fromfear(World Surfari-www), and for these reasons, The Samurai were the ultimatestoic warriors.The word samurai was derived from the Japanese word for service,saburau(Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1993), for they served their mastersfaithfully. They would die if necessary for them. The Daimyo or feudallandowners used the samurai to protect their land and to expand their rights tomore land. The Samurai would transcend their fear of death , this made them thestoic warriors that they were.As experts in fighting on horseback as well as on the ground they woretwo swords. This was called Daisho(World Surfari-www). The long sword wascalled the daito-katena(Ibid.). It was more than twenty cardinal inches long. Theshorter sword was called shoto wakizashi. It was between twelve to twenty fourinches(Ibid.). Their swords were the souls of the worship. A good sword wastougher and sharper. The swords were tested before they were used by thesamurai. The sword tester used the new blades to cut through corpses andbodies of condemned criminals.(World Surfari-www) The test results were beat onthe nakago, the small metal piece on the sword blade or handle(Ibid.). Anotherweapon, the nagita, was used by a foot soldier on a horseman. The foot soldierwould cut. the tendons of the horse and disembowel them.The samurai went from military retainers, to military aristocrats, tomilitary rulers(Japan, Richard Storry18) The medieval samurai we re oftenilliterate, rural, landowners who farmed in-between battles. They wereassassins of the night and at the same time keepers of peace. The samurai wouldspend his life perfecting his military skills.Honor was one of the most important things to a samurai. If a samuraifelt dishonored in any way he would commit seppuku. Seppuku means ritualsuicide (Japan, Cultures of the World- Rex Shelley104). It is also calledhara-kiri which means belly-slitting. This method of self-disembowelment wasthe only honorable form of death for a disgraced dreadful or a samurai.