“Samurai” is the name that comes to mind when people think about the elite warriors, who ruled Japan for nearly 700 years from 1185 to 1867. The brave heroes not only are among typical symbols of this country but also have appeared in a series of famous movies, hitting worldwide cinemas such as “The Seven Samurai”, “Throne of Blood”, “The Last Samurai” and etc.
On the battlefield, the samurai fought against their enemies with cannon, muskets, swords, lances, bows and arrows. Particularly, they would commit suicide rather than grow old with dishonor if being defeated.
Now, let's take a look at the legendary warriors in incredible pictures.
The mask and helmet of a samurai are showcased at the Osaka Castle Museum
Weekend samurai tangle at a battle reenactment along the Ara River in Yorii, the site in a clash between 50,000 armored warriors in 1590
A bridge leads to the mist-veiled castle in Matsumoto, one of the best preserved fortresses from the samurai’s reign
A strong contestant with samurai intensity draws his bow during a kyudo, also called archery, competition in Tokyo
A kabuki performance about a story of the samurai is delivered at the Hikiyama Festival in Nagahama. The Kabuki is the Japan’s classical dance-drama emerging in the early 1600s as entertainment for commoners
A seven-foot-long bow, a favored weapon of early samurai, is taken shaped with 30-year-old bamboo by Shibata Kanjuro in Kyoto. The man is the 21st generation bowmaker
Participants in medieval hunting outfits attend yabusame, or mounted archery, event in Nikko
Two men practice sword fighting with bamboo staves. Without wars, many samurai come back to martial arts including kendo
With their face hidden, members of the Komuso Society walk in Tokyo and play bamboo flutes as a form of begging adopted by masterless samurai called ronin
With bamboo lances and plastic swords, the townsmen run across a soccer field in Yonezawa during a festival fighting
“To die like a cherry blossom.” is a statement that associates with the samurai. The flowers fall at the peak of their beauties
Today, becoming a samurai costs only a hundred dollars for rented gear and the courage to appeal in public