japanese samurai swords
Em S asked:

All I know about the Sumurai is that they were Japanese warriors who used swords and fought the Romans.

I’d like to know…What were they fighting for? What types of fighting abilities did they have? What types of weapons did they use, and what made their weapons special? What happened to the Sumarai?

I would also appreciate it if you can recommend a Sumurai movie, book, web-site, or Japanese manga/anime that would give me a better understanding of who they were.
I heard that they fought the Romans…or did they not?

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9 Comments to “In general, who were the Samurai?”

  1. Tucker m says:

    Samurai was a term for the military nobility in pre-industrial Japan. The word “samurai” is derived from the archaic Japanese verb “samorau”, changed to “saburau”, meaning “to serve”; a samurai is the servant of a lord.

    go here-

  2. timmy o' cool says:

    Medieval Japanese warriors who dominated the region. They fought for the lords they served. they had much of the power in Japan. The Samurai were forced to become scholarly and had to give up their warrior ways.

    The Last Samurai movie

  3. pinkyismygirlfriendniluvhur says:

    the best movie on them, however accurate it is, is 7 Samurai

    by Kurusawa

    I only know a little about them

    they were hired to protect their lords or kings usually

    they used swords mostly, they carried a long one and a short one, they were often very skilled hired bodyguards and soldiers

    the metal work on their swords and associated items is some of the best metalwork ever done by humans anywhere, anytime

    I think mostly 100 years ago they were gone

  4. Cister says:

    If you read this article, you will have your questions answered and more:

    Better than cut and paste.

    For movies:


  5. Ipsydoodle says:

    Japanese Samurai fought Romans?

    Someone is pulling your leg – in ancient times, the Japs did not know about the Romans and the Romans did not know about the japs. The Roman Empire did not extend to the Pacific

  6. LodiTX says:

    First of all, some of you knowledge is wrong. The Samurai never fought the Romans, never even met them. Even Alexander didn’t make it that far.

    They were warriors who followed the Bushido code of honor and owed their allegiance to a particular man, later in time called a Shogun, who owed allegiance to the Emperor, if there was one, but basically the Shoguns, or leaders, wielded the power. The fighting came in because the leaders fought each other for power, to be Shogun. They mostly fought with swords, lances, and bows/arrows. They may have had crossbows; I don’t remember. They occasionally blew things up, because they did have gun powder, but didn’t use guns or cannon, I don’t think; as least early on.

    I think the Samurai started in about the 14th century and ended in the 19th, although during WWII Japanese soldiers referred to themselves as Samurai and made a big deal out of the Bushido code to explain their gross mistreatment of prisoners, both civilian and military, and a real Samurai would have wiped them up.

    For a good book to help understand this culture, read Shogun. For a good movie, see Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Shogun was also made into a TV miniseries in the 70s or 80s and is usually available for rental, but the book is better.

  7. Opinionatedkitten says:

    Samurai never fought the Romans. The Roman Empire fell before the dawn of feudal Japan. The Feudal era in Japan ended in the XIXth century.

    Samurai were from the noble class. As such, they received the most thorough military training. They were trained in use of the sword, the spear, the bow, and many other weapons. In the period before the Tokugawa unification, they would be subjected to a feudal lord, who often entered into conflict with one another. After the Tokugawa unification, their role became more and more symbolic.

  8. snaggle_smurf says:

    Rent the movie The Seven Samurai

    They were the same thing as British knights. They served a lord, or major landowner. Big families owned them, they were their private guard force. Just in a Japanese flavor.

    Seriously, rent The Seven Samurai, it’s awesome.

  9. sshueman says:

    there are better movies to watch about the samurai than the last samurai . if you ever get the chance watch the 47 ronin or heaven and earth, the samurai lived by the sword and were particularly touchy about their honor they followed their leader blindly and without question if you have the independent film channel,they usually have samurai movies every saturday morning, check out zatoichi as well

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