Common Myths About the Samurai That You Didn’t Know You Wanted to Know.

In Which, I Delve into a Common Misconception.

  1. Japan is not the land of the Samurai. “Most” statistics estimate that Japan’s overall populations were composed of 5-10% Samurai. What this means is that the majority of today’s Japanese population are probably descended from farmers or some other trade.
  2. The katana was not a ‘go-to’ weapon for most samurai. During the “warring states” period, 1467-1573, most samurai relied on bow and arrow and other pole-based weapons (spears, pole-axes, etc.). This is also how most samurai became ‘old’.
  3. There seems to be a huge amount of nebulousness when it comes to the amount of swords a samurai could wear. During the 1500’s, anyone could wear two swords. Towards the end of that century is when the country’s leaders tried to disarm the population in order to cut off any potential rebellions. Realizing this was futile, the governing bodies gave the swords back. After doing so, the Samurai were allowed to wear two swords, so that they were easily identifiable to the rest of Japan.
  4. Samurai, commonly did not fight fair. It was perfectly acceptable for these noble warriors to incite riots, engage in gang fights, and to generally drop everything if they could take revenge on someone who had wronged them.

Cummins, Anthony. (2015). Samurai and Ninja. Vermont: Tuttle Publishing. 1st ed.

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