The samurai (or bushi
) were members of the military class of Japanese warriors.
They were men and women highly skilled in martial arts. They fought with a range of weapons, including the bow and arrow, the spear, and hand-to-hand combat, but their most famous weapon and the symbol of their power was the sword.
The samurai lived their lives with the concepts of honour and pride and by the code of Bushido
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Bushido means 'Way of the Warrior' and is a Japanese code of conduct similar to the European concept of chivalry
Bushido is essentially the unwritten code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe within many dojos.
The core tenets of Bushido date from as early as the 12th century and are still in use and respected today in Japan.
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The ninja were the secret agents and assassins of feudal Japan.
Also known as shinobi
('stealers in'), they specialized in assassination, espionage, and unorthodox methods of war.
Their use of stealth tactics led to the development of specialized weapons, such as the nunchaku
, as well as secret martial arts techniques, including wall climbing and concealment.
The origin and martial arts methods remain shrouded in mystery due to a samurai campaign in the mid-1600s to destroy them. The ninja all but disappeared.
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