The samurai has played an important part in Japan's record and traditions all over the centuries. Some narrations show samurai as legends who have played a very important role in developing Japan. This research would further describe the origins of samurai, who they were, how they came into being, their way of living, their standards and their importance in the world today. It will illustrate the significance of samurai in the history of Japan and why they are still known as great soldiers of their times.
In the earlier times of Japan the battles fought are known to take place in the starting centuries of the AD. The wars that took place in these centuries show that many of the Japanese soldiers at that time crossed the sea to Korea to assist one empire who was having a battle with two other empires consequently. It is recorded that four hundred or above men left for the battle but were easily beaten up by the enemy because of the heavy armor which the enemy had. These four hundred men fought on foot while the enemy rode on horses. At this time the Japanese were unknown of the usage of horses in wars but after the century passed it is evident that horses were also used in the history of Japan by warriors who later were known as samurai.
Samurai is a word which was used in the 10th century and the exact meaning of samurai is "those who serve". When the word samurai was derived, it was used mainly for men who defended the capital for the king. At times the people who collected tax were also known as samurai. Afterwards the person who joined military or the person who served any influential landlord was known as the samurai. These samurai used to travel on the horses and at times used to collect taxes from the peasants. This money was then given to the landlord or the emperor by the samurais and was later on used by them for their luxurious way of living. The word samurai made its ground in Japans history and it became quite known to the common people who started to value or dread the samurai.
Later on the samurai became famously known for their strength and were used by the rich people to protect their land and wealth. As the land was a source of income for the rich people, they started to keep armies of samurai to protect their lands from intruders. In due course many of the rich people joined hands together and formed clans which ultimately became even more powerful than the ruler of Japan. Later on in the 12th century two of the influential clans (Minomoto and Taira) fought a battle in which the clan of Taira won. But after some years the Minomotos who had escaped from the battlefield came back to fight with the Taira clan. A battle took place between the Minomotos and Taira clans and this battle is known as the Gempei war. This battle however was successfully won by the other clan this time i.e. Minomotos. After the battle the ruler made Minamato Yoritomo shogun the chief of the armed forces. However Yoritomo was not satisfied with the power he got and soon he took over from the emperor and declared himself as a dictator. The new dictator gave a new foundation to the samurai and raised their position by giving them land.
Gempei War marked an important step for the existence of the samurai. The battles fought during the war put the samurai to a position which was respected and honored. This respect and honor for the samurai is still known and will last forever. The