Interesting facts about samurai

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Japanese samurai have enough mythical reputation. Many people enthusiastically listen to stories about the soldiers, who are skillful with katana and have the noble code. The impression of these stories is enhanced by legends and movies. However, many real facts about samurai are concealed, because they can destroy the romantic image created by cinema and literature, is reported by

Interesting facts about samurai

“Horo” Capes.

Samurai were huge 2-meter capes “horo”, full of light materials. They flew around the samurai’s body at the slightest gust of wind. They were supposed to protect soldiers from arrows. Horo is also the main symbol of the samurai status.

Interesting facts about samurai

Samurai swords.

In the XIII century, when Japan attacked the Mongols, the people of Japan for the first time faced the army, whose soldiers were dressed in heavy armor. Thin Japanese weapon stuck in the Mongolian leather armor, and often simply broke in half. Samurai swords were broken so often that the soldiers were forced to abandon them. In order to resist the Mongols they began to make larger and heavier swords.

Interesting facts about samurai

Samurai- “sissy”.

In feudal Japan, a man who spent the night with a woman called a sissy. It was believed that making love with women has a “feminizing” effect on the mind and body of a warrior.

Samurai married only for procreation, and never allow themselves to be carried away by a woman. If the samurai showed attention to his wife in public, his masculinity was questioned. Surprisingly, homosexual relations were perceived as something commonplace.

Interesting facts about samurai


When a boy learned the art of the samurai, he often lived in a couple with a mature man. The elder man taught the boy martial arts, etiquette, the code of honor, and used him to gratify the passions. This was called the “sudo”, which means “the way of the boy to a teenager.”

When the boy was 13 years old, usually he swore allegiance to the teacher and lived six more years with him. It was considered perfectly normal. A Japanese poet wrote: “A young man without a co-signer older lover is likened to a young girl without the groom.” Such relations indeed were treated like a marriage.

Interesting facts about samurai

Immediately and with a witness.

If someone from the lower class showed disrespect to the samurai, the warrior could kill the man on the spot. There was one rule: the samurai had to do it quickly and in front of witnesses. Moreover it was considered shameful if the samurai did not do it.

Interesting facts about samurai

Only the right trouser leg.

Samurai warriors were paranoid after the incident with the daimyo Uesugi Kenshin, who in the XVI century, was killed in the toilet.

The killer got into the toilet and hit the samurai with a spear, catching him with his pants down. After that, Takeda Shingen was concerned that someone might do something like that to him, and took action. All martial arts teachers had begun to teach to go to the toilet with only descended right trouser leg to secure the freedom of action.

Interesting facts about samurai

Posthumous smell.

Legendary Samurai named Sigenari Kimura spent his last fight in 1615, defending the castle in Osaka. He boldly led his troops on the battlefield, after carefully cutting off the hair and fumigating his helmet with frankincense. Kimura knew he would not survive, and decided to “take care” of his future assassin, leaving the perfumed corpse. He knew that his head would be someone’s trophy and wanted it to smell good.

Interesting facts about samurai

Dog in armor.

Nowadays we can see at least one set of samurai armor that was made for a dog. It is not known whether the armor was used in battle, the researchers believe that it ordered for parades or for collectors.

Interesting facts about samurai


One of the strangest types of samurai weapons were shakuhachi – bamboo flutes. Initially it was just musical instruments that were played by Buddhist monks. That all changed when a group of Buddhists by name komuso started walking with baskets on their heads, playing the flute, and preaching.

Samurais decided that these people with baskets on their heads were a perfect disguise. Samurai spies, which were sent to suppress the rebellion, looked like komuso. At the same time the flute samurai had thorns, and they could use them as a self-defense weapon.

Interesting facts about samurai

Dedication of the samurai.

Until the 1600s there was no code of the samurai, and before that they constantly betray their masters. Even after the establishment of the Code of the Samurai devotion existed only on paper, but not in real life. When Western missionaries first visited Japan, they were shocked by the number of betrayals and murders “in the back”.