Samurai It is a Japanese term that, in our language , is written and pronounced as samurai (with tilde on the TO ). The concept was used in the Japan of antiquity when, within the framework of the feudal system, there was a military caste who provided services to the lords (daimios ).
The samurai were these military , who occupied a lower class with respect to the status of noble . Its origins date back to X century ; in the periods of war , its social importance increased.
These warriors used to move to horse and count on armors . According to the time, they employed arches , swords or other weapons. Over the years the samurai also adopted a code of discipline and honor very strict that regulated his behavior.
When a samurai, for some reason, did not have daimyo, he was qualified as rōnin . Rōnin found it difficult to join a new clan since the daimians used to reject them.
It is considered that Saigō Takamori (1828 -1877 ) was the last samurai. This warrior and politician was the leader of a samurai rebellion who faced the government Japanese of the time.
Beyond being part of tradition and culture from Japan , throughout history there were also foreign They were declared samurai. It is believed that the first foreigner to access the degree was English William Adams (1564 -1620 ).
It should be noted that samurai are recurring figures in the field of fiction , whether in books, movies, etc. On occasion the samurai are portrayed as heroes with honorable behaviors, while in other cases they are displayed as dark and lonely characters.
The oldest armor was found in the kofun (name given to megalithic burial mounds or ancient tombs in Japanese), and they are called tankoo. For its manufacture solid iron and belts of leather to hold the armor plates together; It should be mentioned that its design contemplated that they were used standing up.
Skirts known as kusazuri they served to protect the samurai from the waist down, while using curved plates to cover the shoulders and arms up to the elbows. The first models of armor used laminar lacquer to prevent the weather from causing damage or deterioration in the metal surface, and this was maintained for several generations.
The samurai's helmet, meanwhile, exhibited a kind of visor on the back, as well as metal teeth on top to keep the pheasant feathers attached to its structure .
It is important to note that iron was used only in regions of the body that demanded greater protection , since it is a much heavier material than the rest. For the other pieces, this was combined with leather. As a reference, the classic samurai armor is called yoroi and it is calculated that its weight was around 30 kilograms . On the other hand, the materials used for underwear, worn both under the armor and the normal clothing of the samurai, were cotton and linen.
The basis of defense clothing was called do, and over the centuries it began to leave behind the yoroi to cover the body, giving way to the origin of the armor known as do-maru. This is considered an evolution of the previous one, which brought benefits such as the simplicity of its manufacture and the comfort that it gave to the soldiers in full battle .
Already in the sixteenth century the samurai began to use the armor called toosei gusoku, which could be translated as modern armor and was characterized by the inclusion of parts that served to protect the face, thigh and back .