A brief history of the Samurai Warriors’ History
Samurais or also called as “Bushi”, is a military class member of the Japanese warriors. Some weapons that samurais use are bows, arrows, spears, guns and the most famous weapon which includes in their tradition image is the sword.
These samurai warrior’s lives are ruled by these codes of ethics called “bushido”, which means, the way of the warrior. Every samurai warrior must have the loyalty to their master or what they call “daimyo”.
A famous facet that these Japanese samurais follow with the ethics is the tradition of suicide after being defeated, which is called “seppuku”. In this ritual, they are subjected to cut their stomach or abdomen with their own sword.
There are some short history of the Japanese warrior which includes the Heian period (794-1185) where in powerful daimyos started to hire these samurai warriors, Kamakura period (1192-1333), Muromachi period ( 1333-1573), Azuchi-momoyama period(1573-1603) and Edo period(1603-1868).
The history of a samurai sword started at about 240 – 280 A.D when Himeko, the queen of Japan, got a gift from china which is two double edged tsuguri swords. Around third and fourth centuries, they had known that the art of molding steel into a sword. It was introduced from china to Japan, while “chokuto” swords were introduced in the fifth century.
The style of hardening of steel was shown in Japan at the sixth century. In the eight century, which is the beginning of the Heian period, the style of fighting was changed and these warriors started fighting in horseback. Because of the change, the tradition of the straight swords was also changed by curved and longer sword which is called “tachi”.
Aside from chokuto and tachi, some famous swords was also introduced which includes kogarasumru (a short sword with 2 sharp edges) and kenukigatatachi. However, there are also curve swords known as Japanese swords which are called the “nipponto” or “nihonto”.
During the Heian period, different methods and styles were introduced from china which was improved by Japan to adopt them in Japanese culture.
It is also in Heian period that smiting swords in Japan was introduced for the reason that, the core stayed soft and the surface remain rough. A folded steel samurai sword which comes under the Tachi class was also manufactured in this period. It is also in this period that signature in the sword’s blade was placed in it, and it was first done by Namihira Yukimasa.
When minamoto yoritomo defeated tiara clan, the kamakura period started. It is in this period that samurai warrior class has taken the power. More and more advanced swords were made in all points which also include the aesthetic swords. There are a lot of changes in the sword’s blade in terms of its width. The blade’s shape was also changed which is in ikubi type that means bull nape. 2 mongol invasions in 1274 and 1218 took place when kamakura period ended. New weapons and technologies were introduced that had proven that tachi swords still has its weak points.