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Glossary of Samurai & Related Words

Glossary of Samurai & Related Words

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Samurai as notable Member of the Japanese warrior class,has produced many of its unique term. Know more about the terms, the more helpful to know more about Samurai. And today, samurai's history and spirit lives on their most important weapon sword.
Samurai as notable Member of the Japanese warrior class,has produced many of its unique term. Know more about the terms, the more helpful to know more about Samurai. And today, samurai's history and spirit lives on their most important weapon sword.

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Published by: samuraisword on Mar 14, 2008
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12/10/2012

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Glossary of Samurai & Related Words
By Handmadesword.com PR Dept.www.handmadesword.comHandmadesword.com, the wholesale Japanese sword House All rights reserved
Samurai
: Member of the warrior class. The word "samurai" is derived from thearchaic Japanese verb "samorau," changed to "saburau," meaning "to serve";thus, a "samurai" is a servant, i.e. the servant of a lord.
Ronin
: Master-less Samurai. A Samurai became a ronin under twocircumstances. The first was when the samurai had shamed himself in the eyesof his master, but refused to commit seppuku. The second case of a samuraibecoming a ronin resulted from his master’s death in one of the countlessbattles.
Buke
(
武家
) : A martial house or a member of such a house
Mononofu
(
もののふ
): An ancient term meaning a warrior. 
Musha
(
武者
): A shortened form of 
Bugeisha
(
武芸者
), lit. martial art man. 
 
Shi
(
): A word roughly meaning "gentleman," it is sometimes used for samurai, in particular in words such as
武士
(
bushi 
, meaning warrior or samurai). 
Tsuwamono
(
) : An old term for a soldier popularized by Matsuo Basho in hisfamous haiku. Literally meaning a strong person.
Bushido
: The Way of the Warrior (Such as loyalty to one’s master, self-discipline, bravery, honor, ethical behavior). The philosophy of Bushido is"freedom from fear." It meant that the Samurai transcended his fear of death. Itwas influenced by Confucianism, Zen Buddhism and Shinto. FromConfucianism it inherited filial fidelity and loyalty to one's lord. From ZenBuddhism it learned not to fear death and control one's body and mind. FromShinto, it learned to worship the emperor.
Giri
: Samurai's duty. "Duty" is a primary philosophy of the Samurai.
Zanshin
: Samurai's sensing danger. It is the ability of the samurai to sensedanger, trained into him from his youth by teachers that would sneak up on himuntil his senses were acutely developed.
Seppuku
: Ritual suicide. The only way out for a defeated samurai was death or ritual suicide. A samurai stabs a knife into his abdomen and literallydisembowels himself by cutting out his guts. After the samurai disembowelshimself another samurai, usually a kinsman or friend, slices his head off.
Musha-shugyo
: Warrior pilgrimage. It was a samurai tradition, in which awarrior would become ronin and travel the land, fighting in duels to establish
 
and perfect his own skill, and to promote the strength and value of his school. Itwas started by Musashi. Musashi became the archetypal unkempt, invincibleronin, as he passed through duels and wars undefeated. 
Mon
: Family crest worn on montsuki
Montsuki
: Kimono top Japanese wore at formal occasions
Hakama
: Divided skirt-pants Samurai wore
Ken
: sword - refers specifically to an ancient straight-bladed sword made beforethe ninth century with both single and double cutting edges and curved pointsections. These early swords were apparently carried slung from the waist bycords or some other materials. They range from two to four feet in length andvarious shapes of hilts.
: refers to long, deeply curved sword that mounted Samurai used inancient Japan. As early as the 8th century, the straight-bladed sword began tochange to one with more curvature in a longer and a stronger blade with asingle cutting edge---Tachi. The curved form of sword was better suited to theneeds of the Japanese fighting man; the tachi became the principal weapon of the bushi (warrior). It was specially suited for the horse-mounted combat of thelate 8th century. Usually Tachi measures almost four feet in length.
Daito
: Long sword. (katana, uchi-katana, tachi, no-dachi ) – nagasa (length)over 2 shaku(shaku = 11.9 inches )

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