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Samurai Name A samurai was usually named by combining one kanji from his father or grandfather and one new kanji. Samurai normally used only a small part of their total name. For example, the full name of Oda Nobunaga would be "Oda Kazusanosuke Saburo Nobunaga" (織田上総介三郎信長), in which "Oda" is a clan or family name, "Kazusanosuke" is a title of vice-governor of Kazusa province, "Saburo" is a name before genpuku, a coming of age ceremony, and "Nobunaga" is an adult name. Samurai were able to choose their own last names. During the course of Samurai's life, he could expect to be known by a series of names. Sometimes confounding to the historian, this tradition occasionally produced a myriad number of tags for a single well-known samurai. Each name carried with it a certain significance. Childhood. At birth, a samurai was given a name by which he would be known until his coming of age ceremony. These were occasionally chosen to sound fortuitous or simply by fancy. In a well-known example of the former, Takeda Shingen was born Katsuchiyo, or '1000 Victories in Succession', or, simply, 'Victory Forever'. These childhood names were often superceded to an extent within a samurai's household by a certain nicknaming custom. By tradition, the eldest son in a household was known as 'Taro', the second, 'Jiro', and the third, 'Saburo'. These familial names might even linger into a samurai's adulthood, especially while his father was still in charge. Adult Names. A samurai typically received his 'first' adult name upon the event of his coming of ag ceremony (normally conducted in his 14th year). This almost

always consisted of two characters, one of which was hereditary to his family and another that might have been given him as a gift from an exalted personage or simply by whim. Some samurai, especially lords, might opt to change the characters in their name at some future date, often as a result of the sort of reward mentioned above. Occasionally this name change might be made to mark a fortuitous event, or for political expediency. Uesugi Kenshin provides us with a nice example of the various reasons a daimyô might change his name around. Originally called Nagao Kagetora, Kenshin later changed his name to Terutora when he was honored by the shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru (Kenshin being exceptionally filial to the Ashikaga). He changed his name again, to Masatora, when he was adopted by Uesugi Norimasa around 1551. Religious names. Of course, the name Kenshin is the best known, and this provides us with an example of a Buddhist name. Many samurai - both daimyô and retainer - adopted Buddhist names at some point in their life, at least nominally taking up a monk's habit and shaving their heads. Some daimyô took this much more seriously then others (Kenshin being one of those), while a certain few, including Ôtomo Sorin, went from layman to Buddhist monk to Christian - and sometimes back again to Buddhist monk.

Samurai Education A samurai was expected to read and write, as well as to know some mathematics. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a great samurai yet originally a peasant, could only read and write in hiragana and this was a significant drawback for him. Samurai were expected, though not required, to have interests in other arts such as dancing, Go, literature, poetry, and tea. Ōta Dōkan who first ruled Edo wrote how he was shamed to realize that even a commoner had more knowledge of poetry than he.

Samurai Marriage The marriage of samurai was done by having a marriage arranged by someone with the same or higher rank than those being married. While for those samurai in the upper ranks this was a necessity (as most had few opportunities to meet a female), this was a formality for lower ranked samurai. Most samurai married women from a samurai family, but for a lower ranked

samurai marriages with commoners were permitted. In these marriages a dowry was brought by the woman and was used to start their new lives. A samurai could have a mistress but her background was strictly checked by higher ranked samurai. In many cases, this was treated like a marriage. "Kidnapping" a mistress, although common in fiction, would have been shameful, if not a crime. When she was a commoner, a messenger would be sent with betrothal money or a note for exemption of tax to ask for her parent's acceptance and many parents gladly accepted. If a samurai's wife gave birth to a son he could be a samurai. A samurai could divorce his wife for a variety of reasons with approval from a superior, but divorce was, while not entirely nonexistent, a rare event. A reason for divorce would be if she could not produce a son, but then adoption could be arranged as an alternative to divorce. A samurai could divorce for personal reasons, even if he simply did not like his wife, but this was generally avoided as it would embarrass the samurai who had arranged the marriage. A woman could also arrange a divorce, although it would generally take the form of the samurai divorcing her. After a divorce samurai had to return the betrothal money, which often prevented divorces. Some rich merchants had their daughters marry samurai to erase a samurai's debt and advance their positions.

A samurai's wife would be dishonored and allowed to commit jigai (a female's seppuku) if she were cast off.

Samurai Clothing As may be expected, the basic clothing item in a samurai's 'everyday' wardrobe was the kimono, which for men normally consisted of an outer and inner layer. Heavier kimonos were worn in the winter, while lighter examples (those made of finer silk, for instance) were worn in the summer. In fact, there was a ceremonial day where winter kimonos were exchanged for their summer counterparts, traditionally on the 1st day of the Fourth Month (by our reckoning, in the first week of May). A samurai's kimono would normally be made of silk, a material considered superior to cotton and hemp not only for its feel and appearance but for its relative coolness in the hot Japanese summer. (Incidentally, kimono makers traditionally reckoned on one roll of silk measuring about two feet by 20 yards for one kimono). Naturally, the quality of a kimono a given samurai might wear largely depended on his personal station and income, though, at least prior to the Edo Period, there were no hard and fast rule in this regard. Hojo Soun, for instance, touches on the matter of clothing in his 21 Articles, "Don't think your swords and clothing should be as good as those of

other people. Be content as long as they don't look awful. Once you start acquiring what you don't have and become even poorer, you'll become a laughingstock."1 Exceptionally bright colors and outlandish patterns were typically avoided or sneered upon as a show of immodesty or conceit. On the same token, women of samurai families tended to wear kimono layers and colors dependant upon the station and/or power of their husband. Samurai children, however, were dressed rather flamboyantly, and a more subdued appearance was one of the results of the coming-of-age ceremony. Older samurai tended towards shades of gray or brown, in keeping with their dignified age. Beneath the kimono, a loincloth (fundoshi) was worn, of which there were two varieties. One was essentially a wrap that, for lack of a better description, resembled a diaper (familiar to anyone who has witnessed or seen footage of some of modern Japan's more esoteric festivals); the other type (more often worn under armor) was a long piece of material worn down the front of the body. A loop slung around the neck fastened the top of the loincloth while the other end was pulled up around the other side of the abdomen and tied around the front of the lower waist with cords. Samurai had the option of wearing socks, called tabi, which included a space to separate the big toe from the other toes (to facilitate the wearing of sandals). Tabi worn in an everyday capacity were normally white and were tailored to the season. Footwear generally consisted of sandals (waraji) and wooden clogs (geta). Sandals were made from various sorts of material, including straw, hemp, and cotton thread. Clogs were generally associated with the lower classes (geisha, for instance, and kabuki actors are often depicted wearing geta) though samurai wore them from time to time. The Tale of the Heike, for instance, mentions that the powerful Taira Kiyomori wore clogs, though it was considered sufficiently unusual to find its way into puns composed by his rivals. Bearskin boots were at one time popular, especially with armor, but by the 16th Century had come to be considered archaic. For rainy days, samurai, like everyone else, wore raincoats made out of straw (kappa) and availed themselves of folding umbrellas (which looked rather like Victorian era parasols, complete with decoration). As with the standard kimono, the samurai's swords were normally thrust through a belt (obi) worn wrapped around the waist and tied in front. Alternatively (and again in 'official' circumstances) the main sword could be slung by cords from the obi (in a fashion more akin to a western dress uniform convention) while the short sword (Wakizashi) or knife (tanto) was worn through the Obi. Regardless, the sword was ALWAYS worn on the left side, probably a case of a practical consideration (ease of drawing) that became more fashion

oriented (after all, there were certainly some left-handed samurai. Indoors, the samurai might dispense with his long sword, but always kept some form of weaponry on his person, even if the simple dagger. A daimyô could expect a page to carry his sword for him, though typically only in the most formal of circumstances. (Traditionally, pages or trusted or honored men would carry a lord's sword and bow for him, especially in ceremonial circumstances. By the 16th Century, few daimyô bothered with keeping bows around their person, even for formalities.). In addition, a simple folding fan might be tucked in the obi, as well, perhaps, as a few tissues.

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