Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Soul of the Samurai

The samurai sword is the classic symbol of the samurai.


However, while the samurai of the Tokugawa era (1603-1868) revered the sword as "the soul of the samurai," the weapon that defined the samurai throughout the early medieval period was the horse and the long bow. During early medieval times, the bow was the soul of the samurai.


These samurai carried a sword but it was not their primary weapon. The sword was the equivalent to the modern soldier's sidearm. The long bow was the medieval samurai's "assault rifle."

4 comments:

  1. A very interesting couple of posts that challenge the received view of the samurai. Any fan of Eugen Herrigel's "Zen in the art of Archery" would strongly support your view that the bow was the real samurai weapon .....

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  2. Neat site! Have you seen the Nova show on the manufacturing of the samurai sword? I saw it the other week on the PBS website. It went over the process and some of the science behind it. I don't know if any of the info will be new to you, but it was very well done.

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  3. I haven't seen but I would like to. I will look for it. Thanks.

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