Sunset of the Samurai

On 4.9.2010 by Antti Lepistö

A warrior society, such as the Shogunate of Japan or the Spartiate elite in Sparta, requires constant military disputes to survive feeding on the nation’s surplus. Should there be no wars to fight the warrior class starts eventually to decline.

The last battle of the samurai era was fought in 1638 after which the third Tokugawa Shogun announced that “There will be no more wars”. Lasting over a millenium of internal and foreign military disputes, this is the sunset of the samurai. The samurai class declined into bureaucracy and the core elements of being samurai such as carrying katana became more symbolic features. Ironically, most of us know the samurai from an era which was no longer theirs.

Sunset of the samurai

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