For over 1,000 years, the Japanese warrior class Samurai, has been considered the finest of Japan. Understanding the values and beliefs of the Bushido warriors, living in a feudal society can be difficult. Their absolute belief in duty and honor seem mystical and even impossible to modern society. Maybe it is the mystery of the Samurai that makes it so fascinating. The Samurai were very important to Japanese citizens and culture.
The history of the Samurai is important to understand the history of Japan. For centuries the Samurai dominated Japan. Samurai were commonly reffered to as “retainers” (monofu) or “men of war” (bushi). They are now referred to as the Chinese-derived name Samurai, which means “to serve” (Ratti & Westbrook, p.83) The Samurai were in control of economic, religious, social and artistic aspects of Japan. It was the Samurai government fo Tokugawa family thet effectively isolated Japan from foreign influence for two and a half centuries (Cook 6). The feudal system that create the samurai class collapse in the nineteenth century and the need for armoured knights dissapear. Alot of the following changes and modernation came from the young samurai class of people. Japan has become modern at a very astonish rate. The warrior class became civil service or bussiness men. The values that was special to the samurai were still respect by the Japanese. The Bushido, the warrior code, became an expression of national morality (Cook 9).