By the end of the 12th century, the word samurai became almost synonymous with Bushido (the way of the warrior), the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class.
Samurai used a wide range of weapons, such as, bows and arrows, but their most famous weapon was the way of the sword.
“Samurai were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of bushido (the way of the warrior). Strongly Confucian in nature, Bushido stressed concepts such as loyalty to one’s master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior”
After a defeat, some samurai chose to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) by cutting their abdomen rather than being captured or dying a dishonorable death. Their teachings can still be seen today in everyday life and in the martial arts like Kendo.
According to Family Search “Samurais don’t just make good Hollywood icons. If you have them in your family tree, they can help you go back further in time.”
Please click on FamilySearch.org to learn more about how to get started on your Samurai ancestry and Japanese ancestral research.