Samurai sword, green

Origin : Japan

Made of : porcelain - potery

Classification : things / other things

Maker : ?



About "sword" (nihontō - 日本刀 or にほんとう) :

Japanese swords are famous for their very high quality blade. The most famous type, used by the samurai, is called 'katana'. The different parts and accessories of the sword are finely decorated especially the hand guard called 'tsuba'.

Today, Japanese knives are still famous for their very high quality and perfection.

A katana sword [source]
Two 19th century 'tsuba' hand guards [source]




About "samurai" (samurai - 侍) :

The samurai was a warrior of high rank who served his master with a total loyalty by following the rules of Bushido. The importance of the samurai grew especially during the Muromachi Period (1333 - 1573) when local states fought each other and needed to hire samurais. With the reunification of Japan, the country was ruled by a military power with at it's head the Shogun. In this organisation, the samurai had a very high social status. The era of the samurais ended in 1868 with the collapse of the feudal Japan and the reopening of the country.

Like the Westerns in the USA, Samurai films are still a very popular genre in Japan even if the production is far smaller than it used to be. Westerns and Samurai films share a lot of themes : historical sceneries, troubled times, revenge, violence, outlaws, lonesome cowboys (ronin-samurai with no master), romance, etc. This porximity explains why some Samurai films have been adapted in Westerns and vice versa.

Detail of a woodblock print from Kuniyoshi representing a famous Samourai
End of 19th century photo with models dressed as samurais photo rights




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