In the course of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the warrior elites of Japan and northwestern Europe, despite many similarities in ethos and lifestyle, developed very different cultures of death. Japanese warriors sought battle, killed each other in battle, and killed themselves in ritual suicides. European warriors avoided battle, captured each other, and avoided suicide.
Feudal Japan is remembered as the era of the samurai. Like the knights of feudal Europe, they were the expensively equipped warrior aristocracy. They were, however, just one of numerous different types of warrior distinct to that period.
Samurai Emerging late in the first millennium AD, the samurai were a warrior aristocracy. As landowners and leaders of society, even the lowliest of samurai, were wealthier and more privileged than most Japanese people.
The samurai began as horse archers which influenced their equipment even as they shifted towards their role as swordsmen. Their right arm was initially less armored than the left, leaving it free to draw arrows and the bowstring.
Over time, their quiver at the right hip was abandoned. Their armor became sturdier and symmetrical as they shifted to close quarters fighting using carefully crafted swords.
Samurai in armor, s. Hand-coloured photograph by Felice Beato. Samurai fought with a variety of weapons, including spears and clubs.
Their most common and iconic weapons were the paired swords of the long katana and the shorter wakizashi, both curved and crafted to deadly sharp edges. Almost all commanders were a samurai.
A feudal hierarchy of land ownership meant each samurai owed military service to another, right up to the Emperor. In battle, samurai provided the elite core of fighters in most armies and shock troops for cavalry and infantry charges.
Sohei From the 11th through to the 16th centuries, the samurai sometimes fought alongside or against another group of elite warriors — the sohei. The sohei were Buddhist warrior monks.
Several monasteries maintained armies of them. They provided protection during times of strife and were used during disputes with other temples or samurai lords. The most famous and feared contingent were based at the Enryaku-Ji, the main temple on Mount Hiei. They wore the armor of regular infantry over their monastic robes, often with an outer robe over the top.
Knotted towels or cowls covered their shaven heads. Their traditional weapon was the naginata, a bladed polearm. The sohei could be valuable allies for samurai lords, but they could also be troublesome.
They used their military power to assert the independence of their monasteries in the face of secular authority. Ikko-Ikki The 15th century saw the rise of another fearsome group of religious warriors, the Ikko-Ikki.
They believed in salvation for all humanity, not just those with the time and inclination to study the details of religion. They were, therefore, more egalitarian than the sohei; being a mass social movement under arms rather than a cadre of elite fighters.
Some Ikko-Ikki shaved their heads as a sign of their faith. Aside from that, they looked and fought much like the samurai-led armies they opposed. They gained enough power to take control of the province of Kaga inbefore being driven back as a fractured Japan was reunited over the next century.
We know less about the Ikko-Ikki than about many other warriors of the time.The literature in feudal Europe and Japan is different.
Poetry thrived in both regions but types of poetry that were popular were totally different. Haiku was popular in Japan and in Europe epic poems were popular and lyric poetry was also popular. Aug 28, · Best Answer: -There was no contact between Japan(SAMURAI) and Europe(KNIGHTS) during Middle AgesSAMURAI AND KNIGHTS The Medieval Era saw the emergence of two distinct warrior classes in Europe and Japan.
These were the Samurai's and the Status: Resolved. Swords made during the Medieval and early modern eras are noted for different reasons.
Blades produced from the Heian period until approximately , during the late Momoyama era, were classified as koto (“old swords”) and were known to be superior to Edo-period weapons.
In both feudal Japan and Europe, constant warfare made warriors the most important class.
Called knights in Europe and samurai in Japan, the warriors served local lords. In both cases, the warriors were bound by a code of ethics. Shoguns, samurai and the Japanese Middle Ages.
and use that to support this warrior class. And this warrior class, the samurai, they were analogous to knights in medieval Europe and just as the knights had chivalry in Europe, the samurai in Japan had bushido which eventually emerges as their code of conduct.
Now one of the key factors. Oct 18, · War was a common pastime in the middle ages. Nations battled nations, cities battled cities, and villages battled villages. It is no wonder that it is the period that generated some of the greatest soldiers and military units in history.
This is a list of the best of the best – the 12 most.