The Samurai - Netflix

Adventures of Shintaro the Samurai travelling 18th century Japan with his trusted companion Tombei, battling the enemies of the Shogun and the dreaded Koga Ninjas.

The Samurai - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: Japanese

Status: Ended

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 1962-10-07

The Samurai - Samurai - Netflix

Samurai (侍) were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are usually referred to as bushi (武士, [bɯ.ɕi]) or buke (武家). According to translator William Scott Wilson: “In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning 'to wait upon', 'accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean 'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb.” According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū (905–914), the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi, and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai were usually associated with a clan and their lord, and were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of then Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.

The Samurai - Ashikaga shogunate - Netflix

Various samurai clans struggled for power during the Kamakura and Ashikaga shogunates. Zen Buddhism spread among the samurai in the 13th century and helped to shape their standards of conduct, particularly overcoming the fear of death and killing, but among the general populace Pure Land Buddhism was favored. In 1274, the Mongol-founded Yuan dynasty in China sent a force of some 40,000 men and 900 ships to invade Japan in northern Kyūshū. Japan mustered a mere 10,000 samurai to meet this threat. The invading army was harassed by major thunderstorms throughout the invasion, which aided the defenders by inflicting heavy casualties. The Yuan army was eventually recalled and the invasion was called off. The Mongol invaders used small bombs, which was likely the first appearance of bombs and gunpowder in Japan.

The Japanese defenders recognized the possibility of a renewed invasion and began construction of a great stone barrier around Hakata Bay in 1276. Completed in 1277, this wall stretched for 20 kilometers around the border of the bay. It would later serve as a strong defensive point against the Mongols. The Mongols attempted to settle matters in a diplomatic way from 1275 to 1279, but every envoy sent to Japan was executed. This set the stage for one of the most famous engagements in Japanese history. In 1281, a Yuan army of 140,000 men with 5,000 ships was mustered for another invasion of Japan. Northern Kyūshū was defended by a Japanese army of 40,000 men. The Mongol army was still on its ships preparing for the landing operation when a typhoon hit north Kyūshū island. The casualties and damage inflicted by the typhoon, followed by the Japanese defense of the Hakata Bay barrier, resulted in the Mongols again recalling their armies.

The Samurai - References - Netflix