The Samurai rose out of the continuing battles for land among three main clans: the Minamoto, the Fujiwara and the Taira. The Samurai eventually became a class unto themselves between the 9th and 12th centuries A.D. They were called by two names: Samurai (knights-retainers) and Bushi (warriors). Some of them were related to the ruling class. Others were hired men. They gave complete loyalty to their Daimyo (feudal landowners) and received land and position in return. Each Daimyo used his Samurai to protect his land and to expand his power and rights to more land .
The Samurai became expert in fighting from horseback and on the ground. They practiced armed and un-armed combat. The early Samurai emphasized fighting with the bow and arrow
Japanese samurai warriors were ranked at the top of the Japanese social hierarchy for hundreds of years until 19th century.
Shogun were the most powerful samurai who ruled Japan at the time.
In Japanese history, master less samurai where know as Ronin. These samurai retainers who were deprived of their place in the usual loyalty based hierarchy of Japanese feudalism. Perhaps the daimyo they had served died, became too poor to maintain his samurai or were exiled. The ronin was reduced to existing as farmers, monks, soldiers of fortune, or even bandits. They where in great demand during times of war. But in peace they were often a burden on society. They are presented at there noblest in the story of the 47 Ronin depicted by Chikamatsu in his popular drama. In this drama they are the model of loyalty and self-sacrifice exemplifying bushido. In modern Japan, the term ronin is often given to high-school graduates who, having failed to pass college entrance exams, are preparing for another opportunity
The proper way to handle an historical blade
Firstly handle the blade with respect. Do not touch the bare blade with the fingers. The oil and Salt acids on the skin will cause stain and rusting on the blade.
When drawing the blade from the scabbard draw with the cutting edge facing up. Do not tilt the scabbard on its side and draw the blade. This can cause grit or dust around the mouth of the scabbard to be dragged along the blade and damage the surface. Do not slam or jam the blade into the scabbard. In fact always move the blade slowly. If you intend to handle someone else’s blade ALWAYS ask first.