The Samurai

The Samurai

2003, History  -   31 Comments
Ratings: 8.03/10 from 86 users.

The SamuraiThey were the knights of medieval Japan, an elite warrior class that held the reins of power and the fascination of the people for more than 700 years.

Masters of sword and bow, driven by an unforgiving code of ethics, they proved ferocious in combat. They beat back foreign invaders and fought each other for land, status, honor and glory.

The Samurai explores the extraordinary legacy of martial artistry, ceremony, self-discipline and tenacity in battle that reaches to this day.

Modern-day samurai explain the ways of life in the Bushido, while scholars detail the pivotal events in their centuries-long history.

From the heyday of the Heian Period (794-1185) to the inevitable decline that followed the opening of Japan in 1853, this is the definitive study of some of world's most famous fighters.

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Marcus Anton
5 years ago

Stopped watching not because I find the Japanese a worth whiled subject but because I find Christianities (Any Religion period) to be so offensive. They act as if they and only they can understand the mind of God. Hubris and self righteousness is there name. Over a billion people in the ancient world have been killed because their religion was in conflict with someone else's. At least another billion have died since then, When will we wake up to the awesome destructiveness of religion? Of all the millions of gods, spirits etc humans have believed in somehow you've found the "Real One". Sure buddy, sure. Bring that to my door and I'll show you the business end of my foot. Show up with a weapon and it's going to get bloody real quick.

9 years ago

Disappointing to see such a wonderful program as this tainted with the name Koch!

10 years ago

Nice to see that discussion of this documentary was derailed by arguments over whether a samurai can kick a ninja's a**. Also, the weaboo chick who wants everyone to know that she knows more about Japan than they do. Bravo, internet.

10 years ago

Overall it's a good documentary, however I did notice a few small inaccuracies. One example is during the tale of the 47 ronin they mention that following the vendetta killing of Kira all 47 ronin were ordered to commit seppuku. In reality only 46 of them were actually ordered to commit suicide while the single remaining ronin was pardoned by the Shogun. He lived until he was roughly 87 years old and following his death he was interred along with the other 46 ronin and their master at Sengaku-ji.

10 years ago

An excellent documentary, that gives reference to modern day Japan, from samurai influence. Interestingly, there was no mention of ninja history. After reading some of the previous blogs, regarding which were more lethal, may I state that ninja origins were from the samurai . During realitve peace time, ninja (shadow warrior) were ronin(masterless samurai) who had to make a living. Since their skillset was obvious, they became guns for hire. (assassins) Since they had broken the code of bushido honor, they were disenfranchised from the samurai, and trained themselves in the art of deception, and stealth.

11 years ago

But seriously, there could be no modern Japan without the Samurai. I'm sure there was a lot of resentment during the Meiji Era amongst followers of the Samurai- that they could no longer carry swords in public. It's still amazing to know how quickly they caught up to modern times. If there's anything that can outwit Traditionalism, it's Capitalism. Look at Saudi Arabia- they wear jeans and flips flops, and it's okay now.

Japan is beautiful. I wish they could've added more information about the actual fights instead of just a run-through. It gave general information about the Samurai. 8/10 worth the watch.

11 years ago

I wish could marry someone from a Samurai family. That would be so awesome!! Japan has the most intriguing history. I mean, they were in continuos civil war up until the 18th century. And then suddenly it became the leader of advance technology!! Japan is so amazing. I'd kill to go there.

gunk wretch
11 years ago

ninjas had a totally different approach to battle, they would of killed the samurai before they were even aware the ninja were there. Honour or status didnt matter to ninjas so they might of easily killed a samurai in their sleep.
On an open field well.. a samurai would certainly do a lot better, but who can really say, its such a subjective question which depends on the individuals level of skill. Im no expert but me thinks ninjas are more in to quickly killing their opponent in one move rather then having a fancy formal and ritualized battle, but clearly samurai had better gear, then again a few sherikans in the face can go a long way to slowing down a samurai.

11 years ago

how about the Hagakure as a Bushido literature ? It is written quite late in feudal japan but it refers to the older days that was the glorious time of the samurai code. The book talk a lot of about acceptance of death and many of the stuff reused to propagate Kamikaze pilots.

11 years ago

Bushido was a term that was romanticised and then pushed by the Japaneese Emperor Hirohito to inspire the Kamakaze pilots and soldiers to do their duty in WW2, it didn't actually exist in Medieval Japan beyond a basic code of Feudalism. More knights fell on their own swords in matters of honour than Samurai did, if the Samurai ever practiced such a thing at all, which is doubtful in the face of the archaeological evidence.

12 years ago

Good doc.

Was really into martial arts, for many years, years back, keeps a person supple, can still front kick the top of a door frame, but the years are creeping up now (LOL), now a days everybody is in protective gear, no full contact, not so when I was into it. Had fractured ribs, broken big toes, strained thumbs. Lots of bruises. Could not do it now, it is a young persons sport.

12 years ago

Yes the ninja or shinobi existed. As to skill though they are not truly comparable to the samurai. Their tasks and methods were so different. With a sword in straight combat no the ninja could not compete however the ninja was more a master of stealth and unconventional combat.

12 years ago

I love samurais. In my opinion, they're a lot more skilled than the shinobi (which existed, it's not just manga) and more loyal to their tasks too.

12 years ago

not just a samurai but history of japan was also so great to study.