• 4 Main islands-Hokkaido,
Honshu (or the
mainland), Shikoku, and
• 75% Mountainous
• Rulers- The emperor was
supposed to be the ruler,
but the shogun are the
ones who actually had
• Religion- Shinto and
• Japan’s form of military.
• Ruled by the shogun and
• Fought mainly for land.
• 8% of the population
• Also know as the Edo Period
• 1601 to 1867
• In 1868, Tokugawa government fell and
the samurai class was abolished.
• A time when the samurai were losing their
military purpose. Many samurai became
bureaucrats, courtiers, and administrators
instead of warriors.
• “way of the warrior”
• Code of the samurai
• Enforces the requirement to conduct
themselves with calmness, fairness,
justice, and politeness.
• It also stressed finding a proper death in
battle, for the cause of their lord.
• The samurai must unswervingly obey his
• Seppuku- An honorable form of
suicide for defeated or dishonored
– Could be performed as a ritual after
committing a crime
– Could be done on the battlefield in order
not to be taken prisoner of be disgraced
by being killed by an enemy.
– Sometimes, when another samurai was
defeated after a good fight, the victor
would allow the opponent this honorable
way of dying.
• Kimono- worn by all
classes, men and
– Materials and colors
showed the class. Silk
was reserved for the
upper classes like the
samurai while others wore
hemp, ramie, cotton and
other common fabrics.
• Kamishimo- Samurai wear it. It is a 2 piece
costume worn over the kimono.
– Kataginu- The upper half. It is a sleeveless vest with
– Hakama- The lower half. They are flowing pants
whose design contain an important meaning to the
• The seven folds in these pants represent seven virtues of the
Samurai – Yuki (courage), Jin (humility), Gi (justice), Rei
(chivalry), Makoto (honesty), Chugi (loyalty), and Meiyo
• Ronin- masterless samurai.
• Asano- The Lord of the Castle of Ako.
• Oishi- Asano’s Chief Councilor.
• Kira- High official appointed by the shogun
to entertain guests.
• Kira insults Asano and attempts to humiliate him for two months
because he did not receive an expensive gift from Asano.
• Asano drew his sword and injured Kira for the constant insults and
• Asano is sentenced to seppuku and Oishi is now in charge.
• Castle is taken over and the 321 samurai are ordered to disband.
• Oishi and other samurai want to bring back their master’s honor and
seek revenge by killing Kira who was not punished at all.
• Eventually, the 47 ronin attacked Kira’s mansion and defeated his
• Kira was beheaded because he would not commit seppuku.
• Oishi and 45 of his men were to execute themselves not as
criminals but as honored warriors.
• The 46 ronin were buried side by side next to their master at