The samurai (also bushi) were a class of warriors that arose in the 10th century in Japan and which performed military service until the 19th century. Elite and highly-trained soldiers adept at using both the bow and sword, the samurai were an essential component of Japanese armies in the medieval period.

More about: Samurai


  • 800 - 1876
    Samurai active in Japanese warfare.
  • 1159 - 1189
    Life of the legendary samurai Yoshitsune
  • c. 1580
    It becomes fashionable for Japanese samurai to wear two swords: the daisho ("great and small").
  • 1588
    Toyotomi Hideyoshi rules that only full-rank samurai may carry two swords.
  • 1591
    Samurai are no longer permitted to farm their own land making them dependent on their lords for income.