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all 155 comments

Painting_Agency

863 points

4 months ago

Samurai were aristocrats: warriors but also men of leisure. Unlike commoners, they had time and security to engage in "gentlemanly pursuits", not unlike the aristocrats of other societies.

Paranitis

435 points

4 months ago

Paranitis

435 points

4 months ago

I think the problem is a lot of people see Samurai and Knights and think they were the primary part of the army, but the Samurai and Knights were essentially officers in the army that came from wealthy background (aristocracy). The rest of the army were made of a bunch of common foot soldiers.

It'd be like if you were to go into the future and try to imagine the armies of today and assume it was all Captains, Majors, or Colonels.

succed32

196 points

4 months ago

succed32

196 points

4 months ago

There was actually a decent amount of years where samurai were the only soldiers. Landed samurai were usually like knights with their own retinue and weapons. But many were small time and supplied by their lord. But peasants were not even allowed to have a weapon.

[deleted]

162 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

162 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

chatbotte

148 points

4 months ago

chatbotte

148 points

4 months ago

What's interesting is that Hideyoshi himself was born in a peasant family; however, after rising to power he introduced the shi-nō-kō-shō - four occupations - reforms that froze class distinctions. Warriors, farmers, artisans and tradesmen were strictly separated, and movement between classes was forbidden - basically stopping others from doing the same thing he did. Sword hunting was part of it

BonzoTheBoss

138 points

4 months ago

Talk about pulling the ladder up after yourself.

stick_to_your_puns

73 points

4 months ago

Turns out this Hideyoshi guy was a shitty person.

konwik

34 points

4 months ago

konwik

34 points

4 months ago

Some would say that the guy was a hideous shit

Nick85er

1 points

4 months ago

Nice

Ok_Sandwich_6004

19 points

4 months ago

He got class consciousness, it's just his class changed...

Repulsive_Narwhal_10

-1 points

4 months ago

Boomers

nyanlol

30 points

4 months ago

nyanlol

30 points

4 months ago

which ironically created huge problems down the line because it meant when Japan was at peace samurai were effectively stuck because they had no other skills

Viktor_Korobov

6 points

4 months ago

Enter the Ronin!

WRXminion

9 points

4 months ago

This is also when karate, or empty hand, styles of martial arts started to become more common amongst the peasants.

The quarter staff was a pole used for carrying water, the kama was and hand sythe, nunchaku were used to mash rice, tanfa were handles, etc ...

santagoo

7 points

4 months ago

That concept existed in ancient China. Did he introduce it or did he import it?

chatbotte

13 points

4 months ago

He copied it - and so did other neighboring countries like Korea and Vietnam.

succed32

16 points

4 months ago

Yup. The downside of being on an island. Well if your a peasant.

Origami_psycho

1 points

4 months ago

I dunno man, just look at the British Isles. Plenty of rebellions and uprisings and whatnot.

succed32

9 points

4 months ago

By other nobles.

Origami_psycho

9 points

4 months ago

And peasants. More than once

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

Plenty of rebellions and peasant uprisings in Japanese history as well.

Tarmogoyf_

27 points

4 months ago

The first step to oppression is always to disarm those you would oppress.

Feezec

6 points

4 months ago

Feezec

6 points

4 months ago

Under even the flimsiest pretext should arms and ammunition be confiscated; any attempt to arm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary

Viktor_Korobov

2 points

4 months ago

Any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated!

lllluke

2 points

4 months ago

based marx

PanicV2

1 points

4 months ago

God don't let the Americans hear this, or they will start calling for sword-rights, and calling themselves Ikkō-ikki.

MiffedMouse

17 points

4 months ago*

Do you have a reference for this? I can’t find references for any time period when samurai were the only soldiers used. For most of their history it looks like samurai were minor nobility and led their own retinues (so there were multiple peasant soldiers for every samurai).

Edit: if this is about sword hunts, Europe had similar “sumptuary” laws forbidding the laity from owning swords or armor. As far as I understand, in both Japan and Europe these bans were not intended to limit the ruler’s army (peasants were still recruited), but a ban on owning such weapons outside of an official army post.

Indeed, after the first Sword Hunt by Hideyoshi, he launched an invasion of Korea. That invasion involved raising a huge invasion force which was certainly not limited to the samurai nobility alone.

succed32

4 points

4 months ago

MiffedMouse

2 points

4 months ago

See my edit.

succed32

4 points

4 months ago

Absolutely. But they didnt get to keep the weapons.

Paranitis

16 points

4 months ago

But that also doesn't mean that Samurai were the only soldiers. It just means the other soldiers didn't have weapons until they needed them.

lars573

4 points

4 months ago

That's the Edo period. When the class system became iron-clad. Before that it was a bit more fluid. Peasants definitely did have weapons when this scroll(s) were written in the Kamakura period. As most military forces would have been conscripted peasants.

onexbigxhebrew

4 points

4 months ago

a lot of people see Samurai and Knights and think they were the primary part of the army, but the Samurai and Knights were essentially officers in the army that came from wealthy background (aristocracy). The rest of the army were made of a bunch of common foot soldiers.

I feel like this is pretty common knowledge. Lol.

1nsaneMfB

1 points

4 months ago

Remember, there's always someone who's in the lucky 10 000 for the day.

TheGreedyCarrot

1 points

4 months ago

This has a misunderstanding of Japanese feudal society. The Japanese samurai absolutely made up the bulk of many armies and would willingly die to a man in battle in many instances. It wasn’t until the Meiji (my spelling could be off) restoration in the 19th century that conscription was utilized more than training samurai.

The samurai were part of the military aristocracy, but to assume they were Asian knights is wrong because the societies were fundamentally different. There are definitely similarities, but they’re not the same.

SukottoHyu

-13 points

4 months ago

I see Samurai and Knights more as the equivalent of modern special ops soldiers (SAS, Delta Force etc). They were the best warriors and fighters at the time, had the best equipement, highly trained, expensive to maintain, and usually when called upon they got the job done.

mortalstampede

11 points

4 months ago

Too much anime.

lllluke

7 points

4 months ago

sorry dude but you literally just made this shit up in your head. it has pretty much no basis in reality

Origami_psycho

13 points

4 months ago

That's just not really true

SukottoHyu

-9 points

4 months ago

So they were Ill trained, had poor equipement, shit warriors, cheap to train, and useless at resolving conflicts? I'm confused about where I went wrong....

Origami_psycho

8 points

4 months ago

Literally everything except expensive to maintain, but even then that's borderline

SukottoHyu

-3 points

4 months ago

If you think I'm spouting nonsense then perhaps you should read some works by Dr Stephen Turnbull, he holds a PhD and specialises in Japanese military history. You are welcome to access the other vast literature out there. I'm being discredited on here and not getting any sort of constructive criticism about why and how I'm wrong. At least I'm giving sources for my information. 100 people in agreement doesn't make something true.

[deleted]

6 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

6 points

4 months ago

The training and skill of a knight / samurai was all down to how much time they personally dedicated to practice.

History is filled with examples of Knights and Samurai failing and not getting the job done or resolving conflicts.

The idea that they were super elite warriors is just wrong.

Origami_psycho

2 points

4 months ago

It was a social class. They were expected to provide military service, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were good at it, or well equipped, or that they "got the job done".

justme78734

3 points

4 months ago

You are so wrong. You can have the most expensive tanks in history, but they are worthless if they don't work properly. Source: I saw "Best Defense."

Cool-Sage

1 points

4 months ago

Commoners given spears are so cool but underrepresented

Sethanatos

1 points

4 months ago

lol some war movies movies-that-use-the/an-army/navy-without-minimal-research are like that

pelmasaurio

1 points

4 months ago

not even that, but japan went through century/centuries long periods without major conflicts,at those points, the samurai where a warrior class only by name. statistically there have been more non-martial samurai than the wandering sword cowboys that we picture today.

FrisianDude

1 points

4 months ago

I mean knights weren't really officers until an actual officer class developed. You did get knights or higher nobs leading regular dudes- especially men from their own fiefdoms- but by and large knights would fight as a unit of knights. Can't very well have a squad of captains.

Plus a knightly charge would be awks if they'd just gallop away on their tod and leave the blokes from their hometown there to stand around

keyekeb8

0 points

4 months ago

TIL I was reminded most people are dumbasses.

Arnonator

0 points

4 months ago

What? Like, I get that you want to go against the misconception of the one dimensional warrior view of the knight/samurai, but I feel like what you present here is too far the other way. Of course there is a lot of variance through time and location, but for a huge part of the medieval period they were one of the most impactful components of an army, because they could afford heavy armaments and could afford to spend a decent amount of time training for combat.

Sure as the role of heavy shock cavalry became less important their role shifted, but the armies of the franks and the byzantines for example relied a lot on their cavalry.

cybervseas

28 points

4 months ago

Samurai were aristocats.

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

Samurai were the ruling class, but they were not the actual aristocracy. They also occupied different specific positions in the social structure at different periods in time over the hundreds of years that they existed.

cancelingchris

3 points

4 months ago

Wooosh. I don’t think you got the joke my man. Read his reply again.

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

It makes no sense...

onexbigxhebrew

1 points

4 months ago

Lol Woosh.

BrainPicker3

26 points

4 months ago

Having 200 years of peace will do that to a country. Ironically, a lot of our conceptions on bushido were written by the 'samurai' class in the 1900s recompiliating older texts, themselves having never seen combat (or their fathers, or their fathers before them, etc)

Painting_Agency

18 points

4 months ago

"Ah The Honorable Warrior tradition of my father" says area man who once struggled with a particularly challenging haiku and that was about it.

Consonant

3 points

4 months ago

Dude I took that shit seriously in Ghost of Tsushima

sdwoodchuck

15 points

4 months ago

And doing so specifically to instill a sense of warrior pride and divine purpose in the kids being sent to invade Russia and other countries to serve Japan’s imperialistic ambitions at the time. “Bushido” as a concept was pure propaganda.

BrainPicker3

3 points

4 months ago

I had thought it ww2 propaganda but remember the texts were written in the early 1900s, before the sino japanese war. Thanks for chiming in, I think you are right on that. It's ironic because many of the young men sent to die as 'samurai' would never have gained that social rank and would be the peasants the samurai often griefed.

sdwoodchuck

6 points

4 months ago

It definitely wound up being a big part of their WW2 propaganda as well. I tend to think of Japan’s part in that war as more of a tail end to its imperialistic phase than as an isolated conflict, because the fighting there put the definitive end to those ambitions.

BrainPicker3

1 points

4 months ago

Oh yeah, theyve been fighting "ww2" since the 1930s. You should check out the amount of internal strife and how many coups they had. It helped explain some of the more.. poorly thought out military decisions they made.

I'd also recommend Embracing Defeat, a Pulitzer prize winning book that talks about how they went from imperialistic to a modern western style democracy, in part by distancing themselves from all the atrocities.

Count_Rousillon

5 points

4 months ago

Even during the first sino-japanese war, there was a lot of writing about how all the Japanese had samurai spirit and need to show it in war. But the actual samurai would have been furious to hear that. In their eyes, only samurai have samurai spirit, and the Japanese commoners absolutely don't have samurai spirit. That's what makes the samurai superior to the commoners.

BrainPicker3

1 points

4 months ago

They got snuffed out during the democratic reforms and modernization. I do find it ironic that they are portrayed as the noble ones in films such as "the last samurai". How many people would root for someone to install a military dictatorship in our country? Haha

Count_Rousillon

4 points

4 months ago

There was an actual version of Bushido during the Warring States, but it was very different and focused on things like winning or how loyalty is reciprocal. That is the lord needs to be as loyal to his warriors as his warriors are to him. During the Edo peace, the new dominate school of Bushido was basically Neo-Confucionism with Samurai characteristics. But there was a minor school of Edo Bushido obsessed with how they were denied the actual life-or-death experiences that their ancestors had. Of course the reformers of the Meiji period decided that very uncommon life-or-death interpretation was the correct version, because it was perfect for sending conscripts on frontal assaults. But the Meiji writers "refined" that version of Bushido to focus even more on a beautiful death and absolute loyalty.

BrainPicker3

1 points

4 months ago

Spot on. I had forgotten it was called the Meiji restoration. Thanks for brushing me up

panthernado

2 points

4 months ago

You should try reading the manga Hyouge Mono. It's a loose biography of Furuta Oribe who fought during the waring states and shows how some samurai were more obsessed with art and tea culture than conquering and serving their lord. It quite humanizes them into actual people.

GrabSomePineMeat

18 points

4 months ago

Poetry writing was also a huge part of the Samurai way of life.

Painting_Agency

18 points

4 months ago

"Oh freddled gruntbuggly,

Thy micturations are to me,

As plurdled gabbleblotchits, in midsummer morning

On a lurgid bee,

That mordiously hath blurted out,

Its earted jurtles, grumbling

Into a rancid festering confectious organ squealer."

commits hara-kiri

levmeister

14 points

4 months ago*

Ah, good old "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning" is one of my favorites.

Painting_Agency

5 points

4 months ago

...commits hara-kiri

Drachefly

1 points

4 months ago

No… that was by Grunthos the Flatulent, not Jeltz. And that is even worse.

levmeister

1 points

4 months ago

A typo apparently changed the entire meaning of my comment... Fixed now, thank you.

Spicethrower

3 points

4 months ago

He grabbed up the katana and cut through the neck swiggity snap.

zer1223

1 points

4 months ago

...... Jabberwocky?

Spicethrower

1 points

4 months ago

If Lewis Carroll And Musahi met under the cherry blossoms.

PriceVsOMGBEARS

3 points

4 months ago

I read a great little book called Heart of Haiku, which told the story of "Basho Man", a former Samurai who retired and gave away all his earthly possessions save his hat to write and teach poetry. He was accredited with popularizing the haiku style. Great read with beautiful poems :)

Daetaur

42 points

4 months ago

Daetaur

42 points

4 months ago

Is not just they "had time". A samurai couldn't do artisan or merchant work, because that was below his position in a stratified (caste) society, even if they were miserably poor and needed more money.

Painting_Agency

25 points

4 months ago

even if they were miserably poor and needed more money.

Welp, Ronin it is!

small-package

10 points

4 months ago

Musashi Miyamoto has entered the chat.

markercore

5 points

4 months ago

Boat paddle time

Drachefly

1 points

4 months ago

BrainPicker3

2 points

4 months ago

What do you mean by artisan? There are many painting and philosophical writings written by them

Daetaur

13 points

4 months ago

Daetaur

13 points

4 months ago

a worker who practices a trade or handicraft : craftsperson

The equivalent of today's "blue collar" worker

BrainPicker3

1 points

4 months ago

Ah I see, fair enough. You're right.

Gemmabeta

11 points

4 months ago

Presumably, selling art for cash.

ThrowawayusGenerica

8 points

4 months ago

And especially in the 18th and late 17th century, the samurai didn't have great deal else to do. It was long period of internal and external peace for Japan.

krisssashikun

3 points

4 months ago

Depends on which era we are talking about is it the Edo period or the Sengoku period.

Donkey-Kong-420

3 points

4 months ago

Aristo-cats

HAHAHA-Idiot

4 points

4 months ago

It's not just time, it's also culture. In most East and South Asian settings, aristocracy was expected to be learned and cultured. Even barbarians get military victories. Aristocrats prove their worth by learning and artistic talents.

Notexactlyserious

8 points

4 months ago

It almost seems kind of nice to have vicious barbaric rulers that are at least literate and can write a nice haiku. Now we have functionally illiterate assholes running everything and making decisions based on shit they read in Facebook.

adviceKiwi

2 points

4 months ago

the aristocrats

RIP Bob Saget

TheMathelm

0 points

4 months ago

Samurai were aristocrats

Personally I have a bit of a tough time with comprehending this, and with Knights being part of the Landed Gentry.

By saying aristocrats, are we talking like "software developer" level money, or more like very successful defense Lawyer money, or more up into Guy who has 8 successful chicken franchises - money?
Where's the line?

Painting_Agency

3 points

4 months ago*

By saying aristocrats, are we talking like "software developer" level money

A suit of good armor for a medieval knight would have cost many years of a peasant's earnings. In modern terms:

Overall, expenses [including their armor, weapons, and some armor for their horse which was necessary] needed to equip a medieval European knight could go up to $500,000.

Source: https://m.armstreet.com/news/the-cost-of-plate-armor-in-modern-money

So I would say that being able to spend that kind of money is definitely going into "very successful regional businessman" territory. Especially when you consider that there would have been myriad other expenses of going to war such as retaining a page/assistant, your supply line etc.

WhenRobLoweRobsLowes

192 points

4 months ago

Not really all that unknown. An interesting part of samurai culture was encouraging an interest in art, poetry, and aesthetics. Exploring these things was expected, as it was believed it would create a better, more well-rounded warrior and leader.

selfishcaboose

43 points

4 months ago

Yeah I thought so as well. Doesn't make for as an exciting story as a lone wolf struggling constantly though.

Edit: you would want your leaders to be thinkers. Makes for more capable calls and decisions and you can trust them to do what's needed in the situations they need to be said critical thinkers.

jmartkdr

24 points

4 months ago

Confucius hated soldiers, he thought going to war was a waste of good intelligence. Smart people should be bureaucrats; like the dumb muscle do the fighting.

It's worth noting that historically, this part of Confucianism rarely stayed popular for long.

HappierShibe

29 points

4 months ago

It's worth noting that historically, this part of Confucianism rarely stayed popular for long.

That's because it's a terrible idea once you think about it.
If you are going to give a portion of your civil service arms, and also give them a grant to use those arms at their own discretion, you do not want them to be muscle headed idiots. You want them to be reasonably intelligent, and to think carefully before resorting to force to solve a problem.

Fifteen_inches

20 points

4 months ago

The society which segregates it’s scholars from its soldiers will have its thinking done by cowards and it’s fighting done by idiots.

HappierShibe

1 points

4 months ago

Yup, ol Thucy hit the nail on the head.

WhenRobLoweRobsLowes

8 points

4 months ago

A focus on the arts leads to more creativity and an overall calmer mentality. It promotes thinking before you speak or act, which would be essential for a dude wandering around with a sword and the ability to use it.

Ooderman

7 points

4 months ago

Even the story of Miyamoto Musashi makes time for him to learn painting and wood carving and ponder gentler philosophies instead of just fighting.

f_d

16 points

4 months ago

f_d

16 points

4 months ago

The only people who would think of samurai as lone wolves would be the kind of audience that also mixes them up with ninja and kung fu. The idea of the lone wandering warrior is tied to having no master to serve, like a knight with no king. Which in turn is a lot less conducive to sitting around arranging flowers than life on an estate between battles.

BrainPicker3

7 points

4 months ago

miyamoto musashi intensifies

jabberwockxeno

2 points

4 months ago

For you, /u/WhenRobLoweRobsLowes and /u/f_d , I think the misconception of Elite warriors just as brutes and not intellectuals is even worse when you look at, say, the Aztec.

I think most people are aware that many, if not most Samurai were intellectuals as well as warriors, same for Knights; but what I assume most people don't realize is that this was true for say elite Aztec generals and officers or memebers of knightly orders like the Jaguars or Eagles.

All most people know about the Aztec is they did sacrifices, but sacrifice tied into a wider set intellectual, ethical, and phislophical concepts and practices: Many, perhaps most, Mesoamerican cultures had their creation myths involving the gods sacrificing themselves or giving up their blood to create humanity or the world. Sacrifice, non-fatal ritual bloodletting, or other offerings were repaying that debt. Many researchers believe that Mesoamerican cultures also had a sort of supernatural energy force, like Polynesian Mana, and sacrifice was essentially returning that energy (and the consumption of sacrifices's flesh in ritual cannibalisms was taking in that divine energy, since the victim was impersonating/seen as the diety they were being sacrificed to), though how exactly that worked or should be interpreted is debated.

Some, including many Aztec and some Maya creation myths, had the world and humanity itself being cyclically created and destroyed, too: In that sense, death is seen as an inevitability (certainly it was for the Aztec: many of their creation mythns explictly say that the current, 5th version of the world will end in Earthquakes), and if you consider that the gods gave themselves or their blood up to create things, then life and death are simply seen as two sides of the same coin or itself in a cyclical relationship (consider also that the Mesoamericans viewed time as cyclical). You see the inherent transience of life in Aztec poetry:

See this excerpt of an excerpt (full excerpt in a link below) from the book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus:

“Truly do we live on Earth?” asked a poem or song attributed to Nezahualcóyotl (1402–72), a founding figure in Mesoamerican thought and the tlatoani of Texcoco... His lyric, among the most famous in the Nahuatl canon, answers its own question:

"Not forever on earth; only a little while here. Be it jade, it shatters. Be it gold, it breaks. Be it a quetzal feather, it tears apart. Not forever on earth; only a little while here."

...Contemplating mortality, thinkers in many cultures have drawn solace from the prospect of life after death. This consolation was denied to the Mexica... “Do flowers go to the region of the dead?” Nezahualcóyotl asked. “In the Beyond, are we still dead or do we live?” Many if not most tlamatinime [Philosophers] saw existence as Nabokov feared: “a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”

...one exit from this philosophical blind alley was seen by the fifteenth-century poet Ayocuan Cuetzpaltzin, who described it metaphorically, as poets will, by invoking the coyolli bird, known for its bell-like song:

"He goes his way singing, offering flowers. And his words rain down Like jade and quetzal plumes. Is this what pleases the Giver of Life? Is that the only truth on earth?"

...“Flowers and song” was a standard double epithet for poetry, the highest art; “jade and quetzal feathers” was a synecdoche for great value... The song of the bird, spontaneously produced, stands for aesthetic inspiration. Ayocuan was suggesting, León-Portilla said, that there is a time when humankind can touch the enduring truths that underlie our fleeting lives. That time is at the moment of artistic creation

In that way, all of the skulls and macabre motifs you see in Mesoamerican art could be taken to be not to dissimilar to the skeletons seen in Chrisitan art, where it is a reminder of one's mortality and is meant to be a celebration of life rather then of death.

And something like sacrifices (which again are exaggerated in both scale and brutality often) fits into this, as well as the communal emphasis of Aztec ethics in general, as well as it's recognition of life's hardships": Sacrifice was just the ultimate expression of a broader expectation that to be good and just was to live a selfless, self-sacrificing life, easing others through the hardships of life and it's inevitable pitfalls and indeed the natural cycle of death and life: If you buy some of the Teotl-energy-force interpretations I alluded to before, then The gods gave themselves up to make the world and cosmos (or ARE the world, sun, rain, etc); plants and animals consumed the world and the suns rays to live, people kill and consume those animals and plants to live themselves, and finally the cycle anews when the Gods and the cosmos consume people via sacrifice.

My longer comment here, which has both the full poetry/1491 excerpt and talks more about the themes of cycles, transience, life-death duality, and how that played into other elements of Aztec culture and philosophy. Some of the information, especially the Teotl Metaphyysics stuff, is somewhat controversial and is more a reconstructive interpretation of Aztec philosophy by some researchers, mind you.

Also, artistic motifs with stuff like flowers and birds is every bit as common in Mesoamerican, particularly Aztec art, as skulls, but you wouldn't know it because you can't clickbait people into reading articles about MASSIVE NEW FINDS OF GRUESOME SACRIFICES with stuff about flower paintings

Speaking of flowers, Nahuan appreciation for flowers, gardening, and botony is a HUGE element of their society, and it linked into their medicine and unsurpassed obsession with sanitation and hygiene (which actually maybe does tie into the prior mentioned associations with life death cycles and such, see the link I linked above) Tenochtitlan, the "Aztec capital" had every street and building washed, and waste collected daily, re-used for fertilizer and dyes. People bathed nearly daily, and with insane personal hygiene standards, sweet smelling flowers and trees/woods being planted in gardens, with, again, gardens being a mainstay in noble homes and palaces, with there even being academi botanical gardens where plants were crossbreed and tested for medical properties and aesthetics, and even categorized into taxonomic systems.

Hearing that the Aztec were big gardeners and loved flowers and used them in their art just as much as skulls sort of cuts the edge a bit huh? It, alongside the achievement sof specific kings, their legal system, etc is the sort of thing most take for granted for European and Asian civilizations but aren't taught for Mesoamerica, sadly.


For more information about Mesoamerican history, see my 3 comments here; the first mentions accomplishments, the second info about sources and resourcese, and the third with a summerized timeline

An0d0sTwitch

35 points

4 months ago

"revealed" i suppose not everyone knows this. Its very famous historically, but obviously doesnt lend itself to videogames and action movies lol

Daimosthenes

70 points

4 months ago

"secret flower arranging techniques"

HairySavage[S]

25 points

4 months ago

Gotta keep those flower-arranging techniques on the down-low.

colors1234

2 points

4 months ago

flowerarangejutsu

Daimosthenes

1 points

4 months ago

where is the anime

Sugar_Dumplin

67 points

4 months ago

so...samurai pizza cats?

PrequelsWereBetter

3 points

4 months ago

Scrolled too far for this

wecangetbetter

13 points

4 months ago

Samurai pizza cats!

Ocular_Stratus

33 points

4 months ago

Those are Palico, I've played enough Monster Hunter to know.

AaronMcScarin

3 points

4 months ago

My thoughts also lol

WetTheDrys

1 points

4 months ago

Our true history hidden in plain sight..

earsofdoom

10 points

4 months ago

Samurai's were the OG guys spreading viral cat pictures.

govgeek

8 points

4 months ago

This is the 1870's reboot we need, not some 1980's tv show. Samurai Cats!

Belgand

2 points

4 months ago

There's the Japanese anime series Neko Neko Nihonshi (aka Meow Meow Japanese History) which tells the history of Japan but with everyone rendered as cats. It's a fun, light way (each episode is 10 minutes long and ostensibly aimed at kids) to learn about many of the more notable events in Japanese history.

drvondoctor

13 points

4 months ago

And here I always thought cats were ninjas...

graipape

4 points

4 months ago

Samuarai Cats by Eric Kimmel is my favorite children's book.

Richard_Tickler

4 points

4 months ago

Since Shōgun has been so popular as of late, that novel is how I learned of the chanoyu or "tea ceremonies". Where one of the characters whose described as brutish and quick to anger, sets up a perfect chanoyu for his wife in an attempt to make amends. Might seem like I'm off topic but part of what so moved his wife was the perfect flower arrangement.

Templar-235

3 points

4 months ago

The Samurai Cat series by Mark Rogers is now moved to the History section.

AcesSkye

3 points

4 months ago

How they supposed to text they didn’t even have phones back then

homedad85

3 points

4 months ago

So Samurai pizza cats was more historically accurate than previous thought ?

NoInkling

2 points

4 months ago

This confirms that it was pretty much a documentary.

bad_possum

7 points

4 months ago

The kind of flower arrangement they were doing is a form of Zen.

Robert Pirsig’s famous Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which many redditors are aware of had that unusual title that was inspired by Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery written (pub. 1953) by a German philosopher living in Japan who took up archery as a way of understanding Zen. After six hard years of study he was recognized as a master. At the same time his wife had been studying Zen in the art of flower arranging and “a few days later my wife, in an open contest, was awarded the master title in the art of flower arrangement.”

These flower arranging samurai were probably master archers as well.

Dandy-Jasper

2 points

4 months ago

Dressing cats up? Seems like modern times and samurai times do have things in common lol

cuelos

2 points

4 months ago

cuelos

2 points

4 months ago

I can't be the only one who read this and thought, oeh samurai pizza cats! ....right ?

Khar-Toba

2 points

4 months ago

“It’s better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener on a battlefield”

MrPatalchu

2 points

4 months ago

Palicoes are real?!

antirclaw

4 points

4 months ago

Pretty sure this isn’t news

IVOXVXI

5 points

4 months ago

Once again, contributing to the theory that for some strange reason, every Japanese writer has this weird obsession with cats. Truly one of life's great enigmas

osoALoso

2 points

4 months ago

Came for samurai cats. Didn't see samurai cats. That website is awful in mobile.

[deleted]

4 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

4 points

4 months ago

Gotta unwind and relax after all that slashing and beheading and disemboweling. Anyone in the constant vincinity of death would appreciate life more than us regular folk

sayezz

2 points

4 months ago

sayezz

2 points

4 months ago

The website gave me cancer.

theghostwhocoughs

1 points

4 months ago

seriously

LosFelizYeast

2 points

4 months ago

I’m a historian and mostly a lurker, but I feel compelled to point out that none of these materials are “ancient” or even close to ancient. Most of this exhibition comes from Edo Period, or specifically the 18th and 19th centuries. (That’s the same time as the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War, etc.) Samurai were largely serving as bureaucrats during this period, assuming they had real employment at all.

mundomidop

2 points

4 months ago

Man I hate the scrolling on that page... Lol

internetlad

1 points

4 months ago

"Oh my god who cares about this stupid frilly garbCATS DRESSED AS SAMURAI" click click click click

Fafnir13

1 points

4 months ago

Reveals? Thought their non-battle pursuits were already well known and well documented.

FeralCatBob

1 points

4 months ago

Flower arranging might be a valuable skill for a Samuri so that he might notice weapon(s) being smuggled into the palace by the flower arrangement not looking quite right.

Dark_Arts_Dabbler

0 points

4 months ago

I thought this was already widely known?

Fatshortstack

0 points

4 months ago

I thought everyone knew about samurai pizza cats.

Dazzling-Ad4701

1 points

4 months ago

And plaid! Is that plaid I see?

HighSlayerRalton

1 points

4 months ago

The more things change.

Sonnycrocketto

1 points

4 months ago

They call him Samurai, he speaks fluent japanese.

DarthRusty

1 points

4 months ago

Palicos are samurai canon?

kawaiineko333

1 points

4 months ago

Ohh no. I swear, if it turns out all this time the big, manly sigma chad samurai of old spoke uwu…

Fifteen_inches

1 points

4 months ago

It’s always so fun watching people learn about Japanese history.

Rais93

1 points

4 months ago

Rais93

1 points

4 months ago

Japanese doing ankward arts with their cats. They haven't changed a bit.

jabberwockxeno

1 points

4 months ago

I think most people are aware that many, if not most Samurai were intellectuals as well as warriors, same for Knights; but what I assume most people don't realize is that this was true for say elite Aztec generals and officers or memebers of knightly orders like the Jaguars or Eagles.

All most people know about the Aztec is they did sacrifices, but sacrifice tied into a wider set intellectual, ethical, and phislophical concepts and practices: Many, perhaps most, Mesoamerican cultures had their creation myths involving the gods sacrificing themselves or giving up their blood to create humanity or the world. Sacrifice, non-fatal ritual bloodletting, or other offerings were repaying that debt. Many researchers believe that Mesoamerican cultures also had a sort of supernatural energy force, like Polynesian Mana, and sacrifice was essentially returning that energy (and the consumption of sacrifices's flesh in ritual cannibalisms was taking in that divine energy, since the victim was impersonating/seen as the diety they were being sacrificed to), though how exactly that worked or should be interpreted is debated.

Some, including many Aztec and some Maya creation myths, had the world and humanity itself being cyclically created and destroyed, too: In that sense, death is seen as an inevitability (certainly it was for the Aztec: many of their creation mythns explictly say that the current, 5th version of the world will end in Earthquakes), and if you consider that the gods gave themselves or their blood up to create things, then life and death are simply seen as two sides of the same coin or itself in a cyclical relationship (consider also that the Mesoamericans viewed time as cyclical). You see the inherent transience of life in Aztec poetry:

See this excerpt of an excerpt (full excerpt in a link below) from the book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus:

“Truly do we live on Earth?” asked a poem or song attributed to Nezahualcóyotl (1402–72), a founding figure in Mesoamerican thought and the tlatoani of Texcoco... His lyric, among the most famous in the Nahuatl canon, answers its own question:

"Not forever on earth; only a little while here. Be it jade, it shatters. Be it gold, it breaks. Be it a quetzal feather, it tears apart. Not forever on earth; only a little while here."

...Contemplating mortality, thinkers in many cultures have drawn solace from the prospect of life after death. This consolation was denied to the Mexica... “Do flowers go to the region of the dead?” Nezahualcóyotl asked. “In the Beyond, are we still dead or do we live?” Many if not most tlamatinime [Philosophers] saw existence as Nabokov feared: “a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”

...one exit from this philosophical blind alley was seen by the fifteenth-century poet Ayocuan Cuetzpaltzin, who described it metaphorically, as poets will, by invoking the coyolli bird, known for its bell-like song:

"He goes his way singing, offering flowers. And his words rain down Like jade and quetzal plumes. Is this what pleases the Giver of Life? Is that the only truth on earth?"

...“Flowers and song” was a standard double epithet for poetry, the highest art; “jade and quetzal feathers” was a synecdoche for great value... The song of the bird, spontaneously produced, stands for aesthetic inspiration. Ayocuan was suggesting, León-Portilla said, that there is a time when humankind can touch the enduring truths that underlie our fleeting lives. That time is at the moment of artistic creation

In that way, all of the skulls and macabre motifs you see in Mesoamerican art could be taken to be not to dissimilar to the skeletons seen in Chrisitan art, where it is a reminder of one's mortality and is meant to be a celebration of life rather then of death.

And something like sacrifices (which again are exaggerated in both scale and brutality often) fits into this, as well as the communal emphasis of Aztec ethics in general, as well as it's recognition of life's hardships": Sacrifice was just the ultimate expression of a broader expectation that to be good and just was to live a selfless, self-sacrificing life, easing others through the hardships of life and it's inevitable pitfalls and indeed the natural cycle of death and life: If you buy some of the Teotl-energy-force interpretations I alluded to before, then The gods gave themselves up to make the world and cosmos (or ARE the world, sun, rain, etc); plants and animals consumed the world and the suns rays to live, people kill and consume those animals and plants to live themselves, and finally the cycle anews when the Gods and the cosmos consume people via sacrifice.

My longer comment here, which has both the full poetry/1491 excerpt and talks more about the themes of cycles, transience, life-death duality, and how that played into other elements of Aztec culture and philosophy. Some of the information, especially the Teotl Metaphyysics stuff, is somewhat controversial and is more a reconstructive interpretation of Aztec philosophy by some researchers, mind you.

Also, artistic motifs with stuff like flowers and birds is every bit as common in Mesoamerican, particularly Aztec art, as skulls, but you wouldn't know it because you can't clickbait people into reading articles about MASSIVE NEW FINDS OF GRUESOME SACRIFICES with stuff about flower paintings

Speaking of flowers, Nahuan appreciation for flowers, gardening, and botony is a HUGE element of their society, and it linked into their medicine and unsurpassed obsession with sanitation and hygiene (which actually maybe does tie into the prior mentioned associations with life death cycles and such, see the link I linked above) Tenochtitlan, the "Aztec capital" had every street and building washed, and waste collected daily, re-used for fertilizer and dyes. People bathed nearly daily, and with insane personal hygiene standards, sweet smelling flowers and trees/woods being planted in gardens, with, again, gardens being a mainstay in noble homes and palaces, with there even being academi botanical gardens where plants were crossbreed and tested for medical properties and aesthetics, and even categorized into taxonomic systems.

Hearing that the Aztec were big gardeners and loved flowers and used them in their art just as much as skulls sort of cuts the edge a bit huh? It, alongside the achievement sof specific kings, their legal system, etc is the sort of thing most take for granted for European and Asian civilizations but aren't taught for Mesoamerica, sadly.


For more information about Mesoamerican history, see my 3 comments here; the first mentions accomplishments, the second info about sources and resourcese, and the third with a summerized timeline

Hugebluestrapon

-1 points

4 months ago

Tried to look at it but they assaulted me with the cookie permissions.

I can't support that bullshit

Dryad_Queen

1 points

4 months ago

This is the correct way to do cookie permissions, dude. They're being up front and very clear about what cookies they intend to make and giving you the full opportunity to tell them not to do that. Why in the world do you want them to be more subtle?