10 terrible things that were considered normal among the samurai
Miscellaneous / / January 14, 2022
Animal cruelty, strange displays of love and disgusting drinks.
1. Inuumono - sports archery for dogs
There is a misconception that a samurai is a melee warrior who fights exclusively with a sword. But we already told, it is not so. In fact, these guys were horse archers, and the katana was used mainly as an object of status or a “last chance” weapon - when the enemy reached the melee and there was simply no other option.
But the ability to shoot for bushi was even more important than to fight with swords.
The art of the samurai was then called not bushido (this is a relatively new expression), but kyudo and yumiya no miti - "the way of the bow and arrow." And the warriors trained to shoot from bows no less, if not more diligently, than to swing a katana. It was to practice this skill that the inuumono was invented.
Here's what it looked like. We build a round corral with a diameter of about 15 meters. Let's get some dogs in there. Competitors sit on horses and gallop around the enclosure. Each carries a bow and arrows with plumage of their own color. The task is to kill as many of the person's friends as you can. Whoever hits the most targets is the winner. It's not for you to shoot at banks, practice is needed here.
Inuumono became especially popularD. G. bargen. Suicidal Honor: General Nogi and the Writings of Mori Ogai and Natsume Soseki among the Japanese nobility during the Kamakura and Muromachi periods (from 1185 to 1573). This sport was appreciated by the great archer Sadamune, who wrote a whole treatise about it.
And his great-grandson, the even more prominent shooter Mochinaga, scribbled as many as five manuals, and this shooting began to be revered as the most important art for the samurai. And where were the animal rights activists when they were so needed?
True, later Buddhist monks began to hint unobtrusivelyY. woodson. Lords of the Samurai: The Legacy of a Daimyo Family Samurai, that it is not good to kill innocent animals, such practice will not lead to enlightenment.
Noble busi did heed the requests of the clergy. And in order to respect these saints, and not offend themselves, they simply began to shoot dogs with blunt arrows. It didn't kill the animals, but they probably didn't get much better. But the samurai karma was saved.
2. Tameshigiri - testing weapons on humans
As you know, any samurai had a katana, which was supposed to cut anything with one blow - a silk scarf, the hair of a beloved woman, a rider in full armor along with a horse, and so on. True, the outstanding advantages of this weapon were somewhat exaggeratedwhich we have already written about. But still, a katana must cut well.
And the Japanese had a whole separate martial artM. Sesko. Legends and Stories around the Japanese Sword called tameshigiri ("trial strike"), aimed at testing weapons. I bought a noble bushi a katana for myself, and how do you tell him to guess whether it is an original or a fake? That's right, start shredding something - straw sheaves, bamboo, fabric ...
As the proverb says, a sword bought in the morning must be used before sunset. Otherwise, you are not busi, but so, and you have a katana for the sake of appearance.
Particularly severe grunts preferred to hone the art of cutting on the corpses of executed people, on living convicted criminals, and even on peasants and beggars who fell under a hot hand. Sometimes a blow was struck not on one body, but on several, having previously tied them together - this was called sumonogiri.
Marked on tested swordsM. Sesko. Legends and Stories around the Japanese Swordwhat kind of injuries they inflicted. They also gave the blades all sorts of exciting names like Ryu guruma (thigh cutter), O-kesoi (cutting in half) or Higegiri (barber). It was a kind of quality mark.
Historian Kazuhiro Sakaue of Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science, researchedK. Sakaue. A case report of human skeletal remains performed by Tameshi-giri (test cutting with a Japanese sword) / Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Nature and Science skeletons of the unfortunate, on which medieval bushi tested their gloomy art. According to him, sometimes the bodies were stacked in piles of seven. And after the test of the sword, the samurai returned them to their families - an insane gesture of courtesy.
Relatives of the deceased sometimes buried several people at once in one grave, because they could not determine where the remains of their loved ones were, and where those of strangers were, so they were mutilated.
3. Tsujigiri - Entertaining Crossroad Kills
Tsujigiri literally meansTsujigiri / Tofugu "kill on the sidelines" Initially, this was the name given to duels between noble bushi. Well, as usual, the samurai did not share something - word for word, "let's go out, we'll figure it out." And they went to cut themselves on the road, so as not to cling to door jambs with katanas.
But during the Sengoku period (1467–1600), wild anarchy began in Japan, and the samurai began to allow themselves too muchM. Sesko. Encyclopedia of Japanese Swords. For example, I bought a bushi a new katana, I need to test it, but there are no convicted criminals or prisoners at hand.
It gets awkward. Solution: we go outside (preferably at night) and kill the oncoming merchant or peasant there. This was also tsujigiri, and from the point of view of the law, no claims could be made against the samurai. Well, he beheaded some digger, with whom he does not happen.
So it was possible to work out a new technique, check the sharpening of the blade, or simply improve the mood. And there was also a belief that by committing a thousand sudden murders, any disease can be cured.
In 1602, the Edo shogunate finally banned this practice on pain of death, rightly judging that the country would soon run out of peasants, and who would grow rice? Nevertheless, such murders still happened from time to time.
By the way, despite the name, tsujigiriE. Mitamura. Edo banashi shūsei not necessarily carried out in the fresh air. One day in 1696, in the red light district of Yoshiwara, a samurai named Sano Jirozaemon found himself dissatisfied with the quality of the services provided, grabbed a katana and chopped up several dozen women without leaving his premises.
I could have just left an entry in the complaint book, but I could not restrain my emotions. The shogun did not appreciate the samurai prowess and sentenced the warrior to death. Later, a kabuki play called "The Murder of a Hundred People in Yoshiwara" was staged about this event.
4. Kiri-sute gomen - the right to kill for insults
As you know, samurai honor is very important. After all, if the latter is stained, the bushi may have to commit seppuku or become a monk. And other nobles will laugh at him - this is especially unpleasant. Therefore, the samurai were very fond of take offense at any sideways glance. And if the samurai is offended, it’s not far from killing.
Literally, kiri-sute gomen meansKirisute-gomen / Samurai World Encyclopedia "the right to cut and leave." However, this phrase appeared much later. In early historical sources, this custom is called uchi-sute ("hit and throw") or burei-uchi ("insult and hit").
Uchi-sute meant the right of a samurai to stab anyone who offended him with a sword. Insults at different times implied very different behavior: in the Sengoku era, for example, they could be hacked to death for the fact that the peasant "does not look like that" or dares to giggle at the fact that the bushi wears socks with sandals.
But later, kiri-sute gomen was still limited by more precise rules. Yes, the samurai mustE. Ikegami. The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan was to strike immediately after the insult, and not a few days later.
I missed the moment - well, that means I forgave. Going to cut down a commoner - lend him your wakizashi short sword so that he gets a chance at self-defense. We do not lend a sword to noble opponents, they have their own.
He managed to defend himself - well done, we praise, we forgive. You can't get a second hit.
If the samurai still killed the impudent one, one should go to the nearest official, report the incident and provide at least one witness to confirm the version of the bushi. By the way, you can bring your friends and relatives, it does not matter.
If the samurai's overlord decided that the killing was justified, the bushi was excused. If the kiri-sute gomen had not very good reasons, the samurai could be put under house arrest for 20 days and even confiscate his weapons for the same period.
If the bushi rashly killed someone important to the shogun or emperor, he could be forced to commit seppuku and even disinherit his children. So, there really wasn't much to freak out about.
Perhaps it is kiri-sute gomen that is the reason for the traditional Japanese courtesywhich sometimes reaches insanity. The fact is that the ronin, bushi outcasts, did not give up their samurai manners and also considered themselves entitled to strike for a real or imaginary insult.
An ordinary nobleman could at least be identified by expensive clothes, and ronin often looked like dirty ragamuffins. But such a vagabond could well have a sword under his rags and knew how to use it. This was a good reason for ordinary Japanese to be extremely respectful with everyone in a row - you never know.
And by the way, the samurai had a special ruleE. Ikegami. The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan torinuke gomen - "the right to go first." It applied to medical workers, doctors and midwives. They were allowed more than other commoners, and it was impossible to cut them down. Even if the doctor touched the samurai where it was not necessary.
5. Iaijutsu - killing an unsuspecting opponent
Imagine: you, along with another samurai, are squatting, as it should be even bushi, and drinking tea. And he somehow unkindly glances either at the katana lying in front of him, or at you. What does samurai ethics prescribe in this case?
That's right, resort to iaijutsu. This is artD. A. Hall. Encyclopedia of Japanese Martial Arts draw the sword before your interlocutor does. An even more complex action, which only real sword masters can do, is battojutsu. This is the ability to draw a katana from its scabbard, strike and kill the enemy in one motion.
After that, you can safely wipe the blade on the pants of the untimely deceased, put it back into the sheath and continue drinking tea, admiring the cherry blossoms.
If it didn’t work out with one blow and had to inflict a few more, then this is not battojutsu, but iaijutsu - do not confuse.
In addition, those who have studied this techniqueG. Wagner. Japanese Swordsmanship: Technique and Practice samurai also comprehended etiquette in the iai-goshi position - well, the one in which they drink tea. It was especially important to learn how to bow correctly, since at this moment the head is exposed to a blow.
And it was also impossible to turn the weapon with the handle towards the interlocutor - so that the blade would be inconvenient to snatch. He may think that you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position because you underestimate his abilities as a swordsman, and decides to prove to you that he has iaijutsu at his level.
6. Hitobashira - human sacrifice during construction
Samurai, if he is rich, it would be nice to still have a castle. And it must be built so that it does not collapse during an earthquake, which often happens in Japan.
The solution is to wall up before laying the foundationJ. Mitchelhill D. green. Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty under the future castle of a man as a victim. Several are possible. The most commonly used were mother and infant. This rite was observed by the samurai until the 16th century. Such sacrifices were also left during the construction of bridges, dams, walls, and so on.
And after that, the descendants of the samurai wonder why they have vengeful onryo ghosts with black unkempt hair. climb from everywhere even from TVs.
7. Yobai - samurai courting ladies
In general, it may seem that being a samurai means being successful with women. In the end, not every girl dares to refuse a stern bushi, who has a habit of grabbing a sword just a little. However, in reality, these guys had some problems getting married.
The fact is that until the end of the Edo period, the samurai neededK. Hyakunen. Japanese Culture in the Meiji Era obtain the consent of their parents, the parents of the bride, the daimyo, and the shogunal administration. And in some, especially neglected cases, the emperor personally. As you can imagine, it was still a problem.
In addition, the nobility in Japan (as, indeed, in many other countries) considered marriage more and more not with romantic, but from the economic side, so the samurai married girls with a good dowry - it doesn’t matter, loved ones or not. This was called omiai - matchmaking to a rich bride.
lucky marriageallowed impoverished samurai to improve their financial situation, and rich commoners to join the ancient noble families. Bushi's desire to make money is understandable: daimyo were paidS. R. Turnbull. Warriors of Medieval Japan they are paid for their service not in money, but in rice. The minimum rate per year is approximately 150 kilograms. Receiving such a salary did not allow the samurai to become proud and start to boast of wealth.
Sometimes it happened that some wealthy merchant desperately needed to intermarry with a samurai, which promised good protection and various benefits. The issue was resolved as follows: a daughter was given out for a rich busi. And if the samurai did not want to marry her, he was given a generous cash gift for the wedding. And feelings for the betrothed instantly woke up.
Naturally, marriages not made for love did not contribute to a healthy intimate life, and samurai sometimes performed yobai - "crawling at night."
This is when a man secretly comes to a girl in the dark, spends time with her and leaves in the morning. It was believed that if you leave in silence, the rules of decency will not be violated.
Sometimes samurai didb. Lafayette De Mente. Japan’s Cultural Code Words: Key Terms That Explain the Attitudes and Behavior of the Japanese yobai with the girl they later married, and then it was considered a ritual of noble courtship.
If a married samurai came to a commoner, her mother and father pretended that they had not seen anything like that. You never know, he will start waving a katana. And if a girl suddenly got pregnant, they were appointed the official parents of the child.
8. Kosho - samurai training
The word kosho translates as "a person who follows a nobleman" - an approximate analogue of the western page. This is when an adult bushi warrior takes on a boy who is just about to become a real samurai. In medieval Europe, knights also took into service squires.
Raising a young samurai was an occupationS. R. Turnbull. Warriors of Medieval Japanwhich modern parents would consider quite cruel. Exercises for fencing started at the age of 5-7, and some unique ones could give a three-year-old wooden saber - not a toy, but a training one.
By the age of seven, a real short mamorigatana blade was also in use, for self-defense. The boys were taught military tactics, archery, horseback riding, swimming in armor (sueijutsu), handling a spear and hand-to-hand combat, jujutsu using sticks and brass knuckles yawara - to make it more fun It was.
In addition, attention was paid to etiquette, tea ceremonies, the addition of haiku, and so on.
This was also important, because in case of non-compliance with the rules of decency, samurai often grabbed weapons - iaijutsu, yes.
Future bushi were forbidden to cry, even if it was very painful, and encouraged to endure hardships stoically. So, a certain samurai Yoshiki, who raised the eight-year-old son of one powerful daimyo, forcedL. S. Roberts. Growing Up Manly: Male Samurai Childhood in Late Edo-Era Tosa him to walk, and not ride a horse or in a carriage, so that he grows up as a real man, and not that's all.
For trainingS. R. Turnbull. Warriors of Medieval Japan the courage of children was sent, for example, to spend the night in cemeteries and in other places where, according to legend, evil spirits live. In addition, the future samurai could be ordered to go to the square at night, where the severed heads of criminals were exhibited, and leave marks on them with a knife. So in the morning, the bushi mentor could make sure that the ward obeyed the order, and did not chicken out.
Watching public executions, walking barefoot in winter, lack of sleep and exorbitant hard work were also beneficial to the morale of the pupils.
9. Seppuku is the best way to save honor
Despite the high status of the samurai, marriage with him was sometimes fraught with certain risks. We already toldthat seppuku bushi did not only very often - only when there was no other way out.
But if the warrior nevertheless decided on this, the rules of good manners prescribedS. R. Turnbull. The Samurai: A Military History his wife to follow her husband's example. Ladies, however, more often did not open their stomachs, because it was too brutal and ugly, but preferred to slash themselves with a knife in the throat. Before that, they prudently tied their knees so as not to accidentally fall in an indecent position.
For men, hara-kiri was an even more sophisticated ritual.S. R. Turnbull. The Samurai: A Military History. They prepared for it all day - they washed, shaved and blackened their teeth, this was called ohaguru. Having completed all the necessary actions, the bushi wrote the final haiku, drank sake, and finally performed the kusungobu conceived by the dagger.
The process was watched by spectators, daimyo, other samurai and their servants. Children could also be taken with them to temper their courage.
A samurai warrior could sometimes commit seppuku just for company if his master died or suffered disgrace - this was called junshi. After ripping open the stomach, the warrior's neck was cut halfway by the kaishakunin, his assistant - when the bushi had already proved to everyone his courage and contempt for pain, it was possible to save him from torment.
Being a kaishakunin was unpleasant for other samurai.L. Frederic. Japan Encyclopediabecause it's easy to get embarrassed. If you strike weakly, you will only increase the suffering of a comrade. Hit hard - the head will fall off and touch the ground, and this is a shame for you and for your ward. It even happened that a kaishakunin, having failed to properly cut a friend's neck, would then do hara-kiri himself to wash away the shame. The last such case was recorded already in the 20th century.
Particularly brutal samurai did not use the services of a kaishakunin - why, if they themselves had a mustache. Having performed the necessary manipulations, the valiant bushi mustL. Frederic. Japan Encyclopedia was to wrap up the kimono himself and cover his face with his hands so that no one would see the expression of discontent, and even more so of suffering. This method was revered as especially courageous.
It is not surprising that most bushi preferred to go to ronin or go to a monastery instead of seppuku.
10. Kuchikami no - sake made from chewed rice and saliva
So that all of the above difficulties do not break the military spirit, the samurai should sometimes rest. But since Netflix series and video games had not yet made it to Japan, the bushi had a more traditional, albeit unhealthy, way to relax - sake.
That's just, even the booze of real samurai was not like that of people. And, raising another bowl, it was better not to think about how it was prepared.
The fact is that medieval Japanese sakeKanpai! Sake through the ages / The Japan Times very different from what you can try now. Modern rice vodka - although sake is more appropriate to compare with sherry - is made using a special type of koji mold (Aspergillus oryzae) discovered back in the 8th century.
But in the Middle Ages, this method was not yet very common, and therefore the drink of that time was often prepared in the old fashioned way, using the original technology in piles-no. This word literally translates as "sake chewed by the mouth."
The recipe isWhy Sake Used to Be Made with the Spit of Japanese Virgins / Vice: take rice, chew until it turns into gruel, and spit into a wooden vat. We wait a few days until the enzymes of saliva turn the starch into glucose, which is then transformed into alcohol. Everything you can drink.
However, often such a drink turned out to be so thick that it was allowed to use sticks when drinking it. Chestnuts or millet could also be used instead of rice.
The best product was called bijinshuSake Used To Be Made With The Saliva Of Virgins / Vinepair "beautiful woman's sake." It was prepared by specially trained young girls who had not met men before. However, as you understand, you can’t get enough virgins for everyone, so most of the sake was created without following the relevant recommendations - even with the participation of old women and males. This fact was delicately hushed up.
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