Everyone is familiar with the term 'samurai'. But who were these military soldiers in feudal Japan? What sort of life did they live - and what was their code of conduct?
First of all it's important to understand that to this day, Japan is influenced by various codes of conduct formed during the era's of the samurai. Modern Japan still stays true to many of the principles and philosophies that originate from the bushido (their code of conduct).
In the early days of what is now known as China (around 6th/7th century) samurai were simply part of the military forces used to capture different areas within this eastern realm.
However, as time progressed, they slowly became feared and respected warriors - especially in Japan (around 11th/12th century). They managed to instill respect and fear in the hearts of many and through strategic alliances they were also able to climb the economic and social ladders- increasing their power and influence within the empire itself.
As they became wealthier and mightier they were eventually considered people of high social respect - usually one step removed from true nobility. They began to immerse themselves in various fine arts like poetry and calligraphy as ways to practice mindfulness and develop themselves further.
There are several principles we believe are worth mentioning with regards to the legend of the samurai.
1. Samurai were highly educated.
Because most samurai were able to climb the ladders of society they also gained access to resources and information others simply weren't able to access. As a result, the specialized in the fine arts, and educated themselves about many topics one would be fascinated about in a period like this.
2. Samurai were skilled warriors.
As many of you know, samurai were skilled warriors. Through rigorous training (sometimes practicing up to 10 hours a day) they were able to perfect their skills with the katana (their sword) but also other weapons like the yumi (longbow) and the yari (japanese spear). Their rigorous practice gave them an advantage over many other warriors in battle.
3. Samurai went into battle groomed perfectly.
Samurai were mindful people and especially in Eastern culture during the feudal era - doing things right was more important than doing things fast. As a result, many samurai were extremely skilled in being fully engaged in the moment. To prepare for battle, they would ensure they were groomed perfectly as a sign of self-respect where the art of mindfulness was also practiced.
5. Samurai operated in clans.
Many of the samurai operated in tribes or clans, also known as bushi. These warrior families supported each other to ensure the survival of their fellow tribesmen.
6. Samurai were loyal - but not always.
In general it seems that samurai were quite loyal - especially towards their superior (in rank). However, as with many medieval clans, their military prowess was often paid for in gold and rankings. If one of the lords would not stay true to his word - loyalty would not be ensured by the samurai.
The inspiration for our Samurai wristwatch.
The hard work, code of conduct and armouring of the samurai were the inspiration for the creation of the Samurai wristwatch.
The early samurai armour, also known as kozane, was made from rugged leather and steel attached together in different patterns allowing more flexibility and stretch (which would also provide protection). Similarly, in the samurai watch for men you will also find hints of such leathers and metals in the casing and leather cuff itself.
Similar to the samurai who practiced the fine arts in the form of poetry, calligraphy, and music, the skeleton dial of the clockwork has an eastern influence. There are floral engravings applied to the work, hinting back to the calligraphy of the early day samurai.
Lastly, in the case of this leather watch for men, burnings have been deliberately created to the veg-tanned leather that proudly symbolize the disciplined life of the samurai which was also filled with many sacrifices.
Our samurai leather wristwatch is one of the finest watches in our current collection and is without a doubt, the ultimate bad boy accessory forevery modern day samurai. You can read more about this watch here.