Showing Tag: "samurai" (Show all posts)

Ishikawa Goemon

Posted by on Saturday, March 23, 2024, In : Art 

Ishikawa Goemon (1558 –1594) was a ninja from Iga in Japan and is seen as a Robin Hood-type figure and legendary Japanese outlaw (who at least probably existed) and is said to have stolen from daimyo, wealthy merchants, and rich temples and given the proceeds to the poor. In 1594, Goemon tried to assassinate the Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi but when this failed, he was boiled alive. In some versions of the tale, his five-year-old son was also thrown into the cauldron, but he held him above his...
Continue reading ...

Sakujiro Yokoyama's Account of a Samurai Duel

Posted by on Saturday, October 14, 2023, In : Proverbs & Quotes 

The following quote was recorded by the early Western judoka E. J. Harrison in his book The Fighting Spirit of Japan (1913). It is an account from a fellow judoka, Sakujiro Yokoyama (pictured above) of a samurai duel that he witnessed as a child in Japan.

"I can carry my memory back to the days when all samurai wore the two swords and used them as well when necessity arose. When quite a boy I accidentally witnessed an exciting duel to the death between a ronin [an unattached samurai] and three...

Continue reading ...

Tametomo and the Wolf Pups

Posted by on Sunday, June 25, 2023, In : Art 

Tametomo and the Wolf Pups by artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (797–1861).

Continue reading ...

Nagoya Castle

Posted by on Friday, August 30, 2019, In : Photography 

Nagoya Castle, home and possibly the birth place of Oda Nobunaga which was later restored by Tokugawa Ieyasu.


Continue reading ...

Ashikaga Takauji

Posted by on Friday, August 30, 2019, In : Art 

An image of the 
Ashikaga Shogunate from the fourteenth century, painted by Yoshitsuya c.1850. The image depicts (left to right), Toki Yorito, the shogun Ashikaga Takauji and Akamatsu Goro Noritada.

Continue reading ...

Takauji Ashikaga

Posted by on Monday, December 3, 2018, In : Art 

Takauji Ashikaga, shogun of Japan from 
1338–1358 who was the first of the Ashikaga shogunate and who ushered in theMuromachi Period (1338-1573) after usurping power from the emperor Go-Daigo.


Continue reading ...

The Fleet of Ashikaga Takauji

Posted by on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, In : Art 

The Fleet of Ashikaga Takauji Sets Out for War, painted by Utagawa Yoshifuji c.1845.

Continue reading ...

Minamoto Yoritomo on Horseback Attacking an Enemy

Posted by on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, In : Art 

Minamoto Yoritomo (1147 - 1199) depicted on Horseback Attacking an Enemy by artist Taiso Yoshitoshi (1886).

Continue reading ...

Nagasaki Magistrate

Posted by on Friday, January 15, 2016, In : Photography 

Samurai magistrate from Nagasaki (c.1863).

Continue reading ...

Happy New Year

Posted by on Thursday, December 31, 2015, In : Proverbs & Quotes 

Happy New Year

Continue reading ...

Gret Scott - Samurai Judoka

Posted by on Saturday, December 26, 2015, In : Photography 

Photo taken by Rosemary Matthews in 1958 of Gret Scott, a 24 year old Judo instructor at the Penge Academy of Judo and at the time, Britain's only female exponent of Kendo. In this picture, Scott is seen cleaning her 300 year old samurai sword.

Continue reading ...

Samurai in Armour

Posted by on Thursday, November 19, 2015, In : Photography 

Samurai warriors (1870) wearing kusari katabira (chain armour jackets), kusari zunin (chain armour hoods) and hachi gane (forehead protectors) while holding naginata (pole weapon with blade attached).

Continue reading ...

Female Samurai

Posted by on Saturday, October 17, 2015, In : Photography 

An example of a female warrior of the samurai class (onna-bugeisha).

Continue reading ...

Sumo Fight

Posted by on Sunday, October 11, 2015, In : Art 

Title: Sumo Fight

Date: 19th Century

Artist: Kunisada Utagawa 1786-1864

Information: Depiction of two sumo wrestlers fighting while samurai warriors look on.

Continue reading ...

Musashi Goro Sadayo

Posted by on Tuesday, September 8, 2015, In : Art 

Title:  Clearing Weather at Mt. Shimahiro

Date:  c.1850

Artist:  Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Information:  This image depicts a 15 year old 10th century samurai by the name of Musashi Gorō Sadayo defending himself against Imperial forces. The fighting came about after his lord, Taira no Masakado, proclaimed himself the new emperor in 939. However the rebellion was ill fated and the pretender and his men were defeated at the Battle of Mt. Shimahiro by troops led by Fujiwara no Hidesato just a few months a...
Continue reading ...

Ashigaru Using Tanegashia

Posted by on Wednesday, July 29, 2015, In : Art 

Title: Ashigaru Using Tanegashia


Artist: Unknown

Information: This woodblock print dating from some time in the 19th century depicts a group of c16th century Japanese infantrymen (ashigaru) using matchlock firearms (tanegashia) while taking cover behind their shields (tate).

Source: Firearms of Japan
Continue reading ...

Samurai Armour & Weaponry

Posted by on Monday, April 6, 2015, In : Art 

This lithograph plate from 1888 by Albert Racinet (1825-1893) shows Japanese samurai warriors
with various different types of armour and weaponry.

Source: Wikipedia

Continue reading ...

The Fudo Masamune

Posted by on Monday, September 15, 2014, In : Photography 

Goro Nyudo Masamune (c.1264–1343 AD) is widely regarded as the finest sword smith that Japan has ever seen. His samurai swords and daggers (tachi and tanto) were made in the Soshu tradition and he is believed to have worked in Sagami Province during the last part of the Kamakura Period (1288–1328).

The Fudo Masamune is one of the few surviving blades that is known for sure to have been made and signed by the legendary sword smith and from the early 1600s, it was in the possession of the Ow...
Continue reading ...

The Art of Fighting Without Fighting

Posted by on Saturday, August 30, 2014, In : Video 

In the scene above from the 1973 classic Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon, the main character, Mr Lee, encounters a bully while travelling on a boat. When ask of his style, Lee replies;

“You can call it the art of fighting without fighting”.

He agrees to show the bully his art but instead of violence, he uses his intelligence and traps the bully on a smaller boat. This segment of the film was adapted from a similar incident that is said to have happened to a 16th century samurai warrio...
Continue reading ...

Miyamoto Musashi Fights Sasaki Ganryû

Posted by on Friday, June 6, 2014, In : Art 

Title:  At Ganryûjima in Kyûshû, Miyamoto Musashi Fights Sasaki Ganryû 

Date:  1843-47

Artist:  Utagawa Yoshitora

Information:  Miyamoto Musashi in his duel with Sasaki Ganryu (aka Sasaki Kojiro). In this
woodblock print he is shown using his trademark two sword style of fighting known as Nito Ichi (two swords as one) or Niten Ichi (two heavens as one) though it is more commonly believed that Musashi used a bokken that he fashioned out of a boat oar to defeat Ganryu.
Continue reading ...

Westernised Samurai

Posted by on Thursday, June 5, 2014, In : Art 

 Westernised Samurai

Date:  1866

Artist:  Unknown

Information:  This picture was published in London News not long before the Meiji Restoration.
It depicts a group of young warriors dressed in western clothes alluding to the fact that many
of the samurai class were in favour of the opening of Japan’s borders to foreign influences.

Continue reading ...

Samurai at the Sphinx

Posted by on Thursday, May 15, 2014, In : Photography 

In 1864, a group of samurai diplomats travelled to France in order to negotiate for the renewed isolation of Japan, a mission that was destined to fail. En route, they visited Egypt and posed for a photographer to produce this unique picture of a group of samurai warriors in full gear, standing in front of the Giza Sphinx.

Via Tumblr

Continue reading ...

Thirteen Iaido Kata

Posted by on Sunday, April 6, 2014, In : Video 

A demonstration of thirteen Iaido kata.
Continue reading ...

Miyamoto Musashi Self Portrait

Posted by on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, In : Art 

Title: Miyamoto Musashi

Date: c.1640

Artist:  Miyamoto Musashi

Information:  Self-portrait of Miyamoto Musashi, who as well as being
considered one of the best samurai warriors of all time, was also an
excellent writer and a renowned artist.

Continue reading ...

The Defeat of Benkei on Gojo Bridge

Posted by on Saturday, November 9, 2013, In : Art 

  Combat and Defeat of Benkei on Gojo Bridge

Date:  c.1830

Artist:  Hiroshige

Information:  A woodcut print of samurai legend Yoshitsune Minamoto (jumping on the right) attacking the warrior monk Benkei. The holy man had vowed to collect 1000 swords by dispossessing them from their owners in a series of duals. When he met up with the 15 year old Yoshitsune, he needed just one more for his collection but would soon realize that he had met his match. After being defeated but the young samura...
Continue reading ...

Minamoto Yoshitsune Training with Tengu Demons

Posted by on Monday, October 28, 2013, In : Art 

Image: Minamoto Yoshitsune training with tengu demons

Date: 1852

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)

Infomation: The great twelfth-century warrior Minamoto Yoshitsune
training with tengu demons, the keepers of the secrets of the martial arts.
Continue reading ...

Samurai of the Edo Period

Posted by on Friday, September 20, 2013, In : Photography 

A group of samurai warriors dressed in traditional costume photographed towards the end of the Edo Period in the 19th century.
Continue reading ...

Grappling Samurai Warriors

Posted by on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, In : Art 

An old illustration of two samurai warriors engaged in hand to hand combat on the battle field. The grappling
moves being displayed are an example of fighting techniques that come from an early form of jujitsu.
Continue reading ...

The Great Battle of Kurikaradani

Posted by on Thursday, July 18, 2013, In : Art 

Title:  The Great Battle of Kurikaradani between Kiso Yoshinaka and the Taira General Tomonori in 1183.

Artist:   Yoshiiku (1833 - 1904)

Date:  1857

Information:  This Japanese woodblock print depicts the scene of the slaughter of Taira forces at the hands of the Minamoto Clan during the Battle of Kurikara. The victorious side launched a surprise attack and ambushed their opponents after forcing them into a closed off valley by guiding at them a heard of stampeding oxen with flaming touches atta...
Continue reading ...

The Death of Sasaki Kojiro

Posted by on Friday, June 28, 2013, In : Art 

Title:  Sasaki kojiro

Datec. 1815

Artist:  Ashihiro Harukawa

Infomation:  This painting depicts the Kabuki actor Ohtani Tomoemon, playing the role of samurai warrior Sasaki Kojiro who meet his end in his famous ill-fated duel with Miyamoto Musashi on Ganryu Island. Kojiro was everything a samurai warrior was expected to be and followed the local Bushido code to the letter. However he was infuriated by his opponent’s lack of respect when Musashi turned up late, was dressed like a tramp and f...
Continue reading ...


Posted by on Sunday, June 2, 2013, In : Art 

Title:  Seppuku
Date:  1867
Artist:  J. M. W. Silver
Info:  Illustration from "Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs", which were reproduced copies of
native Japanese art done by using a method known as Chromolithography and published in London.

Continue reading ...


Posted by on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, In : Art 

Title:  koshiate
Date:  1735
Artist:  Hayakawa Kyuukei
Info:  This woodblock from the Edo period depicts a series of Japanese samurai swords on their koshiate
(Sword Hangers) and is from a Japanese book on samurai armour called Tanki Yoriaku: Hi Ko Ben
Continue reading ...

Moko Shurai Ekotoba

Posted by on Friday, May 10, 2013, In : Art 

Title:  Moko Shurai Ekotoba

Artist:  Unknown

Date:  c 1293

Infomation:  This picture depicts the samurai facing Mongol arrows and bombs and is from a set of near contemporary illustrations known collectively as the Moko Shurai Ekotoba. They were commissioned by the samurai warrior Takezaki Suenaga to record for prosperity his heroic deeds during the Mongol Invasions of Japan, which consisted of two failed attempts to conquer the country in the second half of the 13th century.

Continue reading ...

Goro Nyudo Masamune (c.1264 – 1343 CE)

Posted by on Saturday, May 4, 2013, In : Art 

:  Masamune

Date:  Unknown

Artist:  Unknown

Infomation:  This old image is of Gorō Nyūdō Masamune (c.1264 – 1343 CE), widely considered to
be the best sword smith that ever lived. He lived during the Kamakura Period and is said to
have made swords that had the perfect balance between strength and flexibility.

Continue reading ...

The Mongol Invasion

Posted by on Saturday, April 27, 2013, In : Art 

:  Mongols Invasion

Date:  1847

Artist:  Kikuchi Yoosai

Infomation:   This Ink and water colours on paper depicts the destruction of the Mongol fleet in a typhoon that prevented them conquering Japan. This happened not once but twice, prompting the Japanese to believe it to be a Devine Wind or kamikaze.
Continue reading ...

Tsukahara Bokuden

Posted by on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, In : Art 

Tsukahara Bokuden (1489 - 1571)
Continue reading ...

Takasugi Shinsaku

Posted by on Monday, January 21, 2013, In : Photography 

Takasugi Shinsaku, a Kendo practitioner from 19th Century Japan

Continue reading ...

Tsukahara Bokuden and his No Sword School

Posted by on Friday, December 7, 2012, In : Art 

Picture: Bokuden's No sword school
Date:  Unknown
Artist:  Unknown
Info:  The painting depicts a tale about the legendary samurai warrior Tsukahara Bokuden,
and how he defeated a young warrior with guile alone. He agreed to fight on an island then
abandoned the warrior there, telling him; “Here is my No Sword School!”

Continue reading ...

Tomoe Gozen - Female Samurai Warrior

Posted by on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, In : Art 

Title:  Tomoe Gozen

Artist:  Kikuchi Yōsai (1781-1878)

Infomation:  Tomoe Gozen was one of Japan’s few famous female warriors who fought
alongside her master, Yoshinaka Minamoto, in the Gempei War (1180 – 1185).

Read article - Tomoe Gozen – Female Samurai Warrior

Continue reading ...

Tomoe Gozen

Posted by on Thursday, September 13, 2012, In : Art 

Title: Tomoe Gozen

Date: 1899

Artist: Toyohara Chikanobu (1838–1912)

Infomation: This painting depicts the legendary female warrior Tomoe Gozen at the Battle of Awazu
in 1184. So the story goes, she killed one of the warriors shown with her, Uchida Ieyoshi, and
escaped capture from the other, Hatakeyama Shigetada.
Continue reading ...

Yoritomo Minamoto

Posted by on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, In : Art 

Yoritomo Minamoto (1147 - 1199) , after he defeated the ruling Taira Clan and
ushered in the Kamakura period and the rule of the Minamoto Shogunate.
Continue reading ...

Ainu Hunters

Posted by on Sunday, August 12, 2012, In : Art 

Title: Ainu Hunters

Date: 19th Century

Artist: Unknown

Infomation: The clothes, weapons and characteristic thick beards
of the Ainu went largely unchanged for much of the history of Japan.
Continue reading ...

Prince Yamato

Posted by on Sunday, July 29, 2012, In : Art 

Title: Yamato Takeru Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–1892)

Date: 1886

Infomation:This is a woodblock print on paper of Prince Yamato Takeru dressed as a maidservant, preparing to kill the Kumaso leaders. Yamato is held up as an ideal samurai and as an example for others who followed him.

Samurai History
Continue reading ...

Musashi vs. Bokuden

Posted by on Saturday, July 28, 2012, In : Art 

:  Musashi vs. Bokuden

Date:  Between 1868 – 1892

Artist:  Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Information:  This woodblock print depicts a fictional fight or training session between legendary samurai warriors Tsukahara Bokuden (1489 - 1571) and Miyamoto Musashi (1584 - 1645)

Continue reading ...
All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: This site uses cookies, by continuing to use the site you agree to the cookie policy and the privacy policy.
The images on this site are believed to be in the public domain, however, if any mistakes have been made and your copyright or intellectual rights have been breeched, please contact