The Japanese, other than nobles or samurai class families, did not have surnames until 1868, when the government required commoners to adopt surnames. Names were chosen based on locations, occupations, or simply were made up, explaining the diversity in Japanese surnames (100,000+ present).โ€ฆ
Today I learned of the "Yankee Samurai," Japanese-American translators who served during WW2 with the US Army's Military Intelligence Service. They deployed to numerous battles, and one general even credited them with "[shortening] the Pacific War by two years and [saving]...a million American lives.โ€โ€ฆ
The Samurai fled to California and founded a colony in 1869. The Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony is believed to be the first permanent settlement and the only settlement by samurai outside of Japan. It was founded by Japanese (mainly Samurai) immigrants fleeing the Samurai's disbanding.โ€ฆ
The production company behind the 1964 Spaghetti Western "A Fistful of Dollars", which was a remake of the 1961 Japanese Samurai film "Yojimbo", was successfully sued by Toho, the production company behind "Yojimbo", granting Toho royalties and distribution rights to Leone's film.โ€ฆ
Around 650 residents in the town of Coria del Rรญo, Spain have the surname Japรณn (Japan). They are the descendants of 6 samurai who traveled to Europe in the early 17th century and set up an embassy:โ€ฆ
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a Japanese military leader who unified Japan and became the de facto leader of Japan, was never granted the title of Shogun because he had no traceable samurai lineage, and his father was an ashigaru โ€“ a peasant employed by the samurai as a foot soldier.โ€ฆ
When Japanese actor Mako Iwamatsu, voice actor of Aku from Samurai Jack, and Iroh from Avatar, died in 2006, many of his voice roles were taken on by soundalike voice actor Greg Baldwin, who's voice was almost indistinguishable.โ€ฆ
In 1581 there was an African samurai named Yasuke.โ€ฆ
The wealth of a samurai in feudal Japan was measured in terms of koku; one koku, supposed to be the amount of rice it took to feed one man for a year, was equivalent to around 180 liters.โ€ฆ
Willam Adams was an Englishmen who was given the rank of samurai whilst in Japan from Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Williams was given a japanese name (Miura Anjin), married the daughter of a court official, spoke fluent japanese and enjoyed better status in Japan than he would have back in England.โ€ฆ
In 1872 a Japanese samurai and politician Shinpei Eto established a wanted photograph distribution system. Its first subject was Shipei Eto himself. The circulation of wanted photographs aided his swift arrest. He was executed at the age of 41 japanese-wiki-corpus.githโ€ฆ
A man from Kansas challenged his wife from Iowa to a sword fight over custody dispute, asked the judge for a three-month delay in order to obtain Japanese samurai swords for combat, then was ordered to take a sanity test.โ€ฆ
George Lucas offered Toshiro Mifune the roles of Obi Wan Kenobi AND Darth Vader, but Mifune turned both down, concerned that Star Wars would "cheapen the image of samurai"โ€ฆ
The hairstyle โ€œchonmageโ€ or โ€œtop knotโ€ of the Japanese in the Edo era was a means to hold samurai helmets in place. In 1876 it was banned along with other references to the samurai class.โ€ฆ
The 1100 page epic novel about the history of Japan "Shogun" by James Clavell was inspired by a single sentence in his daughter's school textbook that read "in 1600 an Englishman went to Japan and became a Samurai".ลโ€ฆ
The word "Jedi" originated from the Japanese term "Jidaigeki," which refers to a drama set, set during the Edo period of Japanese history, when samurais were still in activity.โ€ฆ
Tom Cruise's character in "The Last Samurai" was based on a real Frenchman who fought alongside the warriors of a doomed "samurai democracy" in 1869โ€ฆ
Samurai used Shiba Inus to hunt with nationalpurebreddogday.coโ€ฆ
Today I learned of Takayama Ukon, a 1500s Japanese Daimyo who converted to Catholicism and is a candidate for Sainthood in the Vatican. If canonized, Takayama will be the first Samurai saint, the only Daimyo saint, and since he was exiled to the Philippines for being a Christian, the third Filipino saint.โ€ฆ
Samurai in Japan had the right to execute commoners who paid them disrespect. This right continued until the 1870s, when the Samurai were abolished, as Japan modernized its military into a national fighting force modeled on Western standards.โ€ฆ
A Fistful of Dollars (Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western) was a remake of the Japanese samurai film Yojimbo (Toshiro Mifune)โ€ฆ
The actor who played Marvin in Pulp Fiction is the voice of Herme's from Futurama, Samurai Jack & more!โ€ฆ
The brutal "Contest to behead 100 People" that some ww2 Japanese officers engaged in likely has to do with the Samurai practice of beheading high value targets for verification purposes & glory seeking.โ€ฆ
Japan's first prime minister, Ito Hirobumi- who was a great proponent of learning from/building ties with the West- ironically began his political career as the young samurai who burnt the British Legation in Tokyo in 1863. That same year, Japanese modernizers sent Ito to study in the London.โ€ฆ
Toshiro Mifune was originally offered the roles of Obi-Wan Kenobi & Darth Vader. According to his daughter Mika, he refused because he was "concerned about how the film would look and that it would cheapen the image of samurai, on which Lucas had based a lot of the character and fighting style."โ€ฆ
Today I learned about notable female samurai Tomoe Gozen, from the late 12th century, who served under Minamoto no Yoshinaka. She was recorded as remarkable for her beauty and deadliness. Surviving the Genpei War and initial conflicts that lead to the first Shogunate she lived until the age of 90.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Kingo Nonaka, the "Mexican Samurai" that served in the Mexican Revolution and healed Fransisco Madero during the battle of Casas Grandesโ€ฆ
Flying kicks were invented to knock samurai off of horseback.
Shurikens (or throwing stars) are not a traditional ninja weapon, but were mainly used by samurais or ashigaru soldiers.
Murphyโ€™s Irish Stout, Brewed in Cork, Ireland, had a 60 second anime advert produced by the creators of Ghost in the shell In 1997. It was the first anime advert shown in Ireland and the UK and shows six Samurais racing to make โ€œLast ordersโ€ at a pub.
Samurai would poop with one leg completely out of their pant leg in case they needed to fight during a visit to the bathroom.โ€ฆ
Bolbi Stroganovsky and Samurai Jack were voiced by the same, very talented voice actor, Phil LaMarr as well tons of other familar cartoon faces.โ€ฆ
Nicholas II, last Tzar of Russia, had a Japanese tattoo of a "dragon with a black body, yellow horns, a red belly and green paws.โ€ He got it on a trip to Japan. Later he was attacked by "Sanzo, a former samurai who fought in the Satsuma Rebellion." All this before the Russo-Japanese War.โ€ฆ
Today I learned about Yasuke, a former Mozambique Slave turned Samurai during the Japanese Hegemony and unification wars. He was well respected by the Japanese and was considered to have the strength of ten men, and was one Oda Nobunaga's most trusted warriors.โ€ฆ
In 2013 there was a Japanese remake of the film Unforgiven that replaces the gunslingers with Samurai, making it a reverse homage to the westerns that were inspired by Samurai filmsโ€ฆ
Ninjas didn't wear black masks. The mask associated with ninjas is actually an amalgamation of how a thief dressed in Japan. Ninjas also didn't use shuriken (throwing stars), these were used by Samurai swordsmenโ€ฆ
A slave from Mozambique called Yasuke was the first black samurai in the history of Japanโ€ฆ
Ancient Japan had female warriors called Onna-bugeisha, who would fight alongside Samurai in times of war. They started to lose their importance by the 17th century, when roaring ideals of fearless devotion and selflessness were gradually replaced by quiet, passive, civil obedience.โ€ฆ
In 1614 a Japanese samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga stabbed a Spanish soldier in Acapulco, Mexico as recorded by the grandson of an Atztec nobleman.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Blessed Iustus Takayama Ukon, the "Samurai of Christ." He chose to lose all of his lands rather than renounce the Catholic faith, and was welcomed as a hero when he fled to the Phillippines. When the Spanish offered to invade Japan and put him in a place of power, he refused.โ€ฆ
Yasuke, the first foreign-born samurai, was not actually a slave. In fact, he was a highly skilled warrior before he arrived in Japan. His training in Africa and India enabled him to become a samurai in a very short period of time.โ€ฆ
Even in periods of war, the Japanese sword was not the choice of weapon on the battle field. Spears and guns were deemed the more effective weapons, instead the sword was given an auxiliary role due to its ultimate samurai status and was prized and showed power and wealth.
Today I learned about Hasekura Tsunenaga, a samurai who dazzled the king of Spain, set up diplomatic links with 17th-century Europe and even met the pope.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Ranald MacDonald, a Chinook/Scotsman from Oregon Country, who went to Japan in 1848 despite its strict isolationist policy. Risking death, he pretended to be shipwrecked & got captured. While imprisoned, the gov't sent 14 samurai to be his pupils, as he became Japan's first English teacher.โ€ฆ
In 1614, historian Chimalpahin of Aztec decent, recorded that Spanish soldier Vizcaรญno was stabbed by a Japanese Samurai in Acapulco, Mexicoโ€ฆ
English sailor, William Adams, had landed in Japan, after his crew had been plagued by violent attacks, terrible weather, and fatal illness. Upon the crew's arrival, Adams earned a position as an adviser to the Shogun, Ieyasu, and the status of being one of the first Western Samurais.โ€ฆ
The Japanese pilot who attacked a town in Oregon during WW2 returned years later to present his familyโ€™s 400-year-old samurai sword to the city as a symbol of regret.โ€ฆ
He College student was robbed twice in one day by a repeat offender. The second time, the student protected himself with a samurai sword, and ended up killing the guyโ€ฆ
Today I learned of Tsujigiri or 'crossroad killing' the practice whereby a Samurai would test the sharpness of a new katana by attacking a random passerby.โ€ฆ
During the construction of Maruoka castle in 1576 there were problems stabilizing the stonewalls. It was decided that a human sacrifice was needed to appease the gods. A blind peasant woman volunteered to be a hitobashira (human post) in exchange for her son to be made a samuraiโ€ฆ

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