Samurai played a crucial role in Japanese history. From the 12th to the 19th century, they were the ruling class in Japanese society. They adhered to a moral code called “Bushido,” which emphasized loyalty, honor, personal duty, and the acceptance of death fearlessly and bravely.
Samurai were skilled in military arts such as swordsmanship, archery, and horse riding, but they were also well-versed in arts and culture such as poetry, calligraphy, and tea ceremony. This was based on the concept of “bunbu ryodo,” which means the pursuit of both martial and literary arts.
During the Sengoku period, samurai fulfilled military roles under feudal lords. However, during peaceful times, their roles were more administrative, and they often focused on education and the arts.
The era of the samurai came to an end in the mid-19th century with the Meiji Restoration, but their influence can still be seen in Japanese culture and values today. To put it simply for younger audiences, you can say, “Samurai were the most important people in ancient Japan. They fought in wars to protect important individuals, but during peaceful times, they focused on education and the arts.”