Japanese Warrior Art

Interested in the artistic side of the Samurai warriors? Get the facts & information on the popular trend of Japanese warrior art as we trace out its origins.

The Japanese warrior class is known as the Samurai. This particular class has been heavily glorified by television media, comic books, theaters and other forms of art. The deep and dark history of the Japanese warriors lends great inspiration to the artists who have created many different pieces of art throughout the ages.

The roots of the warrior class can be traced back to the 12th century. More specifically it came about as a result of severe clashes between two of the most powerful tribes in Japan namely Taira and Minamato. It was at this time that the Japanese system of governance known as the Shogunate was established.

Under this system every locality had a ruler much like the Duke in the European system. This position was known as the daimyo. The daimyo had a whole army of samurais which formed the warrior class. Samurais without a master were known as ronin and this would happen when the daimyo, who wastheir lord would die or commit suicide.

The warrior class had many privileges in Japanese society. It was the only class of people that was allowed to carry weapons around with them and that too in the form of two swords. At one point in time they were even allowed to kill a commoner who would dare to offend them.
There existed several categories under the umbrella of the warrior class. But naturally the fringe benefits varied according to the rank of the warrior. The kenin were the housemen who were supposed to be the administrators. The other two categories were that of high ranking warriors that would fight while being mounted on horses and the last category was that of foot soldiers.

The warrior class had a big impact on Japanese society. It was a prominent part of the social culture that was known for its discipline and etiquettes. In fact they had their own way of the warrior which is also known as the Bushido code. The Bushido code has been used to create many art pieces.

It is not uncommon to find the bushido code printed on different items ranging from T-shirts to tattoos and other decoration items. Since the warrior class of the Japanese society was really glorified by the silver screen the image of the Samurai began to have a “cool” connotation for the youth.

Youth from all over the world were greatly impressed by the fighting abilities of the samurai. The way of life of the Samurai also lend it mystique which intrigued the masses. It is no wonder that we find images of samurai warriors on so many commercial products today. The west has been especially keen to adopt the image of the Samurai into decoration items and fashion accessories.

The domain of Japanese fine arts is not void of its fair share of warrior art. Rather you will find that a number of Japanese painters took the warriors as their main themes for painting. The warrior class depicted a whole concept rather than a few individual fighters and it was the essence of the spirit of the samurai that the artists hoped to capture in their work.