Vocabulary


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Bakufu--Japanese military rule; rule of the shogun

Budo-- The Way of combat; a name adopted in the 20th c for martial arts in general with an emphasis on their peaceful aspects

Bushi--Warrior; name given to all the warriors who made up families with a warrior tradition

Bushido-- Way of the warrior; a code of honor and social behavior; succeeded the unwritten code of the Way of the bow and the horse

Daimyo-- a feudal lord; maintained a great number of samurai in their service, who all swore an oath of allegiance to them according to the rules of Bushido

Ken-jutsu--The warrior art of the sword; art of using the sword as soon as it is drawn from the scabbard, in order to attack the enemy; transformed into the art of kendo

Kendo--Way of the sword; a martial art (budo) of using the sword (ken). This art was developed from the earliest times by the warriors (bushi) of Japan, and from the 14th century on by the samurai. Ken-jutsu was prohibited in 1876 when the samurai were forbidden to carry swords, but was transformed into a martial sport (kendo) for physical and mental training of the young.

Naginata--weapon used by foot soldiers against horsemen or to cut the tendons of horses or to disembowel them; also favorite weapon of the wives of samurai and of warrior monks drawn from the lower classes and used by the daimyo to assassinate enemies and penetrate enemy fortresses

Ronin-- during the Tokugawa period, name given to all bushi and samurai who did not serve a particular master, either because the master had died or because his lands had been confiscated. A number of these ronin became martial arts teachers or began some other job which was compatible with their samurai status (e.g., bodyguards).

Samurai-- a class of bushi (warriors). The original samurai were there for the protection of their lord and were especially trained in martial arts. Later the name was given to all bushi of a certain rank belonging to warrior families

Seppuku--the act of ritual suicide performed by the samurai (The expression hara-kiri, to cut the abdomen, more widely used in the West, is considered more vulgar.)

Shogun--title given by the emperor to the daimyo who showed himself to be the richest and the most powerful of all the lords

So-jutsu--techniques of using the lance, and performed wearing the ancient armor of the samurai

Definitions have been taken from A Dictionary of the Martial Arts, in abbreviated form

http://www.northnet.org/americankangdukwon/samurai.html--site flown away, alas

 

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