THE ORIGINS OF JAPANESE SAMURAI
The Japanese samurai warriors came into existence in the 12th century when two powerful Japanese clans fought bitter wars against each other - the Taira and the Minamoto.At that time the japanese shogunate,a system of a military ruler , called the shogun was formed. Under the shogun the next hierarchy wewe the daimyo, local rulers comparable to dukes in europe.
The Japanese samurai were the military retainers of a daimyo. And finally you may have heard of ronin. Ronin are samurai without a master.
This is what happened to the 47 Ronin in the famous story of Chushingura after their lord was forced to commit suicide.
According to historians the fierce fights between hostile clans and war lords was mainly a battle for land. Only 20% of Japan's rugged and mountainous area can be used for agriculture.
SAMURAI 1770's - 1860's