The samurai were some of the most awe-inspiring warriors the world has ever known. Fiercely loyal to their lords, they would rather kill themselves than face dishonor. These men were highly trained, battle-hardened career soldiers who would fight to the death in an instant.
Or at least they were during the Sengoku Period (1467-1603). By the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867), a lot of them had become less militaristic and more bureaucratic. But they were still a powerful and formidable social class, so what force could take down these aristocratic warriors who had ruled Japan for over 700 years?
The decline and fall of the samurai came slowly, and as the result of many smaller moves that transitioned feudal Japan into a more modern country. Gradual modernization, and major events like the Satsuma Rebellion and the establishment of Meiji Japan, ultimately signaled the last days of warrior culture and the end of the samurai way of life.
Discontent Spread Through The Samurai
The End Of Isolationism Split Japan
The Chōshū Clan Rebelled
The Satsuma Clan Defected
The Meiji Restoration Ended The Shogunate
The Five Articles Oath Signaled A New Era For Japan