The Meiji Restoration of 1868 took power from the warlords that had been the de facto rulers of Japan and consolidated it under the Emperor Meiji. With the Restoration came many changes, including the creation of a modern, western-style, conscripted army in 1873. The famous Samurai, who despite making up only 10% of the Japanese population, and who wielded a tremendous amount of power, lost their right to be the nation's only armed force, and eventually, even their right to wear a sword in public.


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In honour of these noble warriors, Bored Panda has collected this list of coloured Samurai photographs, all taken between 1863 and 1900, in the twilight years of the Samurai's reign. As it's unlikely that any of you are Samurai, this list is closed, but you can still vote on your favourite photo!

More info: Amazon.com (h/t: demilked, fubiz)

#1

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

LoriDuchrow 11 months ago

I didn't know there were samurai women. I looked it up and this is a fun tidbit that I found: With their husbands in combat almost continuously, 16th century samurai women provided for the defense of their homes and children. Their wartime roles included washing and preparing the decapitated bloody heads of the enemy, which were presented to the victorious generals. Like their samurai husbands, personal honor was paramount for samurai women. They carried small daggers and were always prepared to die to maintain their honor and family name. http://www.pbs.org/empires/japan/tokaido_6.html

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#2

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

DariaB 11 months ago

Looks like a Yakuza, with these tatoos. Maybe there's a connection between the samurai and yakuza heritage in Japan. Just a guess.

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#3

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

ElainaAllen-Velando 11 months ago

He looks ill..face is a tad emaciated. Otherwise a wonderful photo.

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#4

The Last Samurai

IMAGNO Report

JaclinSullivan-Scholey 11 months ago

Amazing Warriors with a great code of honour

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#5

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

GonçaloMartins 11 months ago

"Beware of an old man in a profession where men usually die young."

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#6

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

Jon Kunert 10 months ago

Always ready

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#7

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

fredericeeckman 11 months ago

All-in-one hat/rice cooker.

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#8

The Last Samurai

KUSAKABE KIMBEI Report

BeluaqSoul 11 months ago

Imagining how fast a samurai moved without those heavy attire. Must be awesomely fast

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#9

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

#10

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

AgataZimna 11 months ago

Has it been coloured with crayons?????

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#11

The Last Samurai

HULTON ARCHIVE Report

TiffanyWaltari 11 months ago

Are his shoes supposed to be that small?

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#12

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

Jon Kunert 10 months ago

Patience

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#13

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

Jon Kunert 10 months ago

Truth

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#14

The Last Samurai

THE PRINT COLLECTOR Report

AhmadFathillah 11 months ago

what a mess the coloring

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#15

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

JaclinSullivan-Scholey 11 months ago

I have enjoyed these pictures and am thankful to have been able to view them they were an awesome people with much honour - I am sorry that so many had nothing but negative foolish responses to these ancient pictures. Thank You for sharing them.

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