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.

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

RobynScott
Community Member
5 years ago

Hang on a minute...........a female Samurai? And very young too.

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#2

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

DariaB
Community Member
5 years 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

BeluaqSoul
Community Member
5 years ago

Oh my, he's cute

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#4

The Last Samurai

IMAGNO Report

SusannaVesna
Community Member
5 years ago

So fierce! Love iT!

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#5

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

GonçaloMartins
Community Member
5 years 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

SusannaVesna
Community Member
5 years ago

I just love their armor!

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#7

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

TollTolladay
Community Member
5 years ago

The three storms, Big Trouble in Little China three-furi...d56b20.jpg three-furies-571600bd56b20.jpg

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#8

The Last Samurai

KUSAKABE KIMBEI Report

MauroLowe
Community Member
5 years ago

WTF?!?

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#9

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

JulieLevinson
Community Member
5 years ago

Manspreading!

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#10

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

AgataZimna
Community Member
5 years ago

Has it been coloured with crayons?????

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#11

The Last Samurai

HULTON ARCHIVE Report

IndrėPranaitytė
Community Member
5 years ago

Those shoes must have been really uncomfortable!

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#12

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

Izzy Smokehouse
Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this beautiful portrait.

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#13

The Last Samurai

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE Report

JaclinSullivan-Scholey
Community Member
5 years ago

They were a most honourable peoples!!!

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#14

The Last Samurai

THE PRINT COLLECTOR Report

AhmadFathillah
Community Member
5 years ago

what a mess the coloring

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#15

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

Misty-DawnAmayi
Community Member
5 years ago

These pictures don't just reveal the gorgeous regalia and nobile air of their subjects. They also real the fact that the Japanese have very beautiful eyes that are unique to their people. The fact that so many surgically alter their eyelids to appear more Western these days is heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing these awesome pictures.

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#16

The Last Samurai

HULTON ARCHIVE Report

AhmadFathillah
Community Member
5 years ago

interesting.. today japanese little bit higher

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#17

The Last Samurai

ELICE BEATO Report

MarCus
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Singh is hiding.

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#18

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

SaschaNewcocoon
Community Member
5 years ago

lol... his lip gloss ... aww

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#19

The Last Samurai

FELICE BEATO Report

NgWen
Community Member
5 years ago

Wonder what they were queuing for...?

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