Jun 8, 2020 in Exploratory

Introduction

The samurai warriors were the acknowledged fighters during their era. People from all over the globe knew them as the brave and gifted soldiers who were born to fight. Being skillful and courageous, they did not know what the fear was. According to the ancient traditions in Samurai families, the child should be encouraged to be brave and fearless. The children were taught that the cowardice and hypocrisy were the greatest sins which should be punished by death. Indeed, the life of Samurai could be compared to a cherry blossom since it was also amazing but too brief. Samurai took a special place in Japanese culture since it was a class of professional warriors ready to fight. The essence of the word means “to serve.” Therefore, Samurai dedicated their life to the care of their Lord.

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Background

1160 was the year that was marked by the bloody war between two clans, Tyra and Minamoto. The leader of the Tyra clan ordered to his soldiers to follow his archenemy, Minamoto. The Warriors Yoshitsune and Yoritomo belonged to the Minamoto clan. Japan history considers them as ones of the greatest samurai warriors ever born in Minamoto clan. They have lost their father in 1160 in the war against the Tyra clan. The bloody battles took the lives of almost all Minamoto warriors and two brothers swore to wreak vengeance on the death of their father. Thus, they decided to follow the path of Honor as a samurai. Noteworthy, both brothers were born in the samurai family and wholeheartedly respected the traditions that were based on honor. According to the samurai law, they believed that it was a great shame to live under the same sky with the person who murdered their father. They were guided by the Samurai set of laws and followed the Bushido – the way of the warrior. At that time, there were only 6% of samurai among Japanese, so they married to each other to maintain their privileged positions. The horse was the closest friend for samurai. The animal served the soldier in various situations and even could save his life taking him from the battlefield. Therefore, two brothers decided to train in horse-riding. Then, the younger brother decided to learn archery. He found and old teacher who shared his wisdom with a young man. Yoshitsune was called “a marvel” because he masterfully combined all the knowledge and skills acquired at the lessons. Besides, each samurai wanted to gain the ultimate skill, Kenjutsu, the art of swordsmanship. The ancient laws valued the samurai sword to such extent that soon it became the symbol of the samurai soul. The sword was extremely sharp because it was made to kill the enemy with just one blow. Following their destiny, the brothers left the Minamoto clan. For their safety, they separated and continued their war education. Yoshitsune wanted to learn more about the human strengths and weaknesses. Thus, he learned that the injury of the jugular vein could cause the death in only four seconds. Yoshitsune trained very hard to take the revenge for their father. When the war started again, both brothers were ready to fight. Both clans followed the traditional Samurai rituals of warfare. Till the beginning of the war, Yoshitsune mastered archery, so the honor of Minamoto clan was in the hand of the young warrior. First and foremost, he prayed to God to save the honor for him. Otherwise, according to the samurai law, he promised to kill himself. Yoshitsune holds his breath for a second; gathers his wits, and fires the arrow. It flies straight and hits the fan, and the fan falls directly toward the sea. The skill of a young and talented warrior was honored by the loud cheers from both clans. Then, Yoshitsune asked his comrades to test their horsemanship, and he launched the wise attack against Tyra clan. It was a bloody battle, and the life of each Samurai was in real danger. When thirty warriors from the Minamoto clan stormed into the castle, the Tyra fighters started the defense. The battle took many lives and each Samurai who survived collected his trophies, the heads of the vanquished soldiers.

In a few months, the Tyra clan was totally crashed. Only after twenty-four years after the death of their father, the brothers enjoyed the fair revenge. Yoritomo deservedly became the leader of the victorious clan Minamoto. He became the Shogun Supreme, Japanese military ruler. However, the fate of the younger brother, Yoshitsune, was terrible. His unbelievable success at the battlefield made his brother, Shogun Supreme, jealous. Thus, Yoritomo ordered to find his brother and kill him. According to the samurai traditions, each boy prepares to the final self-sacrifice. Thus, Yoshitsune decided to die committing the ritual rather that die from the brother`s hand. To preserve his honor, the man stabbed his sharp sword into his abdomen. During the ritual, his face was calm and relaxed.

In the 13th century, Samurai professed a unique religion Zen. Following their faith, they became the Buddhist monks. The 16th century brought new rules and new laws to the Japanese lands. The Netherlands’ troops introduced the firearms that were considered stronger than a sword. This period marked the end of the classical samurai era. However, Samurai families ruled Japan by 1867.

Evaluations

Yoshitsune Minamoto was known as a skillful warrior who was so popular among Japanese people that it caused jealousy of his brother Yoritomo. The elder brother wanted to become the only leader of Japanese people and decided to get rid of all the competitors, including his brother. On the battlefield, not only Minamoto warriors but also the members of the Tyra clan honored Yoshitsune because of his skills and talents. Unlike Yoritomo, Yoshitsune learned the art of the sword as well as archery. His best tricks impressed even the most talented warriors. Remembering this, Yoritomo could not accept that his younger brother could take his fame and position. Yoritomo acknowledged that he could not perform better than his younger brother, so he chose the easier way – to kill his brother. This decision made Yoshitsune commit suicide since he did not want to face the death from his brother. Yoshitsune was the major force in the war against the Tyra clan because his horseman entered the castle and finished their ruling. Perhaps, Yoritomo acknowledged the danger and was afraid for his honor and life. Nevertheless, his hypocrisy cannot be justified.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be stated that Yoshitsune Minamoto was a legendary samurai who was known for his courage and skillfulness in the war against the Tyra clan. Owing to Yoshitsune Minamoto, his brother Yoritomo became the most powerful man in Japan. However, his jealousy swallowed him. For two brothers, the war began when the Warriors from Tyra clan killed their father. To save the honor of their father, they swore to get the revenge. They acknowledged that this struggle would take years, but they did not hesitate even a minute about this decision. They learned obstinately the Samurai skills and acquired the knowledge necessary for a successful development of a Samurai. These skills helped them at the battlefield against the Tyra clan. Minamoto defeated the Tyra clan, and two brothers achieved their cherished dream. However, this victory became the turning point in the brothers` relationship. Yoritomo saw a great danger in his talented brother and wanted to get rid of him forever. When Yoshitsune learned about the terrible intention of his brother, he decided to preserve his honor and kill himself. Following the samurai law, Yoshitsune managed to save his honor and died with dignity. After his death, the Samurai culture experienced significant changes. The warriors began to embrace Buddhism, known as Zen religion. The symbol of the Samurai soul, the sword, was replaced by the gun.

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