Bushi

Members of the Samurai class of the Kingdom of Silver Stars that specializes in martial combat.


Historical Bushi (OOC)

The word bushi (lit. "warrior or armsman") first appears in an early history of Japan called Shoku Nihongi (797 A.D.). In a portion of the book covering the year 723 A.D., Shoku Nihongi states: "Literary men and Warriors are they whom the nation values". The term bushi is of Chinese origin and adds to the indigenous Japanese words for warrior: tsuwamono and mononofu.

Bushi was the name given to the ancient Japanese soldiers from traditional warrior families. The bushi class was developed mainly in the north of Japan. They formed powerful clans, which in the 12th Century were against the noble families who were grouping themselves to support the imperial family who lived in Kyoto. Samurai was a word used by the Kuge aristocratic class with warriors themselves preferring the word bushi. The term Bushidō, the "way of the warrior," is derived from this term and the mansion of a warrior was called bukeyashiki.

The terms bushi and samurai became synonymous near the end of the 12th century, according to William Scott Wilson in his book Ideals of the Samurai—Writings of Japanese Warriors. Wilson's book thoroughly explores the origins of the word warrior in Japanese history as well as the kanji used to represent the word.

"Breaking down the character bu (武) reveals the radical (止), meaning "to stop," and an abbreviation of the radical (戈 ) "spear." The Shuo Wen, an early Chinese dictionary, gives this definition: "Bu consists of subduing the weapon and therefore stopping the spear." The Tso Chuan, another early Chinese source, goes further:

Bu consists of bun (文): literature or letters, and generally the arts of peace) stopping the :spear. Bu prohibits violence and subdues weapons … it puts the people at peace, and harmonizes :the masses.

The radical shi (±) on the other hand seems to have originally meant a person who performs some function or who has the ability in some field. Early in Chinese history it came to define the upper class of society, and in the Book of Han this definition is given :

The shi, the farmer, the craftsman, and the tradesman are the four professions of the people. He :who occupies his rank by means of learning is called a shi.

Wilson states that the shi, as the highest of the four classes, brandished the weapons as well as the books. bushi therefore translates as "a man who has the ability to keep the peace, either by literary or military means, but predominantly by the latter".

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