The samurai are a group of people led by the Shogun, who practice Kenjutsu. Voluntarily, these people follow their leader and exist in a militaristic fashion. Their ranks are directly related to their capability and skill level. Their laws consist of a list of traits that characterize their acts - to act against this code (Bushido), is to break the law.
Above all, the samurai revere self control. They may be multifaceted, but their power lies in their ability to maintain mental stability in the face of stress and danger. Even if their physical instincts are honed down to reflexiveness, they have a large capacity for strategy and direction.
A proud people, the samurai are raised to be the 'better men'. Their focus is on aiding their comrades and protecting the innocent from harm; however, the large amounts of political power they hold over the common folk can go to any samurai's head. For this reason, every samurai is to study and follow the bushido. Failure to do so can lead to execution - by one's own hand (seppuku).
The samurai are often seen wearing traditional garments. This includes a keikogi (gi), hakama, and obi. Their weapons are not limited to, but mainly consist of katana and wakizashi. They may carry a bokken on them for practice. Shoes vary, ranging from boots to sandals. Some samurai adorn themselves with jewelry or other items.
This art is a method of suicide, done by cutting open the abdomen. Traditionally, there are two very specific reasons a person will die this way:
- To prevent torture: A samurai who has no option for escape may decide that it is better to end his own life honorably than to be captured and tortured. Torture is much more painful, and typically prolonged than death by seppuku. A man can ensure his honor by dying in this method.
- As capital punishment: If a samurai loses his honor by breaking the code of bushido so direly that there is no way to get it back, his life will be taken by himself in ceremony. The individual will kneel with his front toward his commander. The tanto will be inserted into the abdomen and drawn from left to right.
Seppuku is not to be taken lightly, as a person's honor is at stake. The samurai hold nothing more dear than their personal honor.
As the leader of the samurai, the Shogun is most knowledgeable of the doctrines and practices of this culture. Shogun are often majorly refined, and highly respected for their ability to remain calm in the sight of their most despised enemies. Few reach this level, few live long enough to come to such a refined character.
Yoriki, or Lieutenant, are the Shogun's right hand men. They carry much of the responsibility of maintaining order and training the individuals beneath their command. Advisers and teachers, they are pivotal members of the samurai society. Without them, the responsibility of the entire faction would rest on the shoulders of the Shogun.
Officers (Doshin) are directly in charge of po(licing and keeping the individuals beneath them in check. They prepare them for the Yoriki and Shogun, insuring that they are in top form. While Doshin report to the Yoriki, they may often meet with the Shogun to be advised and trained. Often, Yoriki single out the Doshin to select students to train up, with intentions of presenting them to the Shogun to be ranked up.
This rank is second-to-last, and more honorary a title than most. Sergeants are often put in charge of groups of Okapikki (Enlisted) with the authority to direct them through missions and daily work. Occasionally, Komono are even put to task with the Okapikki, doing the same work.
The enlisted are grunts. Their focus is on training to be better and following orders. As the footmen of the samurai, they often squire, and keep the holdings in proper condition by cleaning and repairing. One may graduate into the enlisted (from training) by being presented a sword by the Shogun as a representation of the samurai's oaths to his people.