“You teach me fighting but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two? It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war.”

–A master’s reply to his student’s question

Japan, known as the Land of the Rising Sun, a nomenclature given by the imperial Chinese because of its position relative to China. The 17th century Japan was an eminent civilization consisting of three main islands; Kyushu, Honshu and Shikoku.

In its political culture, an emperor was just a spiritual guide, his roles simply representative and symbolic while the de facto were Shoguns i.e. generals.

A precious commodity of this time was rice. It laid the foundation of the Japanese social and economic system. Whoever owned more land, could grow more rice hence defining wealth of an individual and his social status in the society. Similarly, these landlords living in clans, identified as Daimyo, were powerful individuals as they could rally their own armies.

The balance of power in this structure relied on the central authority of shoguns and Daimyo. To achieve this, they created a military class of formidable warriors called Samurais, who obeyed a stern code of honour, wearing a Katana. If a Samurai failed to uphold his honour, he had to elect committing suicide.

Japan, without a dominant Shogun to control, has seen a century of chaos where clans brawled over supremacy and power. Decisively, a warlord ended this insanity but warmongering armies become monotonous, so to prevent infighting, they were send to an adversary aboard, Korea.