>>38649 This anon has no idea what he's talking about. Knights were first and foremost heavy Calvary, nobles =/= knights. Not all nobles were knights, in fact many were not. Samurai were politicians first, and almost never fought on the battlefield. They were more akin to our modern day generals, who sit at the back and move pieces that represent armies. Knights were not generals, but soldiers.
>>38726 Are you kidding? The idea of a samurai as a bureaucrat first didn't come about until the Edo period and afterward. Knights, especially those part of religious of chivalric orders, were oftentimes nobility that were honored for their contributions in state, economy, or religion.
Both samurai and knights are like the equites and the gentry, which is to say, an upper-middle class low nobility that composes of the higher parts of the military and the backbone of national administration. Whether they're warriors or administrators, or both, varies on the time, but they have all been every possibility.
>>38689 Self-actualization. There were plenty of barbarous samurai that just loved killing, but being wealthy enough to have the leisure of thinking times makes you want to give reason to your life, and celebrate your status.
It's the same reason chivalry got so popular. They wanted to feel heroic.
>>39168 Fair enough, but the same could be said for knights. We apply labels invented later on to a certain unnamed echelon that existed, though. Not like nomads called the people in the Fertile Crescent "those damn sedentaries".
>>38795 This, it matters what era you're taking about and where.
No matter the era, the best positions were those closest to their lord. They could enjoy the benefits of living in a castle and visiting the castle town. During the Tokugawa period they would be the retainers escorting their lord to and from Edo.
The worst positions were as country samurai, living in rural locations.
The pic is from this article before it was edited. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jizamurai
Samurai were a social class, not an occupation. You didn't need to "do" anything to be a samurai, you were one by virtue of your birth. As a class, they changed significantly from the Heian to Edo periods, so asking what they did is meaningless without a temporal context. Much of the current views about how samurai behaved were inventions of the Meiji Restoration when the leadership of Japan attempted to manufacture a national identity using popular, and often inaccurate, perceptions and apply those virtues to the everyday citizen of Japan.
>>38385 Most didn't do a whole lot. The Japanese samurai class is primarily interesting in the fact that it was massive. Whereas the nobility in Europe rarely passed more than 1% of the total population, in most parts of Japanese history the samurai constituted up to 10% of the population. This huge number of people who were forbidden from performing most forms of labour outside of administration and warfare was a tremendous drain during peacetime. In practice, this meant economic destitution for most samurai.
A small samurai elite at the top was allowed into positions of government, guaranteeing a good income, but this was almost entirely decided by your ancestors' valour during wartime. The Edo period is full of tales of lesser samurai lamenting the fact that their great-great-grandfather had been on the wrong side of some battle, thus ensuring his offspring the tiniest incomes in perpetuity.
This is also part of the reason why the samurai didn't really violently rebel when the Meiji government tried to abolish them: most were happy to finally be allowed to get a real job instead of living off their meagre stipends. The small elite who stood to lose from reforms were generously compensated or allowed transfer to the new nobility.
>>38576 This. Although the answer will be different according to period.
>>38689 During the Sengoku, the majority of samurai were not cultured, they weren't even literate. In more peaceful times pretty much all of them became learned because they would go on to function as administrators, from that basic learning they could branch out into various other pursuits, because why not? Still, at those times the majority didn't do anything much aside from working and going to whorehouses. Poorer ones had to do private work in addition to official work to sustain their families.
The income of Edo period samurai came almost solely from the stipend he was entitled to. It could be really small, barely enough to live by, and he would have had time getting additional income because of the strict class system.
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