Extra Information

If you still want to know more about the samurai or the decline of their class here are some resources you can look at:

This website has a lot of information on the samurai and their background:
http://www.samurai-archives.com/

This website is a great resource on samurai swords:
http://www.samuraisword4u.com/category/the-samurai-sword

This is an online book about the way of the samurai:
http://split-kitty.com/misc/Hagakure/

This site has ancient photographs of samurai (Japanese website):
http://www.lib.u-tokyo.ac.jp/tenjikai/tenjikai95-2/bak1-2.html

Below is a video of a well known samurai duel between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Mojiro where Musashi defeats Mojiro with only a sword carved out of a wooden oar:

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Link to full screen PowerPoint