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History Quiz: Samurai

Guess the answers to these questions about samurai and their customs.
Quiz by MaxStickies
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Last updated: December 6, 2020
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First submittedApril 26, 2020
Times taken151
Average score53.3%
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1. When was the right to wear a katana in public, in addition to other rights traditionally carried by samurai, abolished?
1840s
1870s
1910s
This was one of the ways in which Emperor Meiji tried to modernise Japan.
2. The samurai class first appeared in which period of Japanese history?
Kamakura
Sengoku
Nara
The term "samurai" dates back to the Asuka period, but referred to civilian public servants instead of a warrior class.
3. The crest on the helmet of the samurai Date Masamune resembled what?
Antlers
Crescent moon
Dragonfly wings
The helmet, because of the way it looked, apparently won him a fearsome reputation.
4. Samurai were known to remove which body part from worthy rivals they managed to kill?
Hand
Heart
Head
It was seen as a source of great pride and recognition.
5. Which of these modern countries was not the birthplace of a foreign-born samurai?
United Kingdom
Netherlands
Portugal
Jan Joosten van Lodensteijn, known in Japan as Yayōsu, was born in Delft, while William Adams, known in Japan as Miura Anjin, was born in Gillingham in Kent. They were shipmates on a ship called De Liefde when they arrived in Japan.
6. Which of these samurai became a ronin?
Ōishi Yoshio
Minamoto no Yoshitsune
Takeda Katsuyori
He was the leader of the forty-seven Rōnin.
7. What is Oda Nobunaga famous for?
Killing forty enemies in battle
Attempting to unify Japan
Creating a new martial art
Originally a samurai, Oda Nobunaga later became a daimyō (a powerful feudal lord) and managed to conquer most of Honshu.
8. The Hattori family (of which Hanzō is the most famous member) came from which province of Japan?
Iga
Hitachi
Kai
The province no longer exists, but it was located within the modern Mie Prefecture.
9. What kind of weapon were yumi, which were often used by samurai?
Sword
Spear
Bow
Yumi is the Japanese term for a bow, but when used in English it refers to traditional Japanese asymmetrical bows.
10. Kozane dō, samurai body armour, was an example of which type of armour?
Plate
Lamellar
Scale
Lamellar armour is made up of small rectangular plates (also known as lamellae), leather or bronze laced into horizontal rows.
11. Which of these didn't have an influence on samurai philosophy?
Confucianism
Buddhism
Taoism
Buddhism influenced samurai philosophy in various ways. Zen meditation offered a process to calm the mind of a samurai, while the concept of reincarnation and rebirth led samurai to abandon torture and needless killing. The influence of Confucianism can be seen in the lord-retainer relationship of the samurai, where a samurai was required to show loyalty to his lord.
12. Some samurai stopped killing and became monks.
True
False
As mentioned in the explanation of the previous question, samurai believed in reincarnation and rebirth. As such, some samurai began to believe, at some point in their careers, that killing people was pointless, so they decided to become Buddhist monks.
13. The onno-bugeisha (female warrior) Tomoe Gozen served in which war?
Genpei War
Gosannen War
Ōnin War
She was, in particular, noted for her loyalty and courage at the Battle of Awazu.
14. The first Japanese ambassador in Spain was a samurai.
True
False
Hasekura Tsunenaga was a kirishitan (meaning he was Catholic) samurai. He was sent by Date Masamune on a diplomatic mission to Pope Paul V, and on the journey he visited New Spain (a Spanish territory in the Americas), Spain and various other parts of Europe.
15. In 1274, samurai fought invading Mongols on which island?
Shikoku
Honshu
Kyūshū
Only 10,000 samurai were sent to fight off 40,000 Mongols. However, due to heavy losses sustained by thunderstorms at sea, the Mongols were driven back by the samurai.
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