Banners? Samurais didn't carry around banners


Samurai Discussion: Round 1

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

They may have fought for a lord but they definitely didn't tote around banners. Since when do you envision samurais charging into battle waving big flags? It's a silly mechanic for them to have.

Also, the penalty for retreating from a challenge is far too lax. Normally they'd kill themselves rather than retreat, so maybe something like a -2 morale penalty on attacks and saves would be more appropriate?

Also.. mounts don't really fit the 'wandering samurai' archetype. Mounts don't fit samurai in many cases. Did musashi have a mount? Nope. So yeah, that's the feedback there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
super_radish wrote:
They may have fought for a lord but they definitely didn't tote around banners. Since when do you envision samurais charging into battle waving big flags? It's a silly mechanic for them to have.

True, they wore them on their back.

Dark Archive

I think you will find that Samurai DID carry banners.

Dark Archive

A samurai in battle did carry a banner on his back. All samurais were trained from young in mounted combat too (ronin were tipically poor; no wealth, no horse). And about retreat, they obbeyed orders, so samurai retreat if necessary.


I think the designers and developers would say that they aren't aiming for precise historical verisimilitude. When you do this sort of thing you take a real-world concept and develop it creatively in a way you think will be fun and balanced in the game, rather than adhering slavishly to historical detail. There is no reason fantasy samurai should be exactly like real-world historical samurai.


No he is right a Samurai never retreated, they do tactical withdraws.

And Musashi is not a samurai, he is a rounin Kensai, Big difference.

and yes they did wear banners on there back, it was on a pole mounted on their back.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Um samurai definately carried banners. Not in hand, they were strapped to their backs. As for retreating, in fact samurai often retreated and followed a far more practical code in their heydey. It is only when Japan began to mordernize and the Samurai fell out of favor that the romanticized 'never surrender never retreat' attitude became widely accepted.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
super_radish wrote:

They may have fought for a lord but they definitely didn't tote around banners. Since when do you envision samurais charging into battle waving big flags? It's a silly mechanic for them to have.

Also.. mounts don't really fit the 'wandering samurai' archetype. Mounts don't fit samurai in many cases. Did musashi have a mount? Nope. So yeah, that's the feedback there.

Sorry man, your info is wrong.

banner
mount
banners AND mounts
more banners and mounts
actual historical banners
and just to drive it home, a period illustration of a samurai, on a horse, with a banner


that first banner pic was really cool


Nice bunch of links.


zombiemaster86 wrote:

No he is right a Samurai never retreated, they do tactical withdraws.

To misquote General Oliver Smith :-)

Samurai don't retreat they advance in a different direction!


zombiemaster86 wrote:
And Musashi is not a samurai, he is a rounin Kensai, Big difference.

Musashi was Samurai. Remember Samurai is a social class and only inherited by birth by the time of Musashi. A Ronin was a Samurai, they just lacked a lord. Hideyoshi outlawed peasants from picking up weapons and getting elevated to Samurai status.

Liberty's Edge

There's an old traditional festival (since Kamakura era [edit: or since Heian era, if based on its legend]) of samurai riders still remaining in the nearby prefecture of where I live:

Samurai Gunners, and Samurai riders with banners in their back.


Sweet ya found one with the matchlocks, people always forget they used those.


For other gunner Samurai, take a loot at the movie Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa!).


Might see if I can find it. I tend to like the historical samurai much more then the modern over romanticized take on the samurai.


There was a whole scene in the most iconic samurai movie ever (Seven Samurai) where they made their banner, explained the symbols on it, and flew it into battle.

Skip to 1:20 or so in this link


So this thread has been properly stomped, yes?

Good info all around, y'all. I feel very educated on the Samurai, and am more confident that the Cavalier was a good choice.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Good movies for Samurai reference (Kurosawa movies):

Ran
Kagemusha
Seven Samurai
Sanjuro
Yojimbo
Hidden Fortress
Rashomon


Here are a couple of great reference books also:

The Book of Five Rings. Miyamoto Musashi trans.Thomas Cleary ISBN:0-7607-0444-9, this edition also includes The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yagyu Munenori.

Samurai:An Illustrated History. By Mitsuo Kure. Library of Congress Control Number: 2001094950. This one is a great picture and historical reference. Tons of a samurai is a cavalier illustrations and photos of reenactments of historical battles,about 35 banner wearing horsemen pics, and a nice write up on weapons including the arquebus.

Warriors of Medieval Japan. By Stephun Turnbull. ISBN: 1-84176-864-2.
Covers not only the samurai, but the ashigaru, ninja,and warrior monks/yamabushi. Another excellent reference for illustrations of equipment and ways of life. Tons of historical references for fleshing out the world they came up in.

Code of the Samurai;A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinsu. Thomas Cleary. ISBN: 0-8048-3190-4. This is an excellent book for how to conduct oneself as a samurai/slash warrior. One chapter covers horsemanship and its importance. Chapters are about 3-4 pages each and cover a broad spectrum of topics from war to dealing with one's relatives. Source for personality.

Hagakure:The Book of the Samurai(trans.Hidden by the Leaves). By Yamamoto Tsunetomo trans. William Scott Wilson. ISBN:4-7700-1106-7.
Philosophy of a samurai on the importance of how to live and how to die. This another mindset book for the roleplayer, not power gamer. It is the core 300 of the original 1300 entries present in the full unabridged book. Of the books listed here it is the most acedemic in that it is very abstract and very Japanese. You will have to look for the meaning in some of the prose. But, well worth the couple of bucks it should be going for on Amazon.

Hope this list helps anyone looking for information on "real" samurai versus the stuff of video games and cartoons.

edit:One more I left on the shelf

The Japanese Art of War:Understanding the Culture of Strategy. By Thomas Cleary. ISBN:0-87773-653-7. Covers the effects of bushido on Japanese mindset as a whole.


Bilbo Bang-Bang wrote:

Hagakure:The Book of the Samurai(trans.Hidden by the Leaves). By Yamamoto Tsunetomo trans. William Scott Wilson. ISBN:4-7700-1106-7.

Philosophy of a samurai on the importance of how to live and how to die. This another mindset book for the roleplayer, not power gamer. It is the core 300 of the original 1300 entries present in the full unabridged book. Of the books listed here it is the most acedemic in that it is very abstract and very Japanese. You will have to look for the meaning in some of the prose. But, well worth the couple of bucks it should be going for on Amazon.

Hope this list helps anyone looking for information on "real" samurai versus the stuff of video games and cartoons.

Not to derail (too much) but I've been looking, on and off, for a more complete Hagakure translation for years. Any hints on where a layman might actually begin a search?


Quote:
Not to derail (too much) but I've been looking, on and off, for a more complete Hagakure translation for years. Any hints on where a layman might actually begin a search?

Not really, bud. I would say start with the major publishers of Japanese translations like Tuttle, Kodansha, and possibly Osprey. Hope this helps.

Edit: Oh, Shambhala also!


In real life, there is no reason for a samurai to believe a single other individual outscales his powerlevel so there isn't as much incentive to run. In pathfinder, a 1st level samurai can end up in a fight with a third level rogue. You have to let him retreat.


cranewings wrote:
In real life, there is no reason for a samurai to believe a single other individual outscales his powerlevel so there isn't as much incentive to run. In pathfinder, a 1st level samurai can end up in a fight with a third level rogue. You have to let him retreat.

This.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One of my favorite depictions of the samurai came through Legend of the Five Rings. Lawfulness was important to the samurai, but depending on your clan, you focused on different skills, feats and weapons.

(That said, I also liked the depiction of Samurai in the 3rd edition Rokugan Campaign Setting.)


Bruce does get heavy. Especially when he gets angry.


Punts the poodle because it's in the wrong thread

My Favourites were always the Ii samurai. A whole clan army in blood red armour with blood red banners inscribed with black kanji..totally cool


...in your thread, smurfin' it up.


cranewings wrote:
In real life, there is no reason for a samurai to believe a single other individual outscales his powerlevel so there isn't as much incentive to run

Couldn't disagree more with this statement.

Just like people studying martial arts today, there are beginners and there are experts and there are people in between. Not everyone who studies karate or kung fu believes they are a Bruce Lee. Most know they have moderate skill. Samurai had plenty of ego when it came to bossing around unarmed peasants, but plenty of them were fully aware that their own meager skills in combat were vastly outclassed by other individuals. Most of the famous samurai duelists only fought a dozen to maybe 50 duels in their lifetime, even in the peaceful Tokugawa Period where there were plenty of armed and bored ronin with no wars to fight and nothing better to do than study swordplay and engage in duels. If every samurai truly believed himself the equal of any other, they would have been killing themselves off in droves, and the really good ones would have fought thousands of duels, not a few dozen.

There are plenty of historical accounts of samurai breaking ranks in battle and running scared for the hills. They did retreat, but they also panicked and ran. The only thing they did not do was surrender because they knew they would get killed ... badly.

The notion of "win or die" is a romanticization that evolved during the peaceful Tokugawa period when the samurai were more administrators than warriors. The "Bushido Code" also evolved during that era of peace. As noted above, the actual conduct of warriors during the Sengoku ("Country at War") period was much more "pragmatic", as another poster called it.

The business about the banners called sashimono has been covered. Whether or not they were used depends largely on the period, as does the ownership of a horse. Of course, a "samurai" could be extremely poor or fabulously wealthy, and this determined whether or not you were mounted. Minor lords were expected to provide their liege with both mounted and unmounted troops when called to war.

Personally, I've always been a fan of more "open" and option-filled Class structures that can represent a greater variety of historical periods and/or character archetypes. IMHO, as presented the opponent-challenging, mounted, banner-wearing Samurai is a fairly-romanticized but not totally inaccurate, relatively wealthy approximation of a latter-era samurai that with only minor adjustments could span most of the period of Japanese history from 1000 - 1650. Ironically, it actually fits best into both the earliest and latest periods, while being least historically accurate in the middle.

Personally, I'll still use the Fighter class to make my samurai.

FWIW,

Rez

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm curious if the OP will make a comeback :)


riatin wrote:

Good movies for Samurai reference (Kurosawa movies):

Ran
Kagemusha
Seven Samurai
Sanjuro
Yojimbo
Hidden Fortress
Rashomon

HAI!

The historical references are great, but for me, Kurosawa is the strongest touchstone for the American imagination of the samurai.


Gorbacz wrote:
I'm curious if the OP will make a comeback :)

Maybe he's off consulting the Radish God?


riatin wrote:

Good movies for Samurai reference (Kurosawa movies):

Ran
Kagemusha
Seven Samurai
Sanjuro
Yojimbo
Hidden Fortress
Rashomon

The thing I've always found interesting about classic samurai movies is there is no ahistorical, romanticized crap.

Medieval knights? Always wandering around, helping people out, acting chivalrous.

Westerns? Well, presuming the cowboy is wearing a white hat, he's polite and means well, although he may be a little crude at time.

Samurai movies? All slaughter and rape and general nastiness. Remember in Seven Samurai when the gang finally gets to the village? All the peasants run out to hide in the woods and make their daughters cut their hair short.

I have no particular theory about why this is so, but I appreciate a little honesty in my time-period flicks.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
riatin wrote:

Good movies for Samurai reference (Kurosawa movies):

Ran
Kagemusha
Seven Samurai
Sanjuro
Yojimbo
Hidden Fortress
Rashomon

The thing I've always found interesting about classic samurai movies is there is no ahistorical, romanticized crap.

Medieval knights? Always wandering around, helping people out, acting chivalrous.

Westerns? Well, presuming the cowboy is wearing a white hat, he's polite and means well, although he may be a little crude at time.

Samurai movies? All slaughter and rape and general nastiness. Remember in Seven Samurai when the gang finally gets to the village? All the peasants run out to hide in the woods and make their daughters cut their hair short.

I have no particular theory about why this is so, but I appreciate a little honesty in my time-period flicks.

Nah, that was already the cleaned-up version... ;-)


riatin wrote:
Good movies for Samurai reference (Kurosawa movies):

I'd change the order a little bit, but certainly these are all worth seeing.

Personally, I think Heaven and Earth is worth seeing, too. During production it's nickname was "Also Ran".

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
The thing I've always found interesting about classic samurai movies is there is no ahistorical, romanticized crap.

Wow ... completely disagree, as would all the film historians and critics I know.

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Medieval knights? Always wandering around, helping people out, acting chivalrous.

Um ... Braveheart? Far more (attempted and/or implied) raping and pillaging in that than any "Samurai movie" I've ever seen.

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

Westerns?

SNIP
Samurai movies?

Are both exactly the same thing. During the 1940s and particularly in the 1950s, Westerns and Samurai films influenced and copied one another back and forth. Kurosawa (and others) openly stole ideas from Westerns and they returned the favor. Westerns were remade as Samurai films, and Samurai films remade as Westerns ... the most famous being Seven Samurai remade as The Magnificent Seven. Yojimbo was remade as A Fist Full of Dollars and Last Man Standing as well as the sci-fi The Warrior and the Sorceress.

Regardless, "Gunslinger" films and "Samurai-swordsman" films all have the exact same plot. A wandering Loner comes into a village where criminals/corruption oppresses the honest, hardworking common folk. The nameless-wanderer is initially feared and rejected by the villagers while the criminals/corrupt-officials may try to recruit him to their cause. Eventually, the Loner wins over the hearts of the villagers (perhaps attracting a romantic interest) and either fools and double-crosses or outright rejects the offers of the criminals/corrupt-officials. In the end the bad guys are overcome and the common folk free to return to their honest lives, but the Loner is unable to fit in and is once more rejected by them, forcing him back onto the open road (walking or riding "off into the sunset").

This is the formula for both types of films. Nothing historical ... all pure fiction.

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Samurai movies? All slaughter and rape and general nastiness.

Name a single "Samurai film" made in the 1940s to 1960s besides Rashomon that has an actual scene of rape in it. Granted, I've only seen a small portion of them, but I've seen all the classics and off the top of my head can't think of a single one. Really, the "slaughter" was pretty tame as well by current standards. Yojimbo is a tea-party compared to the gore of Saving Private Ryan.

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Remember in Seven Samurai when the gang finally gets to the village? All the peasants run out to hide in the woods and make their daughters cut their hair short.

You misunderstood the scene. The villagers didn't hide their daughters because they were afraid of them being raped by samurai, but rather because the young girls tended to fall in love/lust with the samurai and would give themselves to them. This is expressly discussed by the villagers, when one of them asks (paraphrasing), "Would you rather have your daughter give herself to a samurai or be raped by a bandit?"

Also, once in the village the samurai never attempted to force themselves on any of the villagers. In fact, Shino is the dominant one in pursuing her romance with Katsushiro.

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
I appreciate a little honesty in my time-period flicks.

Ran is a remake of Shakespeare's King Lear and not only has no historical basis whatsoever but is entirely romanticized in its period depictions. Personally, I really don't care for it. Same with Kagemushi ... no credible history, it's based upon a rumor and highly romanticized.

Sanjuro, Yojimbo and to some degree Hidden Fortress all follow the "Gun/Sword-slinger" formula described above while Seven Samurai I've already discussed several points.

Rashomon is the really unique film on the list that deserves a category of its own. Yet, its multi-perspective narrative fits into all the types you described above. In one version it is highly romanticized, in another involves a brutal rape, in another the woman demands that the bandit kill her husband, in one the men fight awkwardly and reluctantly while in another they have a fantastic duel. It was such a novel film precisely because it didn't fit any mould.

Long-post-short, I entirely disagree with your assessment of "Samurai Films".

IMHO,

Rez


OP, please take a moment to read about historical samurai on the internet.

or wait... was this meant to be sarcastic?


There have been some great posts in this thread, but Rezdave, your last post takes the cake. (Whatever kind of cake is historically appropriate to samurai, that is.)

Liberty's Edge

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
The thing I've always found interesting about classic samurai movies is there is no ahistorical, romanticized crap.

Well, you're in luck. The modern trend is to ahistorically romanticize exotic foreign things while portraying our own history as gritty and 'realistic'.

The Warrior's Way is a great example.

...dang. Now I want to turn that into the BIGGEST PLAYTEST EVER of the gunslinger and ninja classes.


Gorbacz wrote:
I'm curious if the OP will make a comeback :)

I think after the steady enlightenment of his non histroically accurate views in this thread and his one about Naruto Ninja's hes prolly down for the count.


Lyrax wrote:

Well, you're in luck. The modern trend is to ahistorically romanticize exotic foreign things while portraying our own history as gritty and 'realistic'.

The Warrior's Way is a great example.

...dang. Now I want to turn that into the BIGGEST PLAYTEST EVER of the gunslinger and ninja classes.

Oh come on, there was nothing realistic the Warrior's Way. It wallowed in it's over the top outragousness like a pig in slop. My one regret about that movie was they cut the line "ninjas... damn." from the actual movie.


While its true that Kurasawa's Ran, is his rendition of King Lear, the word "Ran" means family civil war, and such occurrences do exist in Japanese history. Many family civil wars have occurred and the correct term to describe them is RAN.

Hanagura no Ran
In 1536, when the head of the Imagawa clan, Imagawa Ujiteru, died of illness, Imagawa Yoshimoto went to war against his older brother Genkô Etan for control of the clan. This succession dispute is known as the Hanagura no ran. With the military assistance of Hojo Ujitsuna of Sagami province and the support of Takeda Nobutora of Kai province, Yoshimoto became victorious over his older brother, and gained control of the clan.

Tenbun no Ran
The Tenbun no ran was a feud between Date Tanemune and his son, Date Harumune when Tanemune attempted to adopt another of his sons, Date Sanemoto, to the Uesugi clan which Harumune steadfastly opposed. What was initially a disagreement eventually escalated into a small internal clan war. Though Tanemune had the advantage for some time, Harumune gained the support of the Soma and Asihina clans, turning the feud in his favor. Eventually, Tanemune lost and was forced to retire in 1548, allowing Harumune to take control of the clan.

The Tenbun no ran lasted roughly 6 years, beginning in 1542, causing much strife within the Date clan and many of its retainers, leaving it weak and unstable. The Date clan would not restabalize until Harumune's son, Date Terumune would take over, who in turn retired in favor of his son, Date Masamune.

Perhaps Kurasawa didn't want to make any historical mistakes so rather than choosing a true historical Ran, he chose King Lear instead and was safer from an historical point of view.

GP


I think Kurasawa was just a fan.

;-{)>


Our Ronin's Banner is a bumper sticker on his helmet that says "I break for mamma san"


gamer-printer wrote:
Perhaps Kurasawa didn't want to make any historical mistakes so rather than choosing a true historical Ran, he chose King Lear instead and was safer from an historical point of view

Kurosawa routinely used western literature as a basis for his films. He specifically chose King Lear (and documentary interviews prove this) for the same reason writers around the globe have been adapting Shakespeare to their own cultures for centuries ... because it's great literature.

Incidentally, Kurosawa was a bit of a perfectionist. If he wanted to make a historical film he would have and he would have gotten it right (as much as any filmmaker can, anyway).

Granted, Nihon-go has a specific word meaning "intra-family civil war" but they certainly didn't have a strangle hold on the concept. I'd venture to say that most of the wars of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance would qualify as "Ran".

R.

Liberty's Edge

Skaorn wrote:
Oh come on, there was nothing realistic the Warrior's Way. It wallowed in it's over the top outragousness like a pig in slop. My one regret about that movie was they cut the line "ninjas... damn." from the actual movie.

Correct. It's ahistorically romanticized. Significantly.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Rezdave, your last post takes the cake. (Whatever kind of cake is historically appropriate to samurai, that is.)

Probably rice-cakes stuffed with red-bean filling ... or better yet red-bean-stuffed mochi cakes.

Yum ...

R.


Lyrax wrote:
Correct. It's ahistorically romanticized. Significantly.

So who's history was portayed as grim and "realistic"? ;p


Lyrax wrote:
Skaorn wrote:
Oh come on, there was nothing realistic the Warrior's Way. It wallowed in it's over the top outragousness like a pig in slop. My one regret about that movie was they cut the line "ninjas... damn." from the actual movie.
Correct. It's ahistorically romanticized. Significantly.

Its the hair, asians have such nice hair.... warrants power and badassness


Rezdave wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Rezdave, your last post takes the cake. (Whatever kind of cake is historically appropriate to samurai, that is.)

Probably rice-cakes stuffed with red-bean filling ... or better yet red-bean-stuffed mochi cakes.

Yum ...

R.

I can't get into red-bean as desert food. Now, snowballs filled with pistachio or coconut or moon cakes with lotus paste are more my speed.


Red bean mochi and lotus paste moon cakes with the egg in the center. May need to head down to Lawson's or Family Mart and get one later. Anyone ever been in Japan or Okinawa and been to one of these Convini's. You could even pick up a little manga to fuel a couple arguments about Samurai chopping down trees in a single swipe or their should only be one levvel for the ninja and it should be 36 because ninja appears and the game is over, lol.

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Ultimate Combat Playtest / Samurai Discussion: Round 1 / Banners? Samurais didn't carry around banners All Messageboards