Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Samurai (侍?) is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean "those who serve in close attendance to the nobility," the pronunciation in Japanese changing t saburai." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word "samurai" appears in the Kokin Wakashū (905–914), the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century.
By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi (武士), and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai followed a set of rules that came to be known as Bushidō. While they numbered less than 10% of Japan's population samurai teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in martial arts such as Kendō, meaning the way of the sword.
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"Felice Beato was the first photographer to devote himself entirely to photographing in Asia and the . He photographed in Japan, India, Athens, Constantinople, the Crimea, and Palestine. He settled in Yokohama and from 1863 to 1877 made hundreds of ethnographic portraits and in Japan. He eventually opened a furniture and curio business in Burma.
Beato's photographic career was also long affiliated with images of war. He photographed the Opium War in China in 1860 and the Sudanese colonial wars in 1885.
While in partnership with his brother-in-law James Robertson in the 1850s, Beato documented the Indian Mutiny and its aftermath. Their photographs are believed to be the first to show human corpses on a battlefield. Beato and Robertson were also among the earliest photographers to work in the Holy Land"