Satisfactory Essays
Musui’s Story is the exciting tale of a low class samurai’s life towards the end of the Tokugawa era. Although one would normally imagine a samurai to be a noble illustrious figure, Musui’s Story portrays the rather ignominious life of an unemployed samurai. Nonetheless, this primary account demonstrates the tenacity of samurai values and privileges present at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. The social status of samurai had been elevated to such a state that even someone like Musui was easily able to gain influence in everyday affairs with his privileges. Not only that, but he had retained his values as a warrior and still kept great pride for his arts in weaponry.
Katsu Kokichi lived a rather extraordinary life, under the many privileges of being a bannerman of the shogun. At the time, three classes of vassals served the shogun: daimyo, bannerman, and housemen. Although these vassals held incredible social status, they were not all as noble as one would imagine. In fact, almost a quarter of samurai were unemployed, as there simply weren’t enough official and military posts to accommodate them all. This group of samurai became to be known as ronin. Katsu is part of this group, and although his brothers hold administrative positions at some point in their lives, he is the only male sibling who does not. Rather than lead the generalized prestigious life of a samurai, Katsu uses his high status and enjoys life to the fullest. Although Katsu acknowledges his rather dishonorable life, he in no way shows any regret for his actions, but instead, pride.
Although, Katsu does not act like an honorable samurai, he certainly still uses the status and privilege of being a samurai to his advantage. Throughout the account, he strongl...

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...imply by looking at the length and quality a sword, Kenkichi backed down. The sword was essentially an extension of the samurai body during battle. Katsu not only displays great swordsmanship throughout his story, but he shows deep reverence for his sword, befitting of a samurai warrior.
In conclusion, Katsu’s tale allows one to delve deep into the day to day life of an unemployed samurai during the end of the Tokugawa era. His life can be observed to see the immense privilege the samurai status held. Not only that, he displays the values of a samurai warrior and although he does not act like an honorable samurai, he is an honorable warrior. Katsu displays the tenacity of both samurai privileges and values during the late Tokugawa shogunate. Although his life may not exemplify the ideal samurai, it does in fact allow one to observe the life of an ordinary samurai.
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