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During the struggle for dominance in Japan a class of trained soldiers (samurai) emerged. The samurai developed a wide range of martial arts techniques in preparation for the battlefield. These techniques can also be seen today in Japanese martial arts.

Martial arts are known as bushido: The way of the warrior. Various techniques in martial arts such as judo, karate, and jiujitsu are based on bushido. The use of one’s own strength, speed, and the use of the opponents’ reactions. In other martial arts, such as kendō and iaido, an object is used, for example a bamboo stick or (wooden) sword.

The most skillful in the various bushido were the ninja. They were part of a secret martial arts school and often served the local ruler: daimyo. They were often used in undercover actions where the client wished to remain unknown. Ninjas were trained from an early age. Students often belonged to the same family so as to keep the techniques secret.

More information on Samurai related objects can be found in the Panorama Room of the museum.