Japan on fire

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Japan on fire

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Japan on Fire: long sleeve rash guard

Seven Different Warrior Classes Of Feudal Japan

Sohei

From the 11th through to the 16th centuries, the samurai sometimes fought alongside or against another group of elite warriors – the sohei.

The sohei were Buddhist warrior monks. Several monasteries maintained armies of them. They provided protection during times of strife and were used during disputes with other temples or samurai lords. The most famous and feared contingent were based at the Enryaku-Ji, the main temple on Mount Hiei. Less equipped than samurai. They wore the armour of regular infantry over their monastic robes, often with an outer robe over the top. Knotted towels or cowls covered their shaven heads. Their traditional weapon was the naginata, a bladed polearm.

The sohei could be valuable allies for samurai lords, but they could also be troublesome. They used their military power to assert the independence of their monasteries in the face of secular authority.

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