After the Genpei War, becoming a samurai was a desirable profession. Samurai training would typically begin early, with some children studying samurai philosophies, martial arts, and weaponry as early as 10 years old.
Zen Buddhism became popular among samurai during the Kamakura Period (1192-1333). The strict but simple rituals of the religion complimented the samurai’s code, also known as bushidō.
Bushi is a general word for a warrior, which is where the term bushidō comes from. The bushidō code, which literally means “the way of the warrior,” influenced a samurai’s everyday life. The samurais’ bushidō code were unwritten, unspoken rules that focused on discipline, honor, and morality. Bushidō would remain a general code of conduct for Japanese people in general, even with Japan’s later religious shifts.
In order to support a lifestyle built on disciplined mental and physical training, a samurai’s diet had to be healthy. They depended mostly on rice, but their diets also included miso soup, vegetables, fish, and could also drink sake.