120 Best Samurai Quotes

120 Best Samurai Quotes

Life, as we all know, is a fight. It’s not going to be easy. To withstand it all, you’ll require warrior-like physical and mental toughness. These Samurai Quotes will help you to motivate yourself to fight positively.

Remember these Samurai quotes when you feel your ability to deal with life is waning. Samurai, or bushi as they were known in pre-modern Japan, were warriors who lived hundreds of years ago. Whether you’re waging a physical or mental battle, the Samurai Quotes below will undoubtedly inspire you to be a true warrior.

Japanese Samurai Quotes

  1. “It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down” – Yagyu Munenori

2. “I dreamt of worldly success once.” – Miyamoto Musashi

3. “From a mere peasant, Toyotomi Hideyoshi rose to one of the three key men in restoring peace and unity in the country. Though was born out of the noble families of the traditional Samurai bloodline, his tactics and skills on and off the battlefield made him the ruler of major part of Japan.” -Sreechinth C.

4. “A samurai will use a toothpick even though he has not eaten. Inside the skin of a dog, outside the hide of a tiger.” -Yamamoto Tsunetomo

5. “The samurai code of honor affected every part of their lives.” -Jim Ollhoff


120 Best Samurai Quotes

“When the World is at Peace, a gentleman keeps his Sword by his side.” – Wu Tsu

7. “There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle… Perhaps…” – Jean-Pierre Melville

8. “I look at the Samurai because they were the artists of their time. What i think struck me When I read Bushido is compassion. ‘If there’s no one there to help, go out and find someone to help.’ That hit me, because I try to lead my life like that.” -Tom Cruise

9. “Bushidō is about experiencing life in every breath. Seeing life in the simplest of things. There is beauty and honor in that.”  -Renée Ahdieh

10“Rehearse your death every morning and night. Only when you constantly live as though already a corpse (jōjū shinimi) will you be able to find freedom in the martial Way, and fulfill your duties without fault throughout your life.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

11. “Get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of Man.” – Miyamoto Musashi

12. “To a great extent, the story of a samurai has been the story of Japan during most of the past millennium, and it is surely premature to relegate the samurai tradition entirely to the past.” -Stephen Turnbull

13. “Self-respect is the fruit of discipline.” – Abraham J. Heschel

14. “I have a high art, I hurt with cruelty those who would damage me.” – Archilochus

15. “Within a decade, the new samurai rulers had set Japan firmly on the course of modernization, and though they were obliged in the process to dissolve the feudal privileges of their own class, former samurai in fact became leaders in all areas of modern Japanese society.” -Stephen Turnbull

Samurai Philosophy Quotes


120 Best Samurai Quotes

Although the samurai are well-known for their use of the sword, they began as skilled mountain archers, and used a variety of weapons, including longbows, spears, and firearms.” ― Tommy Ito

17. “The story of the samurai warriors charts the rise and fall of the most skilled and courageous group of elite combatants the world has ever seen.” -Tommy Ito

18. “Bushido refers not only to martial rectitude but personal rectitude. We understand that in serving each other we serve our own interests. In serving our world, our world serves us. Allowing us to live in harmony with it.” ― Rick Remender

19. “I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong.” – Vita Sackville-West

20. “Honour may not win power, but it wins respect. And respect earns power.” -Ishida Mitsunari

21. “Mental bearing (calmness), not skill, is the sign of a matured samurai. A Samurai therefore should neither be pompous nor arrogant.” – Tsukahara Bokuden

22. “One finds life through conquering the fear of death within one’s mind. Empty the mind of all forms of attachment, make a go-for-broke charge and conquer the opponent with one decisive slash.” – Togo Shigekata.

23. “Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.” – Frances de Sales

24. “Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death. “– Uesugi Kenshin

25. “One mind, any weapon.” – Hunter B. Armstrong

26.“Where do you begin? Perfect is a good place to start. We must always focus on improving things that are already perfect.” – J. Viol

27. “If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.” – Sun Tzu

28. “We make war that we may live in peace.” – Aristotle

29. “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” – General George Washington

30. “You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.” – Taisen Deshimaru

Samurai Quotes about Death

31. “It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death it is then the truest valor to dare to live.” – Sir Thomas Brown

32.“Not to borrow the strength of another, nor to rely on one’s own strength; to cut off past and future thoughts, and not to live within the everyday mind… then the Great Way is right before your eyes.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo


120 Best Samurai Quotes

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha .

Last Samurai Quotes

34. “A samurai is a total human being, whereas a man who is completely absorbed in his technical skill has degenerated into a ‘function’, one cog in a machine.” – Yukio Mishima

35. “A warrior is worthless unless he rises above others and stands strong in the midst of a storm.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo

36. “It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all Ways and be more and more in accord with his own.” ― Yamamoto Tsunetomo

37. “He Who Knows Others Is Wise. He Who Knows Himself Is Enlightened.” – Tao Te Ching

38. “Where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live.” – Thomas Browne

39. “As the samurai’s influence grew, so did their status in Japanese society. They went from being professional soldiers to land-owning nobles. The most powerful of these lords were called daimyos.” ― Blake Hoena

40. “Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” – Sun Tzu

41. “The samurai no longer exist. But even today, they capture our imagination with their skill, their loyalty, and their fearlessness.” ― Jim Ollhoff

42. “Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price.” – Sun Tzu

43. “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” – Sun Tzu


120 Best Samurai Quotes

It’s actually the samurai spirit, which is ‘no fear and never give up.” – Enson Inoue

45. “In the Kamigata area, they have a sort of tiered lunchbox they use for a single day when flower viewing. Upon returning, they throw them away, trampling them underfoot. The end is important in all things.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo

46.  “The word Samurai itself is a synonym as they are the great ferocious aristocratic warriors in the history of the country.” ― Sreechinth C.

47. “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” – Sun Tzu

48. “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.” – Miyamoto Musashi

49. “A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.” – Nabeshima Naoshige

50. “See first with your mind, then with your eyes, and finally with your body.” – Yagyu Munenori

Samurai Warrior Quotes

51. “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu


120 Best Samurai Quotes

We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochus

53. “Victory goes to the one who has no thought of himself.”- Shinkage School of Swordsmanship

54. “The no-mind not-thinks no-thoughts about no-things.” – Gautama Buddha

55. “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself” – Chinese Proverb

56. “Without Knowledge, Skill cannot be focused. Without Skill, Strength cannot be brought to bear and without Strength, Knowledge may not be applied.” – Alexander the Great

57. “Be master OF mind rather than mastered BY mind” – Zen Saying

58. “The Samurai always has to rise and move on, because new challenges will come.” – Lyoto Machida

59. “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.” – Sun Tzu

60. “A samurai must remain calm at all times even in the face of danger.” – Chris Bradford

61. “All warfare is based on deception.” – Sun Tzu

62. “Civilise the mind but make savage the body.” – Mao Zedong

63. “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” – Sun Tzu

64. “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.” – Sun Tzu

65. “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.” – Sun Tzu

66. “I’m not a fighter, but in my mind, I’m fighting every day. ‘What’s new? What am I doing?’ I’m fighting myself. My soul is samurai. My roots aren’t samurai, but my soul is.” – Masaharu Morimoto

67. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

68. “There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo

69. “A samurai should always be prepared for death – whether his own or someone else’s.” – Stan Sakai

70. “In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few” – Suzuki

71. “Master the divine techniques of the Art of Peace and no enemy will dare to challenge you.” – Morihei Ueshiba

Samurai Quotes on Honor

72. “Blackthorne, beside the gates, was still turmoiled by his boundless joy at her reprieve and he remembered how his own will had been stretched that night of his near-seppuku, when he had had to get up as a man and walk home as a man unsupported, and became samurai. And he watched her, despising the need for this courage, yet understanding it, even honoring it.”
― James Clavell, Shōgun


120 Best Samurai Quotes

“Act like a man of thought – Think like a man of action.” – Thomas Mann

74. “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

75. “To practice Zen or the Martial Arts, you must live intensely, wholeheartedly, without reserve – as if you might die in the next instant” – Taisen Deshimaru

76. “The Ultimate Warrior leaves no openings – Except in his mind.” – Seishinkan ITP

77. “The dance of battle is always played to the same impatient rhythm. What begins in a surge of violent motion is always reduced to the perfectly still.” – Sun Tzu

78. “When the Way comes to an end, then change – having changed, you pass through.” – I Ching

79. “The more you sweat in training, the less you will bleed in battle.” – Motto of Navy Seals

80. “I had a rather unfortunate tendency to tell the truth in a country where no one ever says what they mean. So now, I very accurately translate other people’s lies.”
― Edward Zwick

81. “The uncomfort zone is very important for us… To feel uncomfortable is important to strengthen your spirit. Like the samurai says, if you feel comfortable you must search for the discomfort, don’t look only for the easy way.” – Lyoto Machida

82. “The Way lies at hand yet it is sought afar off; the thing lies in the easy yet it is sought in the difficult.” – Mencius

83. “Ultimately, you must forget about technique. The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really NO PATH.” – Morihei Ueshiba

84. “To think, “I will not think” – This, too, is something in one’s thoughts. Simply do not think about not thinking at all.” – Takuan

85. “Two of the most remarkable aspects of samurai culture are bushido, a strict philosophy which places absolute loyalty to the master above all else, and seppuku— ritual suicide, performed in preference to dishonor.” -Tommy Ito

86. “The way of the samurai is found in death. When it comes to either or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance.” -Nabeshima Naoshige

87.“My mentality is that of a samurai. I would rather commit seppuku than fail.” ― Elon Musk

88. “Some Warriors look fierce, but are mild. Some seem timid, but are vicious. Look beyond appearances; position yourself for the advantage.” – Ming-Dao Deng

89. “Working on the samurai sword is very different because your body position has to be very still. It’s a much quieter way of fighting.” -Lucy Liu

90. “The undisturbed mind is like the calm body water reflecting the brilliance of the moon. Empty the mind and you will realize the undisturbed mind.” – Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi

91. “The samurai who failed his lord suffered a dishonor worse than death. There was only one way to erase the disgrace. The samurai must commit seppuku, sometimes called hara-kiri, or belly-slitting. In this horribly painful suicide, the dishonored samurai used a short sword to cut open his belly and release his spirit.” ― Virginia Schomp

92. “You might as well stand and fight because if you run,  you will only die tired” – Vern Jocque – Sei Shin Kan.

93. “Samurai are born to die. Death is not a curse to be avoided — but the natural end of all life. Death is not eternal…dishonor is.” ― Rick Remender

94. “The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one and it would not be a wasted life.” – Ken Watanabe


120 Best Samurai Quotes

The true meaning of the samurai is one who serves and adheres to the power of love.” -Morihei Ueshiba

96. “The Samurai is the first to suffer anxiety for human society, and he is the last to seek personal pleasure.” – Morihei Ueshiba

97. “A samurai chooses to serve a master and does it out of respect and love, not because they are forced. Service to them is not demeaning; service is an expression of their prowess and their pride; they serve because only they are strong enough to serve with such flawless perfection and such consummate ability. It is a source of pride to them.” -Alexei Maxim Russell

98. “The sword has to be more than a simple weapon; it has to be an answer to life’s questions.” -Miyamoto Musashi

99. “As a samurai, I must strengthen my character; as a human being I must perfect my spirit.” – Yamaoka Tesshu

100. “Being a samurai is all about selfless service and if the lord abuses the servant, it is no longer a situation of service; it becomes the situation of a victim. It is never acceptable for a samurai to be a victim. It is never acceptable to allow a lord to abuse you or rob you of your dignity. In such a situation, it is acceptable to walk away.” -Alexei Maxim Russell

Samurai Champloo Quotes

101.“I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger.” – Mencius

102. “The sword was a very elegant weapon in the days of the samurai. You had honor and chivalry much like the knights, and yet it was a gruesome and horrific weapon.” -Dustin Diamond

103. “Everyone feels fear. What a samurai or warrior is, is what you do when you feel fear.” – Enson Inoue

104. “A samurai was essentially a man of action.” -Inazo Nitobe

105. “Unless you do your best, the day will come when, tired and hungry, you will halt just short of the goal you were ordered to reach, and  by halting you will make useless the efforts and deaths of thousands.” – Gen. George S. Patton

106. “Samurai culture did exist really, for hundreds of years and the notion of people trying to create some sort of a moral code, the idea that there existed certain behaviors that could be celebrated and that could be operative in a life.” -Edward Zwick

107. “Once the will is resolved, one’s spirit is strengthened. Even a peasant’s will is hard to deny, but a samurai of resolute will can sway ten thou­sand men.” -Yoshida Shoin

108. “It is the very mind itself that leads the mind astray – of the mind, do not be mindless.” – Takuan Soho

109. “Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both….and surpass the result.” – Tien T’ai

110. “Generally speaking, the way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.” ― Miyamoto Musashi

111. “The increased influence of Zen Buddhism on the Samurai culture had a great hand in flourishing art forms. As the country has splintered into many inter-conflicting states, the demand of the warriors raised so was that of the Ninja warriors who were experts in unconventional warfare.” -Sreechinth C.

112. “The samurai swore an oath of loyalty to their leader and would fight to the death to protect him or her. This oath made the samurai even more fearsome on the battlefield because the samurai were not afraid of death.” ― Jim Ollhoff

113. “The samurais were very interested in Zen because they admired the tremendous precision that the Zen Masters had, their lack of fear and pain and their absolute lack of fear of death.” ― Frederick Lenz

114. “Every country in the world loved the folklore of the West–the music, the dress, the excitement, everything that was associated with the opening of a new territory. It took everybody out of their own little world. The cowboy lasted a hundred years, created more songs and prose, and poetry than any other folk figure. The closest thing was the Japanese samurai. Now, I wonder who’ll continue it.” – John Wayne

115. “Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.” –
Miyamoto Musashi

116. “What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.” – Sun Tzu

117. “My mentality is like a Samurai: They used to everyday work on their technique to make themselves almost perfect. Because perfection is impossible, but every day, you get closer to perfection.” – Georges St-Pierre

118. “My philosophy is the same as a Samurai: To hit without getting hit.” – Lyoto Machida

119. “I don’t believe a champion is the biggest, baddest, meanest dude in the world. I think the champion is like a warrior; it’s like the head knight or lead samurai: humble men of integrity, respect, and honor that treat people kindly.” -Jon Jones

120. “I used to think that to become free you had to practice like a samurai warrior, but now I understand that you have to practice like a devoted mother of a newborn child. It takes the same energy but has a completely different quality. It’s compassion and presence rather than having to defeat the enemy in battle.” – Jack Kornfield

Which of those Samurai quotes is famous?

“It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down” – Yagyu Munenori

Samurai culture did exist really, for hundreds of years and the notion of people trying to create some sort of a moral code, the idea that there existed certain behaviors that could be celebrated and that could be operative in a life.” -Edward Zwick

A samurai must remain calm at all times even in the face of danger.” – Chris Bradford

What is the samurai's motto?

The fact that life is finite. The samurai’s famous philosophy was that life is short, but honor and fame can last a lifetime. As a result, these soldiers valued their forefathers’ honor, public image, and name above all else, even their own life.

What were the samurai's beliefs and values?

The Samurai were required to uphold seven basic virtues: justice, courage, compassion, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty. In Japanese culture, morality is defined in two ways.

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