>Recently Ive been thinking about my generation and the world I see around me (You could guess maybe if you visit here from time to time) and on a completely unrelated topic, I have a major fascination with the old Japanese culture.
So I decided to look up some of the words that we all know so well but dont really know the meaning behind. The one that jumped to mind first was the Ronin, because somehow that always held great appeal. I knew that basically they were masterless samurai, but there was far more to it that I didnt know.
It aslo struck me that everyone I know, all my friends, we are in many ways much like the Ronin (except of course that we dont use Bushido blades and such) but you’ll understand what I mean when you read what I found:
A Samurai is a “servant”, since the noun came from the verb “saburau” which is the Japanese for “to serve”. A Ronin was a masterless samurai during the feudal period (1185–1868) of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the ruin or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master’s favor or privilege. Since a ronin doesn’t serve any lord, he is no longer a samurai.
The word ronin literally means “wave person” – one who is tossed about, as on the waves in the sea.
Call me nuts, but somehow I think this is an apt description of the present-future generation, most of us do not have the kind of patriotism and love for king and country as our parents and predecessors. We live seemingly by our own code, looked down upon for our differences by those that are the establishment, almost as though we were brigands to be watched.
It was not considered an honourable thing to be Ronin, but like us, it was not their doing… they lost a master and were either not allowed to work for the desired new one or could find none that they wanted to serve and were thus outcast in almost totality…
Among the most famous ronin areMiyamoto Musashi, the famed swordsman, and the Forty Seven Ronin. This picture shows the graves of the Forty Seven at Sengakuji.