Deadliest Warrior Wiki
Weapons Katana, Naginata, Yumi, Kanabo
Origin Feudal Japan
Activities Fighting for their daimyo (warlord)
Service 1500's-1700's AD
Battle Status Won vs. the Viking
Lost vs. the Spartan
Experts Tetsuro Shigematsu (Samurai descendant)
Brett Chan (Samurai weapons Expert)

"Among the pantheon of warriors, the Samurai is surely the greatest."-
Tetsuro Shigematsu, Samurai descendant

The Samurai, Japan's lightning-fast dealer of death;

the Viking, battle-crazed berzerker who terrorized Europe.


  • Height - 5' 3"
  • Weight - 135 lbs
  • Gear - 65 lbs
  • Armor - Steel and Leather plate and Kabuto helmet
  • Symbole - Japanese script for Samurai


Japan was settled as early as 40,000 BCE. The Yayoi period established many of Japan's earliest major kingdoms led by their Daimyos; the strongest in Yamato, Kanagawa. Japan would remain a series of divided kingdoms and clans until the industrial era, but these kingdoms regularly unified with each other against invaders from mainland Asia. Japan (aka Nihon) means 'sunrise land'.

Samurai means 'to serve' in Japan, as they served the Daimyo and protected their land. Samurai were skilled fighters and were paid in food or land. They started as tax collectors and many were corrupt, but soon gained enough money to develop their own armies. In times of peace, the Samurai would duel each other to maintain their reputation as swordsmen. This was a common practice among Ronin; Samurai who lost their master, went AWOL or became criminals. In the 1500s, 10% of Japanese men were Samurai.

Sword hunts, especially the one of 1588 led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, forced the majority of Samurai to forfeit their swords. At the same time, the Samruai refused to adopt the Arquebus as they saw it as anti-traditional and dishonorable. Ironically this made Samurai defenseless while giving common peasants more weapons, as many were willing to ignore the unethical nature of the musket in favor of its effectiveness in battle.

This opposition against western technology escalated when the Tokugawa Shogunate launched the Sakoku policy. In the 1630s the christian population of Japan, most of which were influenced by western powers, led a revolt against the Samurai. In the aftermath of the Shimabara Rebellion in 1638, the extreme isolationist policy of Sakoku was formed: executing emigrants and immigrants automatically. However it is this repressive policy that allowed Japan a moment of peace that lasted for over 200 years.

This peace ended in 1853 when the American Perry Expedition used massive frigates known as 'Black Ships' to intimidate the Japanese. Realizing the technological potential of industrial guns and modern industry, many Japanese imperialists rejected the traditional mentality of the Samurai and focused on westernization. However this created a division between the traditionalist Samurai under the Shogun and the westernized Emperor.

The Samruai led uprisings against the Emperor due to the shifting modernization. The Stipends were a national tax that funded the Samurai; but in 1873 the Emperor abolished the tax and the Samurai feared that they were losing their political status as modernization made them look irrelevant. The Boshin War of 1868-69 and the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877 led to the rise of Imperial Japan and the popularity of weapons from the late 1800s made the Samurai no longer effective on the battlefield. These wars clearly showed this, with many skilled sword wielding Samurai getting slaughtered by conscripts using modern rifles, Gatling Guns and cannons. With this: the Samurai lost their once iconic political and military power.

Yet Samurai clans still exist today as peaceful families and neighborhoods. Before Imperial Japan; the Samurai refused to affiliate themselves with relatively normal careers like being merchants or losing their political dominance. The Japanese Empire replaced the military's heretical Samurais with mass conscription; as modern guns made skill and wealth irrelevant for the common soldier. With the Samurai's traditional lifestyle and power threatened; Saigō Takamori launched the Satusma Rebellion between January 29 to September 24, 1877. However the Samurai were quickly defeated; and they eventually accepted this end of an era.

Several experienced Samurai generals did remain in the Imperial Army however; with the Russo-Japanese War demonstrating Samurai generals using modernization (both tactically and technologically) to overshadow the Russian Empire. Imperial Japan would also demonstrate similar Bushido military philosophies from the past; with Imperialist soldiers willing to commit to Banzai charges with Katanas and Bayonets or pilots committing Kamikaze murder-suicides (if they ran out of fuel or ammo).


Weapon Range Samurai Weapon Kills Back For Blood


Close-Range Katana 137 Katana 15
Mid-Range Naginata 171 Naginata 141
Long-Range Yumi 114 Yumi 175
Special Weapons Kanabo 100 Kanabo 142
Total Kills 522 473
  • The katana was tested first against three bamboo mats, and managed to cut them all in one clean swipe in under a third of a second. It was tested next on pig carcasses, and managed to cut through two pigs cleanly. Finally, it was tested against another pig carcass wearing Viking chainmail, which it impacted but failed to significantly damage.
  • The naginata proved itself as a quick ranged weapon by slicing a dummy with several quick cuts, taking off part of the head in one, slashing the face in the second, and stabbing the heart on the last.
  • The yumi bow was shot at two dummies from 45 feet while calling out where he would hit his targets. He also showed the yumi's accuracy by shooting out dummy eyes at 25 feet.
  • The Kanabo (a Japanese war club). He was able to shatter a pig's femur and break off a part of the shield, although half of the studs in the club were knocked out in the process. The kanabo was measured at 470 psi, and it was theorized that an arm behind the shield would suffer at least one broken bone.

The Samurai wore a type of steel Lamellar known as dō-maru or or "body wrap". It was constructed from small scales of metal laced into plates with cord and lacquered. Then each plate was laced together to form the armor. Due to the weight of iron, armor makers limited its use to the most vital parts of the armor and used leather for the remainder. The Samurai also wore a particularly flat, wide steel helmet known as Kabuto.

Deadliest Warrior: The Game[]

  • Close-Range: KatanaNodachi
  • Mid-Range: NaginataYari
  • Long-Range: Yumi (daikyū), Yumi (hankyū)
  • Special Weapon: Kanabo
  • Finisher: The Samurai brings his kanabo down on his opponent's shoulder, forcing him to his knees. He then grabs the hilt of his sword and unsheathes it, decapitating the opponent in a single swing. The Samurai sheathes his sword and gets in a kneeling position.


The battle starts with the Viking throwing his Great Axe to the ground as the Samurai approaches him with his Yumi Bow and Naginata in hand. He lets out a battle cry and then pulls out an arrow. He fires at the Viking and hits him in the shoulder. He pulls out the arrow and looks up, only to find a second arrow coming at him. It hits him in his helmet and dazes him. The Viking pulls out two spears and charges at the Samurai. When he gets close, he hurls them both at the Samurai. The Samurai attempts to dodge them, but he is struck by one and thrown to the floor. The Viking pulls out his Great Axe and rushes at the Samurai. The Samurai gets up and grabs his Naginata. The Viking swings his axe but is blocked by the Naginata. The Samurai twists his Naginata and throws away the Viking's axe. He hits the Viking with the Naginata, but the damage is slightly reduced by the Viking's chain mail. The Viking recovers his Great Axe and begins swing wildly at the Samurai. With a heavy blow, he knocks the Naginata out of the Samurai's hands and kicks the Samurai. The Viking swings the axe at the Samurai's back, but like the chain mail against the Naginata, the Samurai's armor manages to prevent the axe from tearing into the Samurai and killing him. The Samurai pulls out his Kanabo club and hits the Great Axe, once again knocking it out of the Viking's hands. He tries to swing at the Viking, but the Viking blocks with his Shield. The Samurai begins to savagely hit the Shield with his Kanabo, and manages to chip off a small portion. The Viking then gets up and charges at the Samurai with his Shield. He pushes the Samurai all the way to a bridge and then off of it. The Samurai falls into a ditch below and loses his club. The Viking draws his Longsword and jumps down. The Samurai manages to get up and pulls out his Katana. The two begin to clash swords, with the Samurai getting in blows at the Viking. The Viking swings at the Samurai, but the sword just slides off of his armor. He tries once again but the Samurai moves out of the way, and the Viking crashes into a tree. The Samurai slashes at the Viking's legs, forcing the Viking to his knees. He stabs his katana straight down into the Viking's neck. He then pulls out his sword before the Viking falls to the ground, dead. The Samurai flips the Viking over and readies another stab to his heart, but sees that his opponent is dead. The Samurai sheathes his katana and limps off into the distance.

Expert's Opinion:[]

The Samurai's win was credited to his better armor, better weaponry, and better techniques while the Viking has never learned to counter anything like that.

Back For Blood Special[]

The Samurai was walking through a forest and then he saw the Spartan showing himself in front of the samurai warrior; thereafter, the Samurai proceeded to stick his naginata into the ground and the Spartan was raising spear showing that he wants to fight the Samurai. Consequently, the Samurai pulled out his arrow and uses his yumi bow to attack the Spartan, the Samurai fires his yumi bow at the Spartan but it hits at the Spartan's shield and the Spartan jumps and landed on the ground. The Spartan threw out his javelin at the samurai but missed. The Samurai pulled out another arrow to fire at the Spartan. The Spartan reacted to this by grabbing his spear and prepared himself for close-quarters combat.

The Spartan charged at his enemy while the Samurai retaliated by searching the Spartan's weak points for him to shoot his arrow. The Samurai shot his arrow at the Spartan's legs but the arrow was deflected because the Spartan was wearing greaves which prevented the arrow from hitting the Spartan's leg. The Spartan tried to hit the Samurai with his spear but the Samurai used his bow to redirect the Spartan's spear attack. The Samurai prepared himself for close-quarters combat by grabbing his naginata and trying to hit the Spartan, but the Spartan dodged it by ducking his head. They both proceeded in a clash with their medium ranged weapons and dodging each others attacks by ducking. The Samurai tried to hit the Spartan with his naginata but the Spartan used his shield to block the Samurai's attacks, the Spartan retaliated by pushing the Samurai into a tree with his shield, The Spartan attacked the Samurai with his spear but the samurai blocked it using his naginata then the Spartan used his shield as weapon and broke the naginata with his shield.

The Samurai discarded his broken weapon and keeps his distance away from the Spartan. The Spartan then proceeded to attack the Samurai with his spear, but the Samurai redirected his weapon and threw him on the ground. The Samurai threw away the spear and grabbed his kanabo which he is using against the Spartan. But the Spartan used his shield to block the all of the attacks of the kanabo. The Spartan pulls out his xiphos and hits the Samurai's unprotected neck causing him to bleed and dropping his kanabo. The Spartan stands back up ready to fight again.

The Spartan was walking forward while the samurai was walking backward to keep his distance away from the Spartan. The Samurai was preparing himself to pullout his katana from the sword sheath. The Spartan was the first to attack with his xiphos but the Samurai dodged it and pulled out his sword hitting the Spartan's bronze cuirass armor. The Spartan retaliates by hitting the Samurai with his shield. They are both are preparing to fight again, then they clash each other with their swords. The Samurai hits the Spartan's shield which the Spartan reacted to it by spinning around trying to slash the Samurai with his xiphos, but the Samurai ducked and used his katana to hit the Spartan's bronze cuirass armor again. The Samurai attacks him with a high attack but the Spartan pushed him back with his shield. Both of them are preparing again to see which one will attack first. The Samurai was the first to attack by using a thrust attack with his katana, but the Spartan deflects it with his shield and thrusted his xiphos sword into an unprotected part of the Samurai's armor causing the Samurai to drop his katana. Then the Spartan hits the Samurai's helmet with his shield causing him to drop on the ground.

The Spartan prepares himself for the finishing blow, all the Samurai can do is watch when the Spartan land the blow. The Spatan thrusted his xiphos sword into the Samurai's unprotected neck causing him to scream and squirting blood causing him to die. The Spartan pulled out his sword causing neck to squirt out more blood. Spartan raised his sword and roars in his victory against the Samurai.

Expert's Opinion[]

While the Samurai possessed a far more diverse arsenal of weaponry, the deciding factor was, once more, the Spartan's shield. The shield was large enough to protect the Spartan from most threats, while still capable of being an offensive weapon. The Samurai's kanabo was the only thing strong enough to damage the shield, but even then could not destroy it. Besides that, the Spartan has experience defeating the Persian Immortal, an enemy just as disciplined and skillful as the Samurai.


  • Samurai swordsmen always carried two swords; the second being a spare.
  • Although famous for their love of honor and the code of "Bushido", samurais in history can be disloyal or fight dirty when they want to be, famously seen in the Battle of Sekigahara. Corruption was also common among Samurai. The code "bushido" didn't actually exist as a whole, and the term was actually just invented in the 20th century.
  • It was common for Sumo Wrestlers to become warriors during times of war. They practiced Sumo along with typical Samurai martial arts to perfect their killing potential while complementing their large size. It was not uncommon for Samurai or Ronin to become Sumo during peacetime.
  • The Chonmage hairstyle was vital to the politics of a Samurai. His social status could be crippled if he gave up this hairstyle or made no attempts to follow it. This hairstyle was designed primarily to anchor the Kabuto helmet onto a Samurai's head. Non-Samurai would be arrested or executed for sporting a Chonmage.
  • Japan saw shields as dishonorable, which is why Samurai are rarely depicted with any shields. Because Japan was a relatively isolated island; they never faced significant threats from an effective shield-bearing enemy army.
  • Africans were so uncommon in the isolated island of Japan that the Portugese slave Yasuke became instantly famous whenever the Portugese traders who owned him went to a Japanese town. Oda Nobunaga discovered Yasuke and made him one of his main retainers; a Samurai directly in charge of maintaining a Daimyo's weapons. Yasuke was known for his tall height and massive strength. There is much debate over Yasuke's fate after Oda was defeated by the traitorous Akechi Mitsuhide. Historians concluded that Yasuke either was executed after capture or was sent back into Portugese slavery; since Yasuke was never mentioned again after Oda's death. [1]
    • Early Japanese Shogun Sakanoue no Tamuramaro was believed to have had African ancestry, although this is difficult to confirm.
  • The reason why Japanese Samurai rarely use shields was because they wanted to use Pavises instead to block projectiles, and believed that Yari pikes were better than a shield for protection in close combat due to the range of a pike. Shields would also be cumbersome for Yumi archers, and most Samurai used archery in combat. It should be noted that some shields did exist during the Sengoku Jidai, but they still were uncommon. Previously; early Medieval Japanese armies did have small rectangular shields. [2]
  • History and Mythbusting of the Samurai [3]

  • For his profile shots, the Samurai was portrayed by Lance Masa, who later played the Yakuza boss. However, Masa did not portray the Samurai in the final battle.
  • The Samurai appeared in the Spartan/Ninja episode as enemies of the Ninja.