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Difference between the Samurai and the Ninja

Difference between the Samurai and the Ninja

It would be an epic battle, wouldn`t it? A showdown between an experienced samurai and a well-trained ninja. The mere thought of it gets ones` blood pumping faster. However, before we go on how well do you know them? Who is a ninja and did they exist? We all know samurais existed but were they as awesome as the movies depict? Also, are the movies about ninjas and samurais true? Lastly, Ninja Vs Samurai, who walks away from the battle and who does not? Keep reading and by the end of the article, you should have your answer.  

First of all, let us outline the fact that we know about our characters. We will begin with the samurai. We know that in ancient Japan, the samurai were elite military officers. The title of the samurai was a hereditary one. So the samurai were trained from very young ages. They were trained in the ways and ideals of the proper samurai. The samurai were under the authority of the daimyo. The daimyo referred to the landholders.

The samurai practised the “way of warriors” referred to by a single word. Bushido. Bushido refers to a collection of ideals and codes of honour. It makes mention of the “way” or “dao”. The samurai lived according to these ideals. The ideals included honour and loyalty until death, frugality and a certain level of mastery of martial arts. This is why samurai consider themselves superior to ninjas or shinobi.

But are they as incorruptible as the movies make them out to be? Most times, the samurai is indeed loyal only to one daimyo. But the loyalties of the daimyo could shift from one higher lord to the next and by extension, the loyalty of the samurai. Nevertheless, the samurai were still human. So some went down in history as a result of cowardice and disloyalty.

Now, to the ninja. The ninja could also be referred to as the shinobi. The ninjas were also in play during the times of the samurai. However, the ninjas were more of covert agents than soldiers.

The shinobi were not as restricted by moral codes of loyalty as the samurai were. The shinobi worked more like mercenaries and covert agents. Their art of unusual warfare became the nightmares of whoever they targeted. They specialised in assassinations and information gathering.  They did not hold much love for the samurai either. So yes, the movies did justice to the image of the ninjas.  

They trained to be as silent and covert as possible. But they were not superhuman so they could not fly. They ninjas trained in the art of ninjutsu. This is made up of survival skills as well as a variety of espionage.

Both the samurai and ninjas used swords. However, the ninjas were also supremely proficient in the use of hidden weapons such as dart and knives. The samurai used samurai swords while the ninja preferred use of katanas.

So now that we know the truths about our characters, if presented with the question of samurai Vs ninja, how would you answer? If you ask me, the victor will be decided based on the setting.


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