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A day in the life of a teenage samurai - Constantine N. Vaporis

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The year is 1800 in the castle town of Kôchi, Japan. It’s just after sunrise, and 16-year-old Mori Banshirô is already hard at work practicing drills with his long sword. He is an ambitious samurai in training, and today he must impress his teachers more than ever so he can travel to the capital city for martial and scholarly studies. Constantine N. Vaporis outlines a day in the life of a samurai.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Constantine N. Vaporis
  • Director WOW-HOW Studio
  • Narrator Adrian Dannatt
  • Storyboard Artist Nikita Bondarenko, Sergey Yaroshenko
  • Animator Alex Bohdan
  • Art Director Marianna Murashko
  • WOW-HOW Producer Daria Kachan , Tatiana Koroleva
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Interested in learning more in depth about all aspects of samurai culture during the Tokugawa period, such as weapons, martial arts, clothing, diet, housing, and customs? Check out this book. A useful online reference guide to information about the samurai can be found here:

Want to learn about samurai during other time periods? Try this book, which surveys the origins and history of the samurai from the fourteenth until the mid-nineteenth century.

Want to learn more about the alternate attendance system, which required daimyo and their retinue of samurai (like Banshirō and his father) to travel to Edo on tours of duty? This book informs you about the system and explores the nature of a tour of duty to Edo for individual samurai.

To learn more about the broader society in which Banshirō lived—what was it like to live in Tokugawa Japan—check out this book. You can also watch these short video clips.

The vast majority of samurai lived in castle towns, which centered around castles. Twelve original castles from the Tokugawa period remain in Japan today while many more have been reconstructed in their original locations. To read more about castles and castle towns, try this online site or this one. Edo (now Tokyo) was the largest castle town in Japan. Visit this online site of the Edo-Tokyo Museum to learn more about this great city, home to a population of about one million people in 1800.. You can learn more here about samurai residences in the castle towns and see photos of some of these residences that have been preserved.


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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Constantine N. Vaporis
  • Director WOW-HOW Studio
  • Narrator Adrian Dannatt
  • Storyboard Artist Nikita Bondarenko, Sergey Yaroshenko
  • Animator Alex Bohdan
  • Art Director Marianna Murashko
  • WOW-HOW Producer Daria Kachan , Tatiana Koroleva
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more