What Was Samurai Armor Made Of?


The Japanese military had their own techniques for crafting these suits and they would often choose particular patterns depending on the warrior’s personality and social status. Do you know what kind of armor the Samurai wore?

Samurai armor has been worn since ancient times. It started out being made of leather. Later on, it became iron metal and then eventually, steel.


Today, you can see samurai armor in museums around Japan. They still serve as an inspiration for modern designers and artists. This article will discuss samurai armor and what it was made from (see also ‘Are Ninjas Real?‘). 

What Was A Samurai?

A samurai (see also ‘Are There Still Samurai?‘) was a member of the elite class of warriors in feudal Japan. They were highly trained soldiers who fought with swords and spears. Their job was to protect the emperor and keep order within the country.

In addition to fighting, the samurai also served as government officials and teachers. There were different types of samurai including:

Warrior Monks

These men were monks who practiced martial arts while living in monasteries. They protected the monastery from intruders and bandits.


These men were spies that could infiltrate enemy castles and cities without getting caught. They were extremely skilled at hiding themselves and using shadows to sneak past guards.

Archery Master

Archers were experts in shooting arrows. They used bows and arrows to fight enemies.

Mounted Warrior

Mounted warriors rode horses into battle. They were usually generals or emperor’s bodyguards.


Bodyguards protected the emperor by protecting him from assassination attempts.

Sword master

Sword masters were expert sword fighters who learned how to use multiple weapons during combat (learn more about Japanese weaponry here).

What Were The Samurais Armed With?

There are many kinds of weapons that the Samurai used in battles. Some of them include


Katanas were two-edged swords carried by Samurai (find out more here, ‘What is a Katana?‘). They were longer than normal swords and were designed for slashing attacks.


Tachis were curved sabers that were shorter than katana. They were carried by foot soldiers.


Kusari-gamas were long knives that were used by Samurai. They were called “long knives” because they were much longer than regular kitchen knives.


Naginatas were halberds that were used by Samurai warriors. They were similar to maces but smaller.


Yumis were short swords that were used by foot soldiers. They were lighter than other swords and easier to carry.


Naginataz were halberds with a spike on top of the blade. They were used by Samurai archers.


Munes were drums that were used by Samurai troops. They helped communicate orders and give signals.


Hakkoryus were wooden sticks that were used by Samurai for self defense.

What Was Samurai Armor Made Of

How Did Samurais Wear Armor?

The Samurai wore heavy to very heavy armor. It weighed between 10 and 70 pounds. The armor consisted of several layers. 

The first layer was the outermost one which was made of leather. Next came the middle layer which was made of iron. Then there was a lining made of cotton. Finally, there was the innermost layer which was made of wood.

The armor had openings so that the samurai could move their arms freely. In addition, it had spaces where the samurai could put things like food, water, or even weapons.

Why Do We Call Them Samurai?

Samurai means “one who serves an emperor.” This is why we call them Samurai.

What Was Samurai Life Like?

Life for a Samurai wasn’t easy. They lived in remote areas and didn’t have many friends. They spent most of their time training with weapons. They also trained with different types of animals such as horses, dogs, cats, etc. They ate simple meals and slept on hard beds.

They didn’t have any money, so they couldn’t buy anything except what they needed. For example, if they wanted to eat meat, they would kill a cow or pig. If they wanted to drink tea, they would go out and get some leaves.

They had no houses, so they built temporary shelters. These shelters were made of bamboo and straw. They often stayed outdoors when it rained. When it was sunny, they went inside.

What Were Their Lives Like During War Time?

During war times, life became harder for the Samurai. They had to fight more frequently and spend less time training. They also got paid less.

When the Samurai fought, they usually attacked using stealth and hidden blades. They also sometimes used arrows.

What Happened To Samurai After The End Of The Samurai Era?

After the end of the Samurai era, Japan underwent many changes. There were new laws and rules that were set up. Also, many people started living together instead of being isolated.

Japan also began to become modernized. Many people moved away from rural areas and into cities. People started wearing Western clothing and eating Western foods.

In 1868, Japan was forced to open its doors to foreigners. This led to many Japanese changing their minds about how they should live.

In 1869, Japan declared itself an empire. This meant that all the land belonged to the Emperor. All citizens had to pay taxes and obey his commands.

In 1873, Japan defeated China in a battle called the Sino-Japanese War. This ended the isolationist policy.

In 1893, Japan opened its borders to other countries. This led to trade becoming much easier.

Today, Japan has many famous historical sites. One of these is the Imperial Palace. It is located in Tokyo. It is the home of the current emperor of Japan.

There are many museums in Japan. Some of these include the National Museum, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and the Kyoto History Museum.

How Is Samurai Armor Used Now?

Some people still use samurai armor today. They wear it during special occasions. For example, they might wear it at weddings or funerals.

Also, some people use it for Halloween costumes.

Is Samurai Armor Still Made Today?

Yes, there are still companies making samurai armor. However, most of the armor you see now is fake. It looks like real armor but isn’t.


Samurai armor was very important to the history of Japan. Without it, Japan wouldn’t be where it is today.

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