Samurai Sayings and Quotes

Samurai culture is heavily romanticized. With all of the movies depicting “the way of the warrior” and their incredible swords, it’s easy to see why this skillful military class remains a fascinating aspect to outsiders of Japanese culture. Below you’ll find a collection of wise and insightful samurai quotes.


Sword and mind must be united. Technique by itself is insufficient, and spirit alone is not enough.     

Yamada Jirokichi

A samurai will use a toothpick even though he has not eaten. Inside the skin of a dog, outside the hide of a tiger.     

Yamamoto Tsunetomo

The samurai is the first to suffer anxiety for human society, and he is the last to seek personal pleasure.     

Morihei Ueshiba

A samurai chooses to serve a master and does it out of respect and love, not because they are forced. Service to them is not demeaning; service is an expression of their prowess and their pride; they serve because only they are strong enough to serve with such flawless perfection and such consummate ability. It is a source of pride to them.     

Alexei Maxim Russell

The way of the samurai is found in death. When it comes to either or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance.     

Nabeshima Naoshige

Working on the samurai sword is very different because your body position has to be very still. It's a much quieter way of fighting.     

Lucy Liu

The true meaning of the samurai is one who serves and adheres to the power of love.     

Morihei Ueshiba

The samurai always has to rise and move on, because new challenges will come.     

Lyoto Machida

The sword has to be more than a simple weapon; it has to be an answer to life's questions.     

Miyamoto Musashi

The sword was a very elegant weapon in the days of the samurai. You had honor and chivalry much like the knights, and yet it was a gruesome and horrific weapon.     

Dustin Diamond

A samurai should always be prepared for death whether his own or someone else's.     

Stan Sakai

As a samurai, I must strengthen my character; as a human being I must perfect my spirit.     

Yamaoka Tesshu

Being a samurai is all about selfless service and if the lord abuses the servant, it is no longer a situation of service; it becomes the situation of a victim. It is never acceptable for a samurai to be a victim. It is never acceptable to allow a lord to abuse you or rob you of your dignity. In such a situation, it is acceptable to walk away.     

Alexei Maxim Russell

A samurai was essentially a man of action.     

Inazo Nitobe

A samurai must remain calm at all times even in the face of danger.     

Chris Bradford

Samurai culture did exist really, for hundreds of years and the notion of people trying to create some sort of a moral code, the idea that there existed certain behaviors that could be celebrated and that could be operative in a life.     

Edward Zwick

Once the will is resolved, one's spirit is strengthened. Even a peasant's will is hard to deny, but a samurai of resolute will can sway ten thou­sand men.     

Yoshida Shoin