Wielding the iconic pole weapon with a fearsome reach, the naginata samurai operate following a strict code of honor.
Most likely emerging in the middle of the 10th century with the advent of powerful clans, the samurai were professional warriors who served a lord. This group of warriors gradually became a social class of its own devoted to armed combat (buke) and sworn to a very strict code of ethics. The samurai played a crucial military role in the long wars that divided feudal Japan before gradually losing prominence in the Edo period, which ushered in an era of peace throughout the nation. Samurai were usually equipped with armor, a long saber (katana), a shorter saber (wakizashi), and a dagger (tanto). Less common, the naginata consisted of a curved blade fitted to the end of a pole up to two meters long. Used on the battlefield, notably for cutting the rear shanks of horses, its long reach presented an advantage when fighting against warriors armed with swords.