Difference Between Samurai and Ninja

Although Japanese samurais and ninjas may look similar, the truth is that there are many differences between the two. Both were widely used throughout Japanese history, but for completely different reasons. Difference Between Samurai and Ninja

Curiously, both the history of the samurai and that of the ninjas, has as its origin a historical story. One man, Prince Yamato, disguised himself as a woman and was able to attract two men enough to lower their guard. Once they were comfortable, Yamato slaughtered the men with a sword. Although in the definition of ninja or samurai there is no mention of female disguise; in both cases the history of prince Yamato is recognized as the beginning of the path of these warriors.

SAMURAI  Difference Between Samurai and Ninja

Samurai warriors were part of the upper class (of the elite) developed among the Japanese army in mid-794 AD. These men were seen above all other warriors and the rest of the military, in the culture of Japan. Perhaps the cause of this consideration was the adherence of the samurai to a high code of honor called Bushido; or it may have been the fact that his loyalty was to his lord, usually a high government official.

A samurai is different from a ninja, because a ninja is a low-class mercenary. All of this is seen in history in the 15th century. The ninjas were not considered elite warriors, but low-class recruits; which were dedicated to providing their services to anyone who could hire them.

Both samurai and ninjas were experts in the use of different Japanese weapons. The samurai warrior was an expert in the use of the spear, bow, and sword; above all he specialized in the use of the latter. So to distinguish them from the others they are named after these warriors: samurai swords.

Samurai are known to be used for missions that required fast and effective movements, as well as for combat in which any available weapon could be used. 


The ninjas however, used a different form of attack. They had a special weapon for their attacks: the ninja star. They used to use this weapon because they were not sent for close combat. They carried out their functions in secret and their espionage capabilities and the stealthy and surprising way in which they murdered their victims were known.

Naturally, as these warriors had different tasks and different methods to perform them; his clothes were also different. A samurai, as a high-class warrior, wore full-body suits or armor. These suits were made of metal plates that covered his legs, arms, and torso; in addition, they wore a metal helmet.

Because ninjas were meant to work secretly and stealthily, they wore a ninja-yoroi as their wardrobe. This outfit was all black and covered her legs, arms, and even her head; the only thing that was exposed were the ninja’s eyes. Their coatings were intended to help them hide at night. Some think that in reality the ninjas were totally covered, because they did not belong to the elite, like the samurai.

Samurai and ninjas were different on almost every level. Each was used for a different form of attack, they dressed differently and were of different classes. However, the origin of both is closely related to the history of the same historical character.

Key differences between ninja and samurai

  • The samurai were upper-class and the ninjas were lower-class mercenaries.
  • The samurai used mostly melee weapons, while the ninjas used weapons to attack from a distance and in a surprising way.
  • The samurai wore metallic armor and suits, while the ninjas were dressed entirely in black, to go unnoticed in the dark.

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