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The ashigaru were common foot-soldiers of the Rokuganese armies and lowest ranked in the Buke caste. These men were peasants conscripted into service in times of war and sent to the battle front to die. Armed with little more than padding that served as an excuse for armour and a yari (spear), these men merely charged at each other in large numbers and served as an interesting backdrop for dueling samurai.
Ashigaru archers and spearmen, however, occasionally prove to be deadly when given sufficient direction and purpose by a competent leader. After all, arrows in sufficient numbers may maim or even kill the most highly trained, armed, and armoured bushi before it gets close enough to even wound anybody. Even then, however, most samurai look upon the ashigaru as mere tools: as Tsuruchi Nobumoto says, "What we do is art. What peasants do is merely adequate."
Ashigaru Families Edit
Most of the great houses have families of Ashigaru who have served for generations, and most of those in the family have a fierce pride and loyalty equaling that of most samurai. In times of peace these hereditary ashigaru serve mostly as guardsmen, doshin, and scouts.
See also Edit
External Links Edit
- Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 28.