Circa, 19th century. A group of samurai pictured taking part in a ceremonial suicide known as harakiri, part of the bushido code which saw warriors disemboweled to fall with honour rather than be defeated by their enemy.
By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi (武士), and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai followed a set of rules that came to be known as bushidō. While they numbered less than 10% of Japan's population samurai teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.