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Samurai fact of the week!

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Samurai Equine

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It's time for another weekly Samurai Fact!

This week's fact... Samurai Armor.

The image of a samurai has been made iconic thanks to the signature suit of armor they typically wear. This suit often includes floating shoulder armor, a helmet with horns, and the occasional scary face mask. While there have been plenty of moments where a samurai might go into battle with little to no armor, the full suit is preferred for large-scale battle conditions. Some pieces of the armor might be used for other classes of warrior, but the horned helmet is typically reserved for samurai only.

The armor is usually light weight to allow for as much mobility as possible. The optional armored mask is used to scare easily-frightened foes; the fear and moment's hesitation provides an opening for an attack. Samurai helmets are often (but not always) designed after animals and monsters. Samurai armor can differ from the period it was made in, as well as how many pieces of protection it provides. (More on that in a future fact.)

While it's not a hard tradition, your rank and position would often decide how nice your armor is. Members of the shogunate (the war lords/battle generals) would often get the fanciest or most regal of samurai armor; they also got first dibs on the newest armor designs. A rookie samurai stepping into battle for the first time, or one that is limited to providing defense, might get a very basic suit of armor, often without any kind of decorative horns or fancy side wings.

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