The samurai warriors of Japan are legendary and have gained such a fame that even people in the Western civilization know about them. For hundreds of years, these warriors were the ruling class of Japanese society, until their dawn in 1868 after the Restoration of Emperor Meiji. These rare 19th-century historical pictures show us the last of these legendary warriors.
It is little known that there were female samurais as well. This tradition date back to the 16th-century, when the females were tasked with defending their villages and children during wartime when the men were all on a campaign.
All of these historical pictures were taken 1863 and 1900 as the power of the samurai slowly but steadily faded.
Samurai warriors often had their whole bodies tattooed, from neck to toe. These tattoos included various arts, like dragons, tigers, and other traditional Japanese illustrations. The modern tattoos of the Yakuza maffia evolved from these.