To be perfectly honest, I do not know much about anything about samurai and all that I know comes from the few American movies that depict samurai. When I think about samurai before having read the readings, the stereotypical image of a warrior dressed in lavish armor with horned helmets and masks formed into fearsome grimaces comes to mind. These men were extremely honorable, fought gracefully on the battlefield and seem to have been able to take down their enemy single handedly.
Yamato Takeru kind of fits this idea. Samurai are often depicted as people who do whatever it takes to protect their country, people, and master from those who wish them harm. Yamato Takeru didn’t object to killing “brave” people who, in the eyes of some, posed a threat to the emperor and the people by being rebellious and not subjecting themselves. This seems to fit into the lines of what I expected about samurai; to protect the peace and order of the country. However, when I think of that action, I typically think of a major enemy with a massive army threatening to destroy all of Japan. On the other hand, due to the emphasis on maintaining social order in Japanese culture these actions could have detrimental effects on par or greater than the effects of an enemy turning up on their doorstep. Yamato seems to be the one who defeats the enemies even though he is traveling with an army. This could be because this is truly an aspect of the samurai but seems to be more likely due to the fact that he is the main character of this story. He also killed his twin brother for seemingly no reason at all at a young age. This extreme act of violence does not seem to fit in with the code of standards that samurai had. In addition to this, the reason why he was sent out to defeat to personally defeat the threats is because his father was afraid of him and wanted to keep him away as much as possible. It seems like samurai should have been honored and revered by their community, not the cause of fear or discomfort.