This was composed when the thread "Do Samurai and Ninja stil exist?" was still open, but it got closed before I could post. I have just read this thread for the first time. With occasional interruptions it has taken a few hours to get through. Those hours have been some of the most entertaining online time I've had in a long while. Thanks to all the contributors. A few points; The dictionary definitions pretty much sum up the percieved wisdom regarding the term "Samurai" and "Ninja". But you'll notice they were English definitions, as such they describe what those words mean to an English user. Consequently, there may be slight inaccuracies from the historical truth. People who compile dictonaries are not Historians. I noted that there were references to assassins, which subsequent posts have tried to play down. Clearly the Lexicographers used the definition that they were told was correct. Could we have some sources for the "not assassins" story, please. I find it rather interesting, especially the part about Mummy telling the kids scary stories about the boogieman Ninja. Isn't it amazing that people can write about such a topic without even bothering to spell "Samurai" or "Ninja" correctly. But even more amusing for me was when Greg had a go about spelling and misspelled the word "Grammar" every time Do Powder Monkeys exist? Or Mongol Horseback Archers? How about Gladiators? Or Hangmen? Or Highwaymen? Or Cavemen? These are terms coined for a particular type of person during a particular time... these "jobs" no longer exist and so therefore, these people do not. Although in some cases the word has become so familiar that when people wish to use it as a simile it ends up written as a metaphor (or to some people here, a plain statement of fact) eg. "He trains and fights like a Samurai" becomes "He is a Modern-day Samurai" which seems to be read as "This guy is a living Samurai, bow down before him and he will sell you his video". The really valuable lessons to be gleaned from this thread could be roughly divided in two; A) The historic definition of the two terms, the appropriate social climate, the dates of Japanese Industralisation and cessation of Feudal Law. Contained in two or three well-wrtten posts, complete with dates and accurate terminology. B) Too much Video-fu, Ninten-do and Anime-jutsu, make for some truly embarrassing misconceptions and shocking attitudes toward reality. As shown in a disconcertingly high number of posts. Hollywood is unreliable as a factual source (What was that movie? "U-571"?).