Ronin Name Meaning & Origin
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- Meanings and history of the name Ronin
Japanese. A ronin (浪人 ,rōnin?) was a samurai with no lord or master during the feudal period (1185–1868) of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the ruin or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege. Rōnin might be hired as yōjimbō (bodyguards or mercenary fighters) by villagers, merchants, or others in need of protection. In this way, many ronin were extended a respect equal to that of master-sponsored samurai by the general population; they were actually preferred by Zen masters, artists, and philosophers over the faceless samurai counterparts, who remained ultimately subservient to their Samauri masters.
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Thousands of modern works of Japanese fiction set in the Edo period cast characters who are ronin. They are often portrayed as yojimbo (bodyguards) or as watari-kashi (mercenary fighters). Another stereotypical occupation for fictional ronin is the umbrella-maker.
Bound and dedicated men, most samurai resented the personal freedom that the wandering ronin enjoyed. Ronin were the epitome of self-determination; they were independent men who dictated their own path in life, answering only to themselves and making decisions as they saw fit.
Akira Kurosawa's films Seven Samurai and Yojimbo are two widely known examples of jidaigeki in which such ronin figure prominently.
Ronin have influenced Western movies. Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name closely resembles a ronin. The movies The Magnificent Seven (Seven Samurai) and A Fistful of Dollars (Yojimbo) are western remakes of Akira Kurosawa's films. The 1998 film Ronin tells the story of a modern-day team of ex-covert operatives that is similar to the ancient ronin.
Jorge Luis Borges devoted a short story to the Forty-seven Ronin.
Miyamoto Usagi is a bodyguard from the Usagi Yojimbo comic series by Stan Sakai.
Frank Miller wrote and penciled the 1983 DC limited series Ronin, in which a psychic, legless, and mentally challenged boy named Billy, is seemingly possessed by the spirit of a ronin from feudal Japan who must defeat the resurrected demon, Agat, in a dystopian New York City.
All info courtesy of Wikipedia.