Last update at 27 · 04 · by milo‧‧‧ One of 810
In the 1500s a new type of Samurai armor started to become popular due to the advent of firearms, new fighting tactics and the need for additional protection. The kozane dou made from individual scales was replaced by plate armor. This new armor, which used iron plated dou (dō), was referred to as Tosei-gusoku, or modern armor. The newer armor added features and pieces of armor for the face, thigh, and back. The back piece had multiple uses, such as for a flag bearing.
In the 13th century, Hōjō Shigetoki (1198–1261 AD) wrote:
When one is serving officially or in the master’s court, he should not think of a hundred or a thousand people, but should consider only the importance of the master.
Most samurai were bound by a code of honor and were expected to set an example for those below them. A notable part of their code is seppuku (切腹 seppuku) or hara kiri, which allowed a disgraced samurai to regain his honor by passing into death, where samurai were still beholden to social rules.
Samurai were usually loyal to their immediate superiors, who in turn allied themselves with higher lords. These loyalties to the higher lords often shifted; for example, the high lords allied under Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉) were served by loyal samurai, but the feudal lords under them could shift their support to Tokugawa, taking their samurai with them. There were, however, also notable instances where samurai would be disloyal to their lord (daimyō), when loyalty to the Emperor was seen to have supremacy.