Small Samurai began practising the basics of fencing with wooden swords at the age of 3,
being given a real weapon, a mamorigatana sword for self-defence, between the ages of 5 and 7.
A child had to be able to protect itself from surrounding dangers, family enemies,
robbers and vagrants, with his father and male relatives providing early combat training.
Boys were sent to be raised by relatives or to the home of a fencing instructor,
where they were taught military tactics, archery, riding, handling a spear and unarmed combat,
jujutsu, i.e. yawara. Attention was also paid to the development of intellectual virtues.
There was no special school for Samurai daughters, who learned how to be good wives
and housekeepers from their mothers. These young women also had to learn how to write
Japanese syllabic symbols and read classic Japanese literature and poetry,
while also receiving weapons training, e.g., in using the naginata spear.