While most people are familiar with the samurai as the dangerous Japanese fighters, few people realize that while originated in 900 A.D., they continued their way of life in to the early 1900s. After Japan opened up its ports, photographers were lucky enough to capture some stunning portraits of the Samurai in the 1860's and 1870's. These photos were then hand-colored. This collection comes courtesy of the Universal History Archive and Getty Images.
A proud samurai displays his fighting armor in 1881
A group of samurai men pose in full warrior garb in 1900. This studio would be the place where many of the following photos of these brave warriors were taken.