In December 1547, Francis was in Malacca Malaysia waiting to return to Goa India when he met a low ranked samurai named Anjiro possibly spelled "Yajiro". Anjiro wasn't an intellectual, but he impressed Xavier because he took cautious notes of everything he said in church. Xavier made the choice to go to Japan in part because this low ranking samurai convinced him in Portuguese that the Japanese people were greatly educated and keen to learn. They were hard workers and respectful of authority. In their laws and customs they were led by reason, and, should the Christian faith convince them of its truth, they could accept it en masse.
Korean and Chinese soldiers assault the Japanese built fortress at Ulsan throughout the Japanese invasions of Korea, 1597
By the 12th century, upper class samurai were greatly literate caused by the general introduction of Confucianism from China throughout the seventh to nineth centuries, and in answer to their perceived have to deal with the imperial court, who had a monopoly on culture and literacy for most of the Heian period. consequently, they aspired to the more cultured abilities of the nobility.
Examples like Taira Tadanori a samurai who seems in the Heike Monogatari show that warriors idealized the arts and aspired to become experienced in them.
Tadanori was famous for his skill with the pen and the sword or the "bun and the bu", the harmony of fighting and learning. Samurai were projected to be cultured and literate, and admired the ancient saying "bunbu ryo,do," ?,?,?,?,, lit., literary arts, military arts, both ways or "The pen and the sword in accord". By the time of the Edo period, Japan had a higher literacy comparable to that in central Europe.
The number of men who really achieved the ideal and lived their lives by it was high. An early term for warrior, "uruwashii", was written with a kanji that joint the characters for literary study "bun" ?, and military arts "bu" ?,, and is mentioned in the Heike Monogatari late 12th century. The Heike Monogatari makes reference to the educated poet swordsman ideal in its talk about of Taira no Tadanori's death:
Friends and foes alike wet their sleeves with tears and said,
What a pity. Tadanori was a great general,
pre eminent in the arts of both sword and poetry.
In his book "Ideals of the Samurai" translator William Scott Wilson states: "The warriors in the Heike Monogatari served as models for the educated warriors of afterward generations, and the ideals depicted by them weren't expected to be beyond reach. Rather, these ideals were vigorously pursued in the upper echelons of warrior society and suggested as the correct form of the Japanese man of arms. With the Heike Monogatari, the image of the Japanese warrior in literature came to its full maturity." Wilson then translates the writings of some number of warriors who talk about the Heike Monogatari for example for their men to follow.
lots of warrior writings document this ideal from the 13th century onward. Most warriors aspired to or followed this ideal otherwise there could have been no cohesion in the samurai armies.
As aristocrats for centuries, samurai worked on their own cultures that influenced Japanese culture all together. The culture related with the samurai like the tea ceremony, monochrome ink painting, rock gardens and poetry were adopted by warrior patrons during the centuries 12001600. These practices were adapted from the Chinese arts. Zen monks presented them to Japan and they were allowed to flourish caused by the interest of powerful warrior elites. Muso, Soseki 12751351 was a Zen monk who was consultant to both Emperor Go Daigo and General Ashikaga Takauji 130458. Muso,, also as other monks, acted as political and cultural diplomat between Japan and China. Muso, was especially well recognized for his garden design. Another Ashikaga patron of the arts was Yoshimasa. His cultural consultant, the Zen monk Zeami, presented tea ceremony to him. earlier, tea had been used mainly for Buddhist monks to stay awake throughout meditation.
In general, samurai, aristocrats, and priests had a high literacy rate in kanji. Recent analysis have shown that literacy in kanji among other groups in society was somewhat higher than earlier understood. as an example, court papers, birth and death records and marriage records from the Kamakura period, submitted by farmers, were prepared in Kanji. Both the kanji literacy rate and expertise in math improved toward the end of Kamakura period.
Literacy was usually high among the warriors and the common classes also. The feudal lord Asakura Norikage 14741555 AD noted the great loyalty given to his father, caused by his polite letters, not just to fellow samurai, but also to the farmers and townspeople: