Samurai were soldiers no different from those in Europe, prior to the Tokugawa dynasty (16th Century). After the unification of Japan, they became a class of warrior-scholars, who were second in social standing only to the Emperor and daimyos. They adopted a warrior code known as the Bushido Code(Way of the warrior), which emphasized loyalty, devotion, and honor to the death. If the samurai failed in any of these the Samurai's lord could demand that he redeem himself via seppuku, or ritual suicide.. This became an inspiration to Japan's kamikaze pilots in World War 2.
Samurai were always to carry a daishou, the traditional Samurai weapons, and it was considered to be like their soul.