The shows called “Samurai Champloo,” so both Jin and Mugen must be samurai. Right?
Sorry, wrong. Jin is (formerly), but Mugen definitely isn’t. One of the commonest mistakes in anime fandom is the assumption that any swordsman can be referred to as a samurai. The word has nothing to do with your fighting style, your appearance, or or your skill as a fighter. The samurai were a particular social class in Japanese society, a warrior nobility, and you had to be born into a noble samurai family to become a samurai (even women of such families were considered samurai to a degree, and were trained to fight; though they were more likely to learn the bow or the naginata–long lance–than the sword, there were noted female swordfighters as well). Samurai are often compared to European knights, and to some extent they are similar, but the crucial difference is that any warrior can distingush himself in battle and eventually be knighted, while no amount of brilliance on the battlefield can earn a non-noble the name of samurai. (The only time this was ever waived was in the peri