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Benkei stood there defiantly, naginata in hand, and so terrible did he look that none dared approach him.
— Stephen Turnbull, The Samurai: A Military History

Warrior monks had existed in Japan since the end of the Japanese classical age. At first, they simply existed to fight other monks; much of religion was politics, so when two monasteries had a feud, often violence would break out. For over two hundred years, the Sohei merely existed to fight each other in small temple conflicts.

All this changed when the Genpei war, one of the many great civil wars of Japan, began. The two warring clans, the Minamoto and the Taira, wished to bolster their samurai forces and appealed to the now many warrior monasteries. Both sides obtained help from various groups, and their skill in battle was famous.

After the Genpei war, the monks went back to rebuilding their monasteries and didn't really participate in the wars of the next couple hundred years, once again only fighting each other. The Onin war started in 1467, localized in Kyoto, where many monasteries were, so much of the Sohei could no longer be passive. This conflict grew into a nation-wide civil war, now known as the Sengoku Jidai.

Meanwhile, in the countryside, a new face of the warrior monks arose; the Ikkō-ikki. These religious fanatics believed in the downfall of the Feudal system, and led a peasant rebellion against the Samurai rulers. Many of the daimyo lords, including Tokugawa Ieyasu, future founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, sent armies to fight the rebels. The Ikko Ikki took began to spread, conquering more land, but eventually, in 1580, they were defeated.

While the next twenty years saw more warrior monks siding with various forces, when Japan was unified under Tokugawa, the time of the warrior monk ended.

Battle vs. Knights Hospitaller (by 123chaseyoung)[]

In a small port somewhere in the coast of Japan, five Sohei monks were meditating peacefully on the sandy beach. Suddenly, a large pontoon boat landed on shore and disrupted their meditation. Five armored knights hospitallers landed on the beach carrying their banners.

Sensing an invasion by barbarians, the Sohei monks grabbed their weapons and charged. The shocked knights hospitallers drew their weapons in response. One Sohei monk makes a wild swing with his naginata luckily slices the neck of one hospitaller Blue. But before he can regain himself, an angry hospitaller drives his knightly sword right through the Sohei Darkred.

One of the Sohei grabs a horse and rides to the knights, firing his arrows. His shots however, only glanced on the armor and shields of the knights. A knight with a halberd quickly skewers the Sohei off his horse and chucks his body in the air like a ragdoll Darkred.

As this was going on, a Sohei and a knight faces off with their swords. While the knight had the upperhand with his superior steel longsword against the weaker katana, the Sohei managed to land a lucky blow on the knight's leg, making him fall down dripping with blood. He then raised his sword and coup de grace the knight with a stab to the abdomen Blue. But before he can savor his victory, he is shot with a crossbow bolt from behind by a knight Darkred.

Suddenly, a shot rang out, and a knight falls down dead after getting hit by a tanegishima musket on the chest Blue. The knights quickly dove to the sand for cover as the remaining Sohei's fire their bows and muskets at them. A knight managed to grab his matchlock musket and shot a Sohei Darkred. But the superior accuracy of the Japanese musket kept them pin down. The knight lets out one bolt from his crossbow and hits a Sohei in the eye Darkred.

Wanting to finish this once and for all, the head knight chased and mounted the horse that was left behind by the dead Sohei as his comrade covered hi with his musket. The two remaining knights, one on foot and one on horseback, charged towards the remaining Sohei camped in the sand dunes. The Sohei lets out another shot and hit the rushing knight in the neck Blue. But it was too late for him to reload as the other knight on horseback hacks him with his sword. The wounded Sohei tried desperately to get away, but the knight hospitaller finally decapitates him.

The victorious knight then raised his sword and yells in victory.

Winner: Knight Hospitallers

Expert's Opinion[]

The knights won because they have the overall better weapons and x-factors since they were better experienced and had better feats in wars. The Sohei's were fighting wars only in Japan while the Knights fough wars all across the globe.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Shaolin Monk (by Samurai Santa Clause)[]


Expert's Opinion[]


To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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Battles here were deemed to be unfair or otherwise not in accordance with wiki standards, and have been removed from the statuses of the warriors and displayed below.

Battle vs. Roman Legionary (by MilenHD)[]

Roman Centurion: Red Red Red Red Red

Sōhei: Teal Teal Teal Teal Teal

In an open field in Japan 5 Centurions had set their camp and while waiting for the legions and cavalry to arrive, they were hatching their plan for their next attack. Behind the field are some rocks and a forest and in the forest is located a monastery of Sōheis, which were scouting the area. As they found the Roman camp, the leader of the Sōheis raised his yumi and aimed at sitting Roman and slowly he released the arrow piercing the Roman's neck, killing him.Red

The Centurions grabbed their armory and charged at the monks, one the Sōheis showed up with his yumi and was pinned down by the "Sagittas" arrow.Teal The Roman put down his bow and raised his scutum and pilum and charged with the others against the Sōheis.

The Sōheis started firing their yumis, and the arrows bounced harmlessly from the Centurion's shields. The Romans threw their pilums and one of them pierced the monk's leg before being rammed and stabbed by the gladius blade Teal and than the Roman picked his pilum, and as he threw it, he killed another Sōhei.Teal

The remaining 2 Sōheis rushed deeper into the forest, and the baited the Romans, because one of them tried to fight the Sōhei in one on one, and naginata and gladius blades clashed together, and after back and fort dueling, the Sōhei sliced the Roman's throat.Red

The other Romans charged at the lonely monk, only his ally to show up and shoot one of the Roman at the legs twice, wounding him. But the other two were staying together and tachis clashed with shields and short swords. One of the Sōheis slashed with full strenght, leaving great damage to the shield and wounding the Roman's arm, making to drop the shield and be killed by the tachi Red, and as he walked to the wounded Roman, who still defended himself with his shield to the very end, but after few moments had his head smashed by Ono from the other monk.Red

The last Roman Centurion was charging with his shield and dolabra at the two monks, managing to knock them both with his scutum. As the Sōheis swung their weapons, with the tachi dealing very little to the lorica, as the other monk managed to kinda smash the shield, but his chest got pierced by the dolabra.Teal

With last stand both warriors dueled to death, the Sōhei slashed and both the scutum and the lorica segmentata, dealing no damage. As the Sōhei tried to decapiate the Centuroin, but the Roman raised his shield and smashed the monks head, knocking him down and piercing his throat with the dolabra.Teal

The Centurion raised his dolabra in victory and shouted "Roma Invicta".

Expert's Opinion[]

The Roman Centurion had better protection and dominated in both long and short range, also he is superior tactician and have better training than the Sōhei, which is just rebel. Also some people become Sōheis, because of their disabilities.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.


The legionary was given a bow, a weapon they never used.