Samurai were the military-nobility and officer-caste of medieval and early-modern Japan.
In Japanese, they are usually referred to as bushi or буке. According to translator
William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character was originally a verb meaning "to
wait upon" or "accompany persons" in the upper ranks of society, and this is also
true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were
nominalized to mean "those who serve in close attendance to the nobility", the
pronunciation in Japanese changing to saburai. According to Wilson, an early
reference to the word "samurai" appears in the Kokin Wakashu, the first imperial
anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century.