What is a 'Retainer'?
In feudal Japan, Retainers were the personal guard of the Daimyo and the last line of defense of the castle and houses of the clan. They were trusted Samurai that proved themselves in battle time and time again, often acting beyond the call of duty. A Retainer followed his master into battle, sworn to protect him and his honor. They were also had the honor of looking after the castles and lands when the Daimyo was away on a campaign or attending court. Retainers of all levels were given a stipend not just as payment for services but also to recruit and train Ashigaru for the daimyo’s army. Some of them acted as personal counselors to the Daimyo himself and formed part of his war council. Such high level retainers received their own land and properties to manage so long as their loyalty remained unquestioned.