Ashigaru (literally light foot) were so named as they had lighter armour than the Samurai. They also formed the bulk of the armies of the day. Each Samurai was expected to provide two armed Ashigaru. Many of these would be armed with the yari (spear). These are not the pike blocks of contemporary Europe as the Ashigaru were trained to fight in a looser formation, travel quicker and their spear was for slicing and thrusting. Many a battle was won by the Ashigaru, especially if cavalry were foolish enough to attack them from the front.
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