A position of importance in the practice of bujutsu, considered by certain authorities comparable to that occupied by the bushi, was held by that interesting figure, the militant monk or priest, who played a relevant role in the history of Japan not only during the late Heian period but throughout those troubled centuries which culminated in the Tokugawa dictatorship. Almost every organized religion has assumed a military posture at some point in its development, especially during those early stages marked by the emergence of man from the shadows of prehistory. Those feelings of wonder and terror inspired by the unknown forces of existence which buffeted man about, reinforced by his survival instinct, all contributed to the highly mystical nature of most national beginnings. Actually, in most cultures, the early kings were also high priests who ruled theocracies wherein a faith in a particular divinity helped the nation to coalesce and establish its foundations, this faith being expressed through rites or through force of arms, or, more usually, through a combination of the two, in forms of combat considered divinely inspired.
— Secrets of the Samurai, p. 132