I’m sure I’ll anger some people with this post or within the comments. This is a debate that has gone back to my college days and I’m still confused on it.
Traditionally, fantasy is set in a European style setting. So, the inclusion of Samurai and Ninja are a point of contention. It amazes me when people who are fine with dragons, fireballs, elves, and orcs go berserk because of a Samurai. It’s like a point of disbelief that cannot be grabbed by some people. The author has to give a reasoning behind the Far East culture being present in a fantasy world, which is something you don’t have to do for European culture being present. Why are all castles designed with moats and turrets? It’s tradition is what you’ll hear. Funny how some cliches are revered tradition, but that’s a post for another time.
My personal belief on Samurai is that they’re allowed. Yes, there is no Japan in these fantasy worlds. There’s no England either, but the knight is still clunking around. If your problem is with the terminology then I should point out that medieval Europe terminology is traditionally used. So, this should allow for the Samurai and his gear to be available to the other. It could be a different culture that this is born from, but I still think the Samurai and Ninja are viable for a fantasy setting. The times you run into trouble is if you use Earth settings and locations by name. For example, a recent review had issue with me calling Stiletto a ‘Noble Shepherd’. That’s his breed because I can’t call him a ‘German Shepherd’ since there’s no Germany in Windemere. That’s a location name, so it doesn’t work in a world without that location.
So, do you think fantasy should be strict medieval Europe or are warriors from other cultures allowed?