A rōnin (浪人?) was a samurai with no lord or master during the feudal period of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the death or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege.
In battle, katana was typically paired with the medium sword wakizashi. Both were worn by members of the Japanese warrior class. The two weapons together were called the daisho, and represented the social power and personal honor of the samurai.