In late medieval Japan, jizamurai ("samurai of the land") were extremely low-ranking samurai who had become so poor that they had been forced to take up farming side by side with the peasant villagers they had originally been sent out to oversee. Economically, jizamurai were usually no better off than the villagers they lived with, and thus they often intermarried with ordinary villagers and were generally subjected to the same calamities and oppressions that villagers faced. However, most jizamurai retained a pride in their samurai heritage long after the comparative wealth that was supposed to accompany the samurai station had slipped away. This remembered status, and perhaps a prestigious family name, often led the jizamurai to be chosen as leaders of their villages, becoming spokesmen for interests of the village in its dealings with real samurai. The jizamurai often also retained some vestiges of their martial past - a rusty sword passed down from grandfather, or a tattered suit of armor, and it was impoverished jizamurai who often made up the bulk of the leagues of armed peasants, known as ikki, that sometimes battled daimyo armies during the tumultuous Sengoku Era.