Well Confucius wasn't exactly a minor influence on the Samurai. Study of the Chinese classics was the basis of any Samurai's education.
Indeed it was. However, only 10% or so of the population were samurai, while Confucianism was an influence to the entire population.
In my experience, few Japanese (by which I mean none that I have met) associate themselves with the idea of the samurai, even if they know for sure that they have samurai in their family tree. Most folks figure their ancestors were merchants or craftsmen or farmers. While we may see Japanese businessmen as "modern day samurai, doing battle and committing seppuku for the good of their company", IMO most Japanese businessmen think of themselves as "regular folk working for the benefit of the village."