Bushido: The Soul of Japan
Bushido, meaning "Way of the Warrior", is a Japanese code of conduct and a way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. It originates from the samurai moral code and stresses frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honor unto death. Born of two main influences, the violent exi ...more
The author makes a great point that now (over 100 years since he wrote this) that Bushido as a way of life passed through generations is long gone, what with Japan as we all see it today being what it is, but the soul of it ...more
Born before the Meiji Restoration (1868), he brings a ...more
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
If the author of this book on the way of the Samurai had stopped two-thirds of the way through, I would be writing a five star review. The last third dealt with women and the future of the Japanese warrior. The former was painful; the latter verged on cultural chauvinism. Bushido: The Soul of Japan. A Classic Essay on Samurai Ethics merits about a 3.4 star rating.
Author I ...more
Niggardliness of gold and of life excited as much disapprobation as their lavish use was panegyrized. - pg. 72
Just the use of the term "niggardliness" (which means quite simply, "greed" without overt albeit underlying racist connotations) shows that this is an old book. For reference, since the Shambhala cover and the relatively unknown nature of the book (but not its concept) could imply otherwise, "Bushido" was published at the turn of the 20th Century, a ...more
He translate the ever-lasting Samurai way of living through the point of view of a scholar of the XIX th century: it is amazing to see how Marx, Hegel, Montesquieu or even Bacon ideas pop up and are used to make understandable the perspective of the Bushi, even more, to show that they are not that different to us. But ...more
The relationship between ethos and ethics seems evident. When used as a noun, Ethics is the philosophical study of principles relating to the conduct of right or wrong actions. Contrariwise, ethos is the basic values that make up the character of a person, a culture, or in the case of this book, a nation. This distinction may be superfluous, nonetheless, it must be recognized in order to attempt an understanding of what Inazo Nitobe’s intent was in formulating Bushido: The Soul of Japan. A Class...more
When Nitobe was asked how Japan could have had any sense of morality since religion was not taught in school, he suddenly came up with the a ...more
Second, Nitobe's sourc ...more
While it was a nice read, it doesn't really tell you anything about Bushido as such. The writer has a spiritual idea about Japan, about Bushido and that is what he speaks about. He uses examples from literature and history (Chinese and Western) to explain to his readers about Japanese culture. It's clear to see he's widely travelled and very well read, but the case is never truly convincing.
I feel, ...more
The one criticism is it only speaks of Bushido only at its best. But then we have all read hundreds of books about Christian ethics whic ...more
However, I would just recommend you keep an open mind while reading this and remember that Nitobe's purpose was to introduce Japan to ...more
I do not, though, recommend this editi ...more
I have recommended this to all my students as we discussed shared ideas.
I would still advise reading this book though it has been years since it has been published, as I think the philosophies and ethics presented here are sorely missing in the martial arts world today as well as in gen ...more
Inazo Nitobe was educated at Sapporo Agricultural College, University of Tokyo, Johns Hopkins, and University of Halle (Germany). Early in his life he expressed the desire to be a “bridge over the Pacific” and he devoted much of his life to promoting trust and understanding between the United States and J ...more