Bushido - The Soul of Japan
The author writes well but this is more of a misty-eyed, nostalgic pining for 'the good old days' than a scientific analysis. Nitobe ill ...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
Second, Nitobe's sourc ...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
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
However, there is a strong taste of glorifying Bushido. For example, the chapter about swords is the second shortest among all 16 chapters, which basically only talks about an example of a samur ...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 reading this book, it is important to remember two things:
1. It was written in 1900. The approach and the ethics therefore reflect the attitudes and society of the nineteenth century, not the twenty-first.
2. It was written by a Japanese man who had seen the fall of the feudal system, to explain Japanese and, particularly, samurai culture to Westerners. In fact, it was origin ...more
When Nitobe was asked how Japan could have had any sense of morality since religion did not play any particular role in the upbringing of Japanese youngsters, he suddenly came u ...more
I should give a little context to this. I am a Canadian living in Japan (2016) and I sometimes go to Bookoff (used book store here in Japan) and I sometimes look at the used English book section. I rarely find any English books of worth to read, let alone buy and read.
However yesterday was different, as I found this book. Not knowing too much about samurai or Bushido, I don't know why I bought it. Actually, ...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