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BUSHIDO CODE

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BUSHIDOCODE

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1.0Introduction

Ashistory posits, great warriors have always executed their operationsby strictly following a prescribed code of conduct. These rules orguidelines play a substantial role in guiding them considering thefact that they have to walk armed amongst civilians. Therefore, theword ‘bushido’ is a combination of two words that is ‘bushi’and “do.` In this case, ‘bushi’ is a Japanese term which meansa warrior whereas ‘do’ represents a way or path. Hence, bushidocode typically refers to Samurai set of rules which state that a realhero should hold virtues honor, veracity, courage and loyalty. Thesecodes were used by the Samurai warriors to monitor their behavior andstick to the code of conduct all times. In light of this task, theresearch paper seeks to explore the bushido code, illustrating itsorigin as well as its relationship to history.

2.0Origin, development and relationship to history.

TheSamurai refers to “those who serve.” They are members of apowerful military caste in Feudal Japan. Important to note, theSamurai’s were hired to warriors who had very little to their name.They were also accorded little or no honor in the society and paidloyalty to the highest bidder. They began as provincial warriorsafter which they ascended to power in the 12th century when thecountry began Shogunate, which was its first form of militarydictatorship. Previously, the Bushido code was published as theBushido Shoshinshu but has been translated to mean the Samurai codeof conduct which is a reflection of Samurai’s way of life as wellas the wisdom of the Buddhist monks1.The Samurai used to dominate the society and the overall Japanesegovernment until the time when the Meiji Restoration emerged in18682.The primary goal of the movement was to abolish the feudal system.The group undermined the stability and Tokugawa’s regime claimingthat there was widespread poverty and famine amongst the peasants.

Thatmotivated powerful clans of the Sastuma and Chochu to combine theirefforts in a bid to topple over Shogunate’s administration. Thatdeprived the Samurai people their traditional privileges.Nonetheless, they entered the elite ranks and politics in the modernJapan. It is at this time when the Samurai code of conduct popularlyknown as the Bushido was revived. The emergence of the MeijiRestoration made Shinto the state religion in Japan. As a result,Bushido was adopted and accepted as the appropriate moral codeamongst the warriors in Japan. The rules enabled the country toconsolidate its efforts and strengthen its military3.After that, the state signed an alliance with Britain in 1902subsequently defeating the Russians in Manchuria. During the WorldWar II conflict, the Japanese soldiers carried Samurai swords intothe battles where they executed deadly ‘banzai ‘attacks whichwere in line with the bushido code of conduct principles of deathbefore any loss of life or defeat.

Asthe World War II drew to an end, Japanese used the bushido code toconsolidate its strong sense of honor, devotion as well as commitmenttowards attaining a common goal.4That helped Japan to significantly rebuild itself and reemerge as oneof the world’s leading countries in terms of economic andindustrial growth. Therefore, the bushido code of conduct has twodoctrines. First, the Warriors have to be loyal to their families,masters and the country as a whole. Secondly, they have to be awareof death constantly. Because of that, the bushido code emphasizes theimportance of one being loyal to the Shogun, the masters of themartial arts, families as well as their country5.

Failureto demonstrate devotion, faithfulness and allegiance to these partiesresulted in a loss of honor on the part of the Samurai6.It is also worth noting that honor was an incredibly importantconcept for the Samurai which built one’s reputation. It alsoenabled them to inherit the status of the family as well as that ofthe predecessors. In scenarios where the honor was lost, a Samuraiwas compelled to conduct a ritual suicide known as Seppuku. On thesamurai’s code of conduct states that the warriors should alwayshave death in their minds at all times. The rule was meant to makethem attentive and conscious of life. As a result, they will be ableto treat each day as with a lot of caution, sticking to the rulesoutlined in the code of conduct and building their legacy throughtheir actions. Similarly, the rules enabled the Samurai to live apeaceful life void of materialism or any other petty concerns. Moreimportantly, the Samurai believe in good life after death7.They perceived death itself as a reward. Further, the bushido code ofconduct emphasizes on compassion, non-martial qualities of truemanliness and benevolence. Bushido’s eight virtues include

2.1Rectitude or Justice

Righteousnessor Justice is one of the strongest attributes of the bushido code.That entails an individual’s ability to make appropriate decisionsin the course of conduct. However, their actions should be guided byreason. For instance, a Samurai should strike when he or she feels itis right or should only die when death is appropriate. Therefore,this virtue gives firmness and stature8.

2.2Courage

TheSamurai believe that courage is demonstrated amongst its warriorswhen they do what is right. This virtue should only be exercised inthe cause of rectitude and righteousness

2.3Mercy or benevolence

Theattribute of mercy states that those in power or given the authorityto kill were expected to show love, sympathy and affection to others.Benevolence was usually regarded as the highest attribute of thehuman soul which was to be possessed by every ruler of men.

2.4Politeness

Inthis case, the Samurai were expected to express benevolent regardtowards other people’s feelings. The virtue was usually motivatedby an individual’s fear to offend others.

2.5Honesty and sincerity

Withregards to this virtue, the Samurai believed that materialpossessions hindered one’s wisdom. For that reason, the childrenwere brought up knowing that discussing issues related to money was abad taste. Similarly, ignoring the worth of different coins was ademonstration of good breeding. Therefore, the bushido code advocatedfor thrift as a sign of abstinence and not for economic purposes. TheSamurai perceived luxury as a threat and hence every warrior was topossess virtues of simplicity, honesty, and sincerity9.

2.6Honor

Thevirtue advocates for the consciousness of an individual’s dignityand worth. Here, the Samuraihighly respected the values, duties, and privileges of a person’sprofession. Offendingan individual was regarded as a sign of being short-tempered.

2.7Loyalty

Basedon the Bushido code, being loyal to the superiors amongst theSamurai’s warriors was an obligation. Loyalty was one of thedistinguishing virtues exhibited during the feudal era. Therefore,the soldiers were expected to show allegiance to their masters.

2.8Character and self-control

Accordingto the Bushido code of conduct, the fighters were supposed to conductthemselves according to the expected moral standards. For instance,they were obligated to know what is right and what is wrong. Also,the Samurai were supposed to pass those virtues to their childrenthrough their actions and behavior. That is why the Samurai educationsystem prioritized the process of building one’s characters so thatthey can carry themselves according to the expected moral standards10.

3.0Conclusion

Asit has been established, Bushido is made up the Japanese word ‘bush’which means a warrior as well as ‘do’ which is an act of gettingsomething done. The research paper established that bushido code is aset of rules that were used by the Samurai warriors to guide theirbehavior and ensure that their actions were in line with theconventional moral standards. The article based its argument on thehistory of the bushido code. Here, it was established that theBushido code was revived during the Meiji Restoration in the year1902. The movement was primarily formed by the Sastuma and Chochuclans with the aim of destabilizing Tokugawa’s regime. They arguedthat his administration was not capable enough to deal with thepoverty and famine that was increasingly becoming a threat to theJapanese people. Therefore, the Bushido code was aimed atstrengthening and consolidating the efforts of the military. It alsoencouraged the warriors to be aware of death at all times. That wouldhelp them to be cautious. Lastly, the research paper discussed thevirtues of the Bushido code of conduct. They include justice,courage, mercy, politeness, honesty, honor, loyalty, andself-control.

Bibliography

Dixon,Boyd, Laura Dilda, and Lon Bulgrin. 2012. &quotThe Archaeology ofWorld War II Japanese Stragglers on the Island of Guam and theBushido Code.&quot AsianPerspectives: Journal Of Archeology For Asia &amp The Pacific51, no. 1: 110-127. AcademicSearch Premier,Viewed November 23, 2016).

Healthguidancefor better health, “BushidoCode.”http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/10917/1/Bushido-Code.htmlAccessed November 24,2016).

HurstIII, G. Cameron. &quotDeath, honor, and loyalty: The bushido ideal.&quotPhilosophyEast &amp West40, no. 4 (October 1990): 511. AcademicSearch Premier,EBSCOhost(accessed November 24, 2016).

Nitobe,Inazō.&nbspBushido:The Soul of Japan : an Exposition of Japanese Thought.New York: G.P. Putnams̓ Sons, 1905.

1- Nitobe, Inazō.&nbspBushido: The Soul of Japan : an Exposition of Japanese Thought. New York: G.P. Putnams̓ Sons, 1905.Pg 74-85

2 Dixon, Boyd, Laura Dilda, and Lon Bulgrin. 2012. &quotThe Archaeology of World War II Japanese Stragglers on the Island of Guam and the Bushido Code.&quot Asian Perspectives: Journal Of Archeology For Asia &amp The Pacific 51, no. 1: 110-127. Academic Search Premier, Viewed November 23, 2016). Pg 110-127

3 Nitobe, Inazō.&nbspBushido: The Soul of Japan : an Exposition of Japanese Thought. New York: G.P. Putnams̓ Sons, 1905.pg 120

4 Hurst III, G. Cameron. &quotDeath, honor, and loyalty: The bushido ideal.&quot Philosophy East &amp West 40, no. 4 (October 1990): 511. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed November 24, 2016). Pg 115-124

5 Dixon, Boyd, Laura Dilda, and Lon Bulgrin. 2012. &quotThe Archaeology of World War II Japanese Stragglers on the Island of Guam and the Bushido Code.&quot Asian Perspectives: Journal Of Archeology For Asia &amp The Pacific 51, no. 1: 110-127. Academic Search Premier, Viewed November 23, 2016). Pg 98

6 Healthguidance for better health, “Bushido Code.” http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/10917/1/Bushido-Code.html Accessed November 24, 2016).

7 Nitobe, Inazō.&nbspBushido: The Soul of Japan : an Exposition of Japanese Thought. New York: G.P. Putnams̓ Sons, 1905.pg 198

8 Healthguidance for better health, “Bushido Code.” http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/10917/1/Bushido-Code.html Accessed November 24, 2016).

9 Nitobe, Inazō.&nbspBushido: The Soul of Japan : an Exposition of Japanese Thought. New York: G.P. Putnams̓ Sons, 1905. Pg64-70

10 Nitobe, Inazō.&nbspBushido: The Soul of Japan : an Exposition of Japanese Thought. New York: G.P. Putnams̓ Sons, 1905.pg 187