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Bushido Philosophy in Bushido

Bushido

Bushido is a diverse body of philosophy, and it is strongly linked to the Japanese religion of Shintoism. Shintoism and Ma’at (the native religion of Egypt) are very similar. They are tied to the forces of nature and the land.  Holding them sacred, but also having a sense of divine order and humans connection to the land.

Many of the concepts behind Bushido aren’t what they would seem to westerners.  For them, the island of Nippon was sacred. It wasn’t about owning territory. It was about honouring and protecting the ancestors and the gods. So in a sense, the Samurai were like the western concept of the Paladin, not fighting for political power so much as to protect the divine order and uphold justice.

The teachings of Bushido were diverse, and they were an education of themselves including more than martial training and discipline. But one of the sticking points for western thinkers is the state of mind that a Samurai sought to cultivate. They often mistake the intent. In a sense, what they sought was a transcendent dedication. They were transformed by their discipline into an agent of heaven. The emperor, when they had one, was seen as the Son of Heaven. He literally was the embodiment of divine order, and the fall of a dynasty was considered a woeful thing but wasn’t blamed on the spirit. If unrest happened, it was considered a human failing and a dishonour to the ancestors. This is why the Samurai could not accept defeat. It would show insufficient dedication to the truth of their ideals. Death before dishonour and to fail the civil order including to fail to protect the lands that were your responsibility.

SEE ALSO:  Christianity and Other Faith

Officially a Samurai owned little. He was responsible for the fields and security of his lands, but these belonged to the Emperor. Which means they basically belonged to heaven. If by greedy taxation there is abuse, his land suffered. He has transgressed not only against the politics of the land, but against spirit itself.

Bushido took the teachings of Buddhism to heart. So to be hesitant to keep the way was selfish. A life spent in protecting the order was honourable, and to continue past failure was to shame not only yourself, but those in your line who did give their lives in service. If a group of bandits robbed your village and terrorized the people, it was on your head.

What did the order entail? Respect for the ancestors. Which meant holding the lands of your ancestors. Because it wouldn’t have happened if the way had been maintained appropriately? Yes.

A murder was considered dishonourable. If a house had a reputation for murder it could be grounds for war. Just because of the violation of the code, others would hold the dishonoured house in disgust.

Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.

Travis Saunders
Dragon Intuitive

~science,mysticism,spirituality~

(Bold, italicized text is input from One World class participants. Thank you!)

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Your Insights on “Bushido Philosophy”

  1. faramarz

    hi
    please introduce me some books about samurai.

  2. John

    Very helpful

  3. Beth

    Dear Travis; Many thanks for the insights regarding the code of Bushido…I need a new discipline; this one fits the bill very nicely…Arigato, “Beth”

  4. Bill

    Shinto Buddhism and confucianism all combined to produce Bushido. What is bushido, from what I read, its nothing but an unspoken set of rules and traditions that carried its origins in the warrior ruled Japan between 1000 to late 18th century. I personally feel the article tries to draw too much similarity between shinto the religion and bushido. By the time we reach Tokugawa era of unification, the emperor’s role in Japanese political system had significantly diminished so I think it is not accurate to say that a big part of bushido is about believing in the devine. It wasnt till Meiji restoration that the emperor’s devine place in Japanese society was fully restored. Although Shinto is very much central to domestic Japanese way of life, I feel that its clear zen buddhism is the driving force behind martial bushido. It’s doctrines on training the calmness of mind appealed greatly to the samurai warriors who faced death everyday in performing their martial dutiess. Confucianism was then the driving force behind the cultural side of bushido after Tokugawa successfully unified Japan and brought to it 200 years of peace. By this time, day to day fighting was a thing of the past and the samurai decided to educate themselves in literature, philosophy and art as well as their standard martial art training. The ideal was to develop the well rounded warrior. While bushido contains very desirable values, it is slowly and visibly dieing out in modern Japan. Why? Because Bushido bread itself out of necessity during the war-torn times of ancient Japan. It trained warriors to be warriors. We saw nationalism and bushido agenda resumed by the Japanese government during world war 2 to evoke that same ancient warrior spirit so indigenous to Japan. We saw passive bushido, the ability to endure and work tirelessly after the atomic bombings when the Japanese people struggled to rebuild their nation. But. But now…. there is no war(or none concerning Japan) their is little conflict, and the warrior spirit is needed less and less, and therefore the gradual death of bushido. We saw brief acts of heroics resembling bushido after the earthquake few month back and the plight concerning the nuclear plants, but you read elsewhere, Japanese children, not adapting to society, children teenagers and fully grown adults staying with parents, unemployed, staying home to watch tv and play video games every day, not looking for jobs because they feel oppressed by society, or cannot deal with the challenges of adulthood, that is the sign of a Japan losing the old bushido values. There was a time when their grandparents were compiled by the values of duty and honour to endure suffering, work hard, face challenge, to build up a strong and powerful Japan again. That old spirit is now dying fast. In fact, the government is currently reintroduce kendo and judo as compulsory part of Japanese educational system at primary and middle high schools, with the idea being to toughen up their children and strengthen their spirits to that of their ancestors, those who build Japan to what it is today.

  5. Senpai

    The Bushido way is not about any certain God. It comes from your soul. Judo, and Sensei showed me the path. It’s being true to yourself and your loved ones, and protect what you cherish.

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