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Japanese Culture: Bushido - Coursework Example

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"Japanese Culture: Bushido" examines the moral code of conduct of the bushi or the samurai of pre-modern Japan. Some people refer to bushido as the religion of Japan while some compare it to chivalry. Bushido was also referred to as “the finest product of Japan” which would save the whole world. …
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Download file to see previous pages Some others like Uchimura thought Bushido was merely an illusion created by projecting Puritanism which Nitobe had learned from the West, on Japan. Nitobe Inazo, the Christian son of Tokugawa samurai was considered responsible for making people conscious of the term Bushido.

Japan’s economy expanded rapidly between 1894 and 1914 and it achieved military successes against China, Russia, and Germany. Japan’s emergence as one of the world’s major imperial powers and the most powerful nation in East Asia has been associated with Bushido (Holmes & Ion: 1980; Hurst: 1990). Even during World War II, the behavior of Japanese forces was conditioned by adherence to the old samurai code of ethics or bushido (Hurst, 1990). This emphasizes the unflinching loyalty to the emperor, even if it requires the sacrifice of one’s life. The impression that Nitobe created amongst the westerners was that pre-modern Japanese samurai behaved according to a strict and disciplined code of conduct or bushido. Bushido contains seven values which include justice, courage, benevolence, politeness, veracity, honor and loyalty. These values are known to have become the “soul” of the people and this was gradually transmitted to the people of Japan. These traits are very general concepts and could be applied to almost any military anywhere at any time (Friday, 1994). Bushido, the “way of the warriors” comprised an ethos of self-discipline, self-sacrifice, single-mindedness, unhesitating obedience to one’s lord and utter fearlessness in the face of death (Sharf, 1993). These qualities were considered to be the birthright of all Japanese and bushido was an expression of Japaneseness itself. It has been used to explain and celebrate the cultural and spiritual superiority of the Japanese. When Japan started becoming powerful in Asia, bushido shaped Japanese behavior. Some believe that the ethics of bushido still motivate the Japanese today.

Bushido has also been considered relevant to the revitalization of the western society.   ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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