What is Bushido

General understanding Bushido is briefly summrised “a model, a dicipline and a moral in Samurai(=Bushi) society in Japan”. Or, in another word, “the occupation ethics of the government official who bears the administration of samurai society or the idea of the government. However, even if it was called “bushido(= the way of bushi)”, it was the universal morality beyond the time which all the Japanese people had in common. Generally, Bushido is roughly divided into two views.

Bushido had been developed in samurai society which started from the Kamakura period (1192-1333). Then, it was united withConfucianism and ripened at the Edo period (Tokugawa shogunate era, 1603-1868).
It is roughly divided into two, ” Bushido before the Edo period”, and “the Bushido ripened at the Edo period”, in the process of it’s development. The work representing the former is “Hagakure” written in the domain of saga , So it is called “Hagakure Bushido.” And the work representing the latter is ,as you may know,”Bushido” written by Nitobeinazo. It is the famous work which was called “Tokugawa Bushido” and written in English.

Here are the Summaries.

1.Hagakure Bushido

If it says which is Hagakure Bushido, it will be the Bushido of the Age of Civil Wars. Hagakure Bushido is the view which prizes “heart” and “reality.”

2.Tokugawa Bushido

By using Confucianism as backbone, the Tokugawa Bushido is intellect and moral and values order. Moreover, the Tokugawa Bushido has put emphasis on responsibility of samurai in the law-governed state house.


For example, as for both, the view over hara-kiri is also different. In the Age of Civil Wars where Hagakure Bushido progressed, when losing at war, hara-kiri was not carried out immediately. Occasionally it may lose purposely and an enemy may be deceived. It is a realistic view. However, when the lord who fought together and who occasionally allowed him dies, the retainer moved by “JO”(Tender feeling)commit hara-kiri on the death of one’s lord as a token of one’s loyalty to him. Therefore, he is not necessarily made to commit hara-kiri forcibly. He is convinced. In Hagakure, it is explaining “Bushido is dying.” However, it is not that dying itself is right and it is important in how (why) it dies. Since the Tokugawa Bushido respects intellect, morality, and order, even if he is convinced and it is not convinced, a samurai has to commit hara-kiri as a “rule.” It was required for a samurai to be convinced to a rule and to commit hara-kiri manfully. A typical example is disposal of the famous AkoRoshi which is a movie, a drama, and a stage play in Japan. The AkoRoshi carried out revenge to other bosses who harassment and bullying were carried out [ bosses ] to the boss of their han (STATE?), and made him commit hara-kiri. However, the government at the time made the AkoRoshi commit hara-kiri. The reason is clearly illegal publicly, although the AkoRoshi is pitiful with an emotioned bias. Therefore, a samurai has to take responsibility. Nitobeinazo was writing. In a word, they are “order of knighthood”, and “the duty accompanying a high status” of samurai class.

Bushido which We consider

If it is called Bushido at a word, I think “one who can die for others “, or “one who can die because of Gi”義”
Gi”義” is morality or justice in English. Samurai can die in order to protect others, or in order to make others alive. “Others” is whom he have to protect as man, or “Others” is who took care of him or give him the obligation in past. Therefore if you are falling in love ,”others” may be Sweetheart.
What is Bushido(Samurai) Movie