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Samurai Warrior Code of Bushido

The Samurai were the warrior clan under the Emperor during Japan’s Imperialistic period. They were a separate caste altogether, born & reared as warriors. From an early age, they were trained in Physical, Martial, Mental, Spiritual & Philosophical aspects. They were Samurai, a class apart from the common man.

The Samurai warrior followed a specific Code of behavior called BUSHIDO. During his lifetime, he strictly adhered to this code of thought, behavior & attitude. For the Samurai, this code was above everything. It was his God, his Religion, his gospel truth. His Honour depended upon it. Disobedience of the Bushido was equal to Death.

Now what was the Bushido? Among many elements of the bushido, prominent ones were as below:

  1. COURAGE – STRENGTH OF CHARACTER – Yu – To gather the strength of character to walk the Righteous Path in spite & despite the Loss, Hurt & Suffering
  2. SPIRIT – BENEVOLENCE – Jin – To exercise compassion, forgiveness & mercy
  3. TRUTH – RIGHTEOUSNESS – Gi – To walk the path of Goodness & Justice, Peace & Compassion, Objectivity & Logic.
  4. HONOUR – DIGNITY – Meyo – To walk the path that ensures preservation of Self Respect & Self Esteem over&above Personal Gain, Wellbeing & Convenience
  5. DUTY – DHARMA – Chugo
    • DHARMA TO SELF - to exercise care & concern for own Well being & Survival
    • DHARMA TO OTHERS – to Think & Speak & Do good (Help) wherever possible & whenever it doesn’t hurt.
    • DHARMA TO SOCIETY – to contribute in someway to society, system & country
    • DHARMA TO OWN PEOPLE – to honour your Promises, Duties, Obligations & give Love & Support to Teachers, Family, Colleagues & Friends in that order.
    • DHARMA TO GOAL – to define carefully goals of life & walk on it with sincerity, effort & discipline
  6. WISDOM – LOGIC – Saiki – To exercise logic over impulse
  7. RECTITUDE – DECISION ACTION – Makoto – To exercise correct decision based on righteousness & wisdom
  8. COURTESY – POLITENESS – Rei – To exercise compassion, forgiveness & mercy
  9. SELF CONTROL – CALM – Kokki – To exercise Patience, Tolerance & Acceptance even in Crisis
  10. FILIAL – FAMILIAL – Rui – To Do Duty twds Defined family of Teachers, Relations, Friends

Detailed Explanation of Samurai Bushido:

HONOUR: The most important quality of the Samurai, One without it was not Samurai. They would live & die for keeping their Honor. Self Respect, Self Dignity & keeping in line with a Respectful life contributed to Honor. The Samurai would never do anything that would taint his dignity, respect & Self Esteem.

TRUTH: or Virtuosity. The Samurai was honest & righteous in all that he did. The Samurais word was totally dependable. The Samurai was never afraid to face reality in its such-ness. He was ready to understand & face the truth and was a strong protagonist of the truth. He would fight for the righteousness, truth and lay down his life for it.

COURAGE: The sheer mettle of the Samurai, the ferocity of his attack, the ability to risk his life each and every time in impossible situations. He would give his very best at every moment irrespective of injury, tiredness or personal loss.

SPIRIT: This was the “Never say die” attitude of the Samurai, who fiercely believed that the Victory was his birth right and that he would win till life existed in him. Even when the odds were against him, the samurai never believed that he could lose. He matched physical courage with indomitable mental spirit. Spirit also conveyed Benevolence & Compassion. The Samurai was capable of granting forgiveness at the height of anger and fury.

DUTY: The Samurai believed that he would live with his Bushido, his values, His duty to his Self, his Master & his Country. That DUTY was above Life itself. That correct values would lead to benefits and good results. Like in “Karma” – What you do, shall be returned to you, that the consequences of your actions would depend upon the nature of the actions. Good comes to those who do good & vice versa.

SEPPUKU: In the rare advent of the Samurai breaking the Bushido, he would fall in society’s eyes. And he would be disgraced in the eyes of his fellow clan. He would above all, fall in his own eyes. As per the Bushido code, The Samurai who has lost Honor would have one chance to redeem his honor – by voluntarily killing himself in a public ceremony by slicing his sword across his belly & bleeding to an honorable death – Seppuku (Or Hara-Kiri).