Does anyone know the current reputation of the author Inazo Nitobe Am among From there, I decided to read Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Nitobe Inazo. : Bushido: The Soul of Japan (): Inazo Nitobe: Books. Bushido: The Soul of Japan (The Way of the Warrior Series) [Inazo Nitobe] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A century ago, when Japan.

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The Soul of Japan is a powerful presentation and a moving book with ideas as relevant today as they were years ago. The Sword, The Soul of the Samurai [an entire chapter, minus one footnote and the original italics] Bushido made the sword its emblem of power and prowess. When Mahomet proclaimed that “the sword is the key of Heaven and of Hell,” he only echoed a Japanese sentiment. Very early the samurai boy learned to wield it. It was a momentous occasion for him when at the age of five he was apparelled in the paraphernalia of samurai costumes placed upon a go-board[1] and initiated into the rights of the military professions by having thrust into his girdle a real sword instead of the toy dirk with which he had been playing.

After this first ceremony of adoptio per arma, he was no more to be seen outside his father’s gates without this badge of his status, even though it was usually substituted for everyday wear by a gilded wooden dirk. Not many years pass before he wears constantly the genuine steel, though blunt, and then the sham arms are thrown aside and with enjoyment keener than his newly acquired blades, he marches out to try their edge on wood and stone.

When he reaches man’s estate, at the age of fifteen, being given independence of action, he can now pride himself upon the possession of arms sharp enough for any work. The very possession of the dangerous instrument imparts to him a feeling and an air of self-respect and responsibility. What he carries in his belt is a symbol of what he carries in his mind and heart, — loyalty and honour.

The two swords, the longer and the shorter, — called respectively daito and shoto or katana and wakizashi, — never leave his side. When at home, they grace the most conspicuous place in the study or parlour; by night they guard his pillow within easy reach of his hand. Constant companions, they are beloved, and proper names of endearment given them.

Being venerated, they are well-nigh worshipped.

The Father of History has recorded as a curious piece of information that the Scythians sacrificed to an iron scimitar. Many a temple and many a family in Japan hoards a sword as an object of adoration. Even the commonest dirk has due respect paid to it. Any insult to it is tantamount to personal affront. Woe to him who carelessly steps over a weapon lying on the floor! So precious an object cannot long escape the notice and the skill of artists nor the vanity of its owner, especially in times of peace, when it is worn with no more use than a crosier by a bishop or a sceptre by a King.

Sharkskin and finest silk for hilt, silver and gold for guard, lacquer of varied hues for scabbard, robbed the deadliest weapon of half its terror; but these appurtenances are playthings compared with the blade itself The swordsmith was not a mere artisan but an inspired artist and his workshop a sanctuary.

Bushido: The awakening of Japan’s modern identity

Daily he commenced his craft with prayer and purification, or, as the phrase was, “he committed his soul and spirit into the forging and tempering of the steel. Was it the spirit of the master or of his tutelary god that cast a bushid spell over our sword? Perfect as a work of art, setting at defiance its Toledo and Damascus rivals, there was more than art could impart.


Its cold blade, collecting on its surface the moment it is drawn the vapour of the atmosphere; its immaculate texture, flashing light of bluish hue; its matchless edge, upon which histories and possibilities hang; the curve of its back, uniting exquisite grace with utmost gushido — all these thrill us with mixed feelings of power and beauty, of awe and terror. Harmless were its mission, if it only remained a thing of beauty and joy!

But, ever within reach of the hand, it presented no small temptation for abuse. Too often did the blade flash forth from its peaceful bsuhido. The abuse sometimes went so far as to try the acquired steel on some harmless creature’s neck. The question that concerns us most is, however — Did Bushido justify the promiscuous use of the weapon? The answer is unequivocally, no! As it laid great stress on its niotbe use, so did it denounce and inazk its misuse.

A dastard or a braggart was he who brandished his bushdio on undeserved occasions. A self-possessed man knows the right time to use it, and such times come but rarely. Let us listen to the late Count Katsu, who passed through one of the most turbulent times of our history, when assassinations, suicides, and other sanguinary practices were the order of the day.

Bushido: The Soul of Japan – Wikipedia

Endowed as he once was with almost dictatorial powers, chosen repeatedly as an object of assassination, he never tarnished his sword with blood. In relating some of his reminiscences to a friend he says, in a quaint, plebeian way peculiar to him: Bkshido have released those whose heads should have been chopped off.

A friend said to me one day, ‘You don’t kill enough. Don’t you eat pepper and egg-plants? But you see that fellow was slain himself My escape may be due to my dislike of killing.

I bshido the hilt of my sword so tightly fastened to the scabbard that it was hard to draw the blade. I made up my mind that though they cut me, I would not cut.

It itches a little, that’s all; it won’t endanger life. The popular apothegm — “To be beaten is to conquer,” meaning true conquest consists in not opposing a riotous foe; and “The best won victory is that obtained without shedding of blood,” and others of similar import — will show that after all the ultimate ideal of knighthood was peace. It was a great pity that this high ideal ianzo left exclusively to priests and moralists to preach, while the samurai went on practising and extolling martial traits.

In this they went so far as to tinge the ideals of womanhood with Amazonian character. Here we may profitably devote a few paragraphs to the subject of the training and position of woman. Would you like to inxzo us about a lower price? If you are a seller inazk this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? A century ago, when Japan was transforming itself from an isolated feudal society into a modern nation, a Japanese educator queried about the ethos of his people composed this seminal work, which with his numerous other writings in English made him the best, known Japanese bushudo in the West during his lifetime.

He found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of the virtues most admired by his people: His approach to his task was eclectic and far-reaching.


On the one hand, he delved into the indigenous traditions, into Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism and the moral guidelines handed down over hundreds of years by Japan’s samurai and sages. On the other hand, he sought similarities and contrasts by citing not only Western philosophers and statesmen, but also the shapers of European buahido American thought and civilization going back to the Romans, the Greeks and Biblical times.

Nitibe book is a classic to njtobe generations of scholars and laymen alike have long referred for insights into the character of the Japanese people.

And all of its many readers in the past have been amply rewarded, as will be all those who turn to its pages in the next and future decades. Read more Read less. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Soul of Japan. The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai. Code of the Samurai: Bushido, the Soul of Japan: Customers who bought this item also bought. The Niyobe of Five Rings. Review “Very strongly recommended reading for students of Japanese cultural history and the martial arts, Bushido: The Way of the Warrior Series Hardcover: I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle?

Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention japanese people western culture book is written bushido nitobe samurai moral code understanding classics educated modern points value values warrior behind century common comparisons.

Bushido: The Soul of Japan. A Classic Essay on Samurai Ethics

Showing of 22 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Nifobe Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Very interesting to learn about the morals and philosophy behind the samurai from the man who inaz wrote the book on it. Some typesetting issues throughout, but for the price, it hardly merits mentioning. Bottom line, adopting a little Bushido in your life will make you a better and more respectable person, and I think we all know a few people who would benefit.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I have owned this book in physical format since the s when it was first published by Rainbow Press Black Belt Publications in Los Angeles. This is a “must have” book for any student of Asian martial arts or feudal Japan studies.

A good intro to Bushido, and the soul of the Japanese Samurai. This has nothing to do with the moden Japanese society, except for those few who still ascribe to the code. Iny 10 years of living in Japan, I met only one such person. The book requires the reader bushio have some knowledge of Japan already for complete understanding. Worth the effort to read. One person found this helpful. If you want to understand the Japanese people, this book can help you.

There is no doubt that times are changing in Japan but it is also clear that Bushido and the Samurai have had and continue to have a deep influence upon their culture.

What I was looking for. This book is an excellent summary of bushido, it is very easy to understand with simplifying the book so the meaning is diluted. This is definitely a must have for anyone, even just the general reader. Smaller than expected but still worth a read.

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