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Bushido - The Warrior Governments Of Japan, From War To Peace, Modern Legacy, Precepts Of The Fighting Man (kamakura, Muromachi, Azuchi-momoyama Periods, 1185–1600)

courage centuries loyalty samurai

Literally translated as "way of the warrior," Bushido evolved into a clearly defined ethical system of the bushi, or warrior class of Japan, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the term first appeared in the Kōyō gunkan in about 1625. In his 1899 Bushido: The Soul of Japan, Nitobe Inazō, the first to articulate the concept in English, enumerated seven essential values of the warrior class: justice, courage, benevolence, politeness, veracity and sincerity, honor, and loyalty. More recently, Samurai warrior, photographed c. 1860 by Felice Beato. Bushido, the samurai code of ethics, was formalized in writing in the sixteenth century and adhered to for some three hundred years. Bushido placed emphasis on certain chivalrous virtues such as loyalty, courage, and courtesy. © HISTORICAL PICTURE ARCHIVE/CORBIS Bushido has been credited with fueling Japanese atrocities in World War II, through "the unassailable rule that death is preferable to dishonour" (Edwards, p. 5). In fact, neither of these popular conceptions accurately represents the codes of warrior behavior that developed over the course of six centuries.

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