When the average American hears the term "Bushido", visions of sword swinging samurai warriors often come to mind.Literary works, as well as the media has shown us many elements of the Bushido code such as honor, justice, loyalty, and bravery which have greatly impacted Japan.
Bushido is the moral code that has provided Japan with a national identity and work ethic that has guided them through bloody civil wars, Mongol invasions, a world war, and nuclear devastation (Rockett, page 1). In short, if a choice is given between life and death, the samurai must choose death (handout, page 17). The code is very similar to the code of chivalry extolled during the middle ages, and has provided the Japanese people with a noble tradition of honor.Just as Europe had its knights and pladins, Japan had its samurai warriors to champion the Bushido Code. The Japanese word "bushi" means warrior, and is the root word found in "bushido". (Rockette, page 2).Together, the complete term "bushido" means "way of the warrior". (handout, page 17).
"Samurai means "those who serve".The bushi and samurai were very different. The bushi were simple warriors, the title of saurai implied that you were sworn to serve a powerful landowner, clan, or daimyo- a Japanese feudal Bushido a blend of two value systems. Thefirst of these periods was the Kamakura period. During the Kamarkura period from 1185 to 1333, clan warfare caused the samurai to develop a system of warfare that glorified courage in battle, honor, obedience, and loyalty to superior officers.
(Encyclopedia Americana, page 43).The rules of combat were clearly outlined and often became ritualistic in nature.Blood feuds, duels, and Hari-kiri were all trappings associated with this era. (Rockett, page The second of these two periods was the Tokugawa period from 1603 to 1868 (Rocke…