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BUSHIDO - The Way of the Samurai - FULL Audio Book - by Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933)

By Zenchi in General 261 views 10th April 2014 Video Duration: 03:50:09
BUSHIDO - The Way of the Samurai - FULL Audio Book - by Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933)

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Bushido: The Soul of Japan written by Inazo Nitobe was one of the first books on samurai ethics that was originally written in English for a Western audience, and has been subsequently translated into many other languages (also Japanese). Nitobe found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of the virtues most admired by his people: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control, and he uses his deep knowledge of Western culture to draw comparisons with Medieval Chivalry, Philosophy, and Christianity.

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Bushidō (武士道?), literally "the way of the warrior", is a Japanese word for the way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. It originates from the samurai moral code stressing frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honour unto death. Born from Neo-Confucianism during times of peace in Tokugawa Japan and following Confucian texts, Bushido was also influenced by Shinto and Zen Buddhism, allowing the violent existence of the samurai to be tempered by wisdom and serenity. Bushidō developed between the 9th and 20th centuries and numerous translated documents dating from the 12th to 16th centuries demonstrate its wide influence across the whole of Japan,[1] although some scholars have noted "the term bushidō itself is rarely attested in premodern literature."[2]
Under the Tokugawa Shogunate, aspects of bushidō became formalized into Japanese feudal law.[3]
According to the Japanese dictionary Shogakukan Kokugo Daijiten, "Bushidō is defined as a unique philosophy (ronri) that spread through the warrior class from the Muromachi (chusei) period."
The word was first used in Japan during the 17th century.[4] It came into common usage in Japan and the West after the 1899 publication of Nitobe Inazō's Bushido: The Soul of Japan.[5]
In Bushido (1899), Inazō wrote:
...Bushidō, then, is the code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe.... More frequently it is a code unuttered and unwritten.... It was an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career.
Nitobe was not the first person to document Japanese chivalry in this way. In his text Feudal and Modern Japan (1896), historian Arthur May Knapp wrote:[6] The samurai of thirty years ago had behind him a thousand years of training in the law of honor, obedience, duty, and self-sacrifice.... It was not needed to create or establish them. As a child he had but to be instructed, as indeed he was from his earliest years, in the etiquette of self-immolation.

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The Kojiki is Japan's oldest extant book. Written in 712, it contains passages about Yamato Takeru, the son of the Emperor Keiko. It provides an early indication of the values and literary self-image of the Bushidō ideal, including references to the use and admiration of the sword by Japanese warriors.
This early concept is further found in the Shoku Nihongi, an early history of Japan written in 797. The chapter covering the year 721 is notable for an early use of the term "bushi" (武士?) and a reference to the educated warrior-poet ideal. The Chinese term bushi had entered the Japanese vocabulary with the general introduction of Chinese literature, supplementing the indigenous terms tsuwamono and mononofu. It is also the usage for public placement exams.
An early reference to saburau — a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person of high rank — appears in Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, (early 10th century). By the end of the 12th century, saburai ("retainer") had become largely synonymous with bushi, and closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class.
Although many of the early literary works of Japan contain the image of the warrior, the term "bushidō" does not appear in early texts like the Kojiki. Warrior ideals and conduct may be illustrated, but the term did not appear in text until the Sengoku period, towards the end of the Muromachi era (1336--1573).[7]
[edit]13th to 16th centuries
From the literature of the 13th to 16th centuries, there exists an abundance of references to the ideals of Bushidō. Carl Steenstrup noted that 13th and 14th century writings (gunki monogatari) "portrayed the bushi in their natural element, war, eulogizing such virtues as reckless bravery, fierce family pride, and selfless, at times senseless devotion of master and man."

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