The samurai code of conduct

Japan had one of the most skilled martial art warriors of all time, which were called the Samurai. They existed in the Edo period between (1603-1867) to watch over the Shogun castles. People to this day are still fascinated by the Samurais. There are people all over the world that may visit Japan only for the history that the Samurai hold. The Samurai has a code of conduct that constitutes 8 codes of conduct, which is called Bushido. These codes have to be respected. The first code is the Rectitude or justice. They have to know that when It’s their time to die they have to kill themselves they cannot afford to be captured as It is seen very bad for a Samurai to be captured and kept as an hostage and they have to understand that when it’s time to kill someone in battle, they have no choice to kill as it is their duty, the Samurai defines this way of conduct as Rectitude: ‘one’s power to decide upon a course of conduct in accordance with reason, without wavering; to die when to die is right, to strike when to strike is right.’ Courage is very important for these warriors, as they have to be courageous to combat to take their own lives when they have no other alternative. They have to value their battles more then they value their lives. Here is a quote that’s thought in the Samurai teaching: “Perceiving what is right and doing it not reveals a lack of Courage.” In short, ‘Courage is doing what is right.’ Benevolence or mercy is very important for the Samurai, as they have to show love, magnanimity, and sympathy and affection to the others around them. They have to be nice with people and to help them. For example, if someone is being attacked, they have no choice but to head towards that person and to help them. The Samurai were essentially the police of Japan, but with many more responsibilities and values than the police of today. Even though, they were high in the hierarchy of Japan, they still had to behave in a respectful and caring way. Samurai have to be polite as it is very important. They have to be polite and respectful even if they have a higher status and money compared to the farmers and merchants. They still have to respect those people and have empathy for them if they are in need or need help as I mentioned before. Furthermore, the Samurai have to be raised as warriors and have to be honest. They shouldn’t talk about wealth even if they are brought up in a wealthy family. In addition, it is important that they have human side. Honor is one of the most important things, but they shouldn’t feel fear and have to honor their status. Loyalty is important, as the Samurai have to be loyal to their Shogun and their country. “Loyalty to a superior was the most distinctive virtue of the feudal era. Personal fidelity exists among all sorts of men: a gang of pickpockets swears allegiance to its leader. But only in the code of chivalrous Honor does Loyalty assume paramount importance.” Character and self-confidence is important to master all these conducts if a Samurai has confidence in him and also is very skilled in combat.

(Dina Aznag)


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