Digest The Way of The Warrior with these Powerful Samurai Quotes from the greatest Samurai ever, Miyamoto Musashi.
Who was Miyamoto Musashi?
Miyamoto Musashi, original name Miyamoto Masana, artistic name Niten, (born 1584, Mimasaka or Harima, Japan—died June 13, 1645, Higo), famous Japanese soldier-artist of the early Edo (Tokugawa) period (1603–1867).
Musashi began his career as a fighter early in life when, at age 13, he killed a man in single combat. In 1600 he was on the losing side of the Battle of Sekigahara (which paved the way for establishing the Tokugawa shogunate), becoming one of the rōnin (masterless samurai). In time he set out on a personal quest to develop perfect sword technique. He invented the nitō ichi-ryū, the style of fencing with two swords, and is often referred to today as kensai (‘‘sword saint’’). Musashi claimed to have fought in more than 60 individual sword fights, many of which were to the death and all of which he won. (brittanica.com)
What is Bushido?
The Bushido code of conduct, closely tied to Samurai culture, played an important role in the expansion of Asian art, Japanese values, and many important traditions like tea ceremonies and the art of samurai sword-making. An unwritten code of chivalrous behavior, Bushido later became the basis for the teaching of ethics in Japan, with principles that still remain relevant today. Below, our editors explore the history of the Bushido, or Samurai code, along with modern interpretations of how the code can be applied to everyday life.
Bushido is a code of conduct that emerged in Japan from the Samurai, or Japanese warriors, who spread their ideals throughout society. They drew inspiration from Confucianism, which is a relatively conservative philosophy and system of beliefs that places a great deal of importance on loyalty and duty. The Bushido code contains eight key principles or virtues that warriors were expected to uphold.
The Eight Principles
- Justice: Justice is a core value of the Samurai. Incorporating the Bushido principle of justice into your life requires reflecting on what is fair and upholding the value of upstanding moral character.
- Courage: Courage, like justice, entails deciphering what is right and wrong. Courage requires the strength not only to perceive but also to act.
- Compassion: Compassion is the ability to manifest love and sympathy through patience. It also requires attempting to see the world from the perspective of another. This is an especially important trait for those in a leadership role.
- Respect: Respect means that you acknowledge your regard for the experiences and feelings of others. In order to collaborate with another person, politeness must be employed.
- Integrity: In order to practice many of the other principles listed, one has to maintain integrity. This mean living honestly and sincerely.
- Honor: Samurai were warriors who upheld a sense of self worth and lived by the highest code of conduct. In order to abide by the principle of honor, you must acknowledge your moral responsibilities.
- Loyalty: First, stay true to yourself. When fealty is given to another, this must not be abandoned even under difficult circumstances.
- Self-control: Self-control in the Bushido code means adhering to this code under all circumstances, when with others and when alone. Not every iteration of the Bushido code includes self-control, but the book Bushido: The Soul of Japan written by Inazo Nitobe highlights its importance.