Show Menu

The Seven Virtues of Bushido Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

The Samurai Code

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Tsunetomo Yamamoto

If one fully unders­tands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the present moment." -Tsunetomo Yamamoto
Thanks to Gorochi

1. Morality 義

Although often translated as "­rec­tit­ude­", "­mor­ali­ty" makes it easier to unders­tand. Bushido: The Spirit of Japan defines morality in two ways: as the power of unwavering decision upon a certain course of conduct and more metaph­ori­cally as the bone that gives firmness and stature.
‘Morality is 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.’ Morality is the bone that gives firmness and stature. Without bones the head cannot rest on top of the spine, nor hands move nor feet stand. So without morality neither talent nor learning can make the human frame into a samurai.’

2. Courage 勇

Courage is an extension of morality and only useful when matched with correct morals. Courage, or the spirit of daring and bearing, as it was first translated was a huge element of raising children during this time. Parents challenged their children constantly in Sparta­n-like training.
It is true courage to live when it is right to live, and to die only when it is right to die

3. Benevo­lence 仁

Samurai, who possessed both the legal and physical power to destroy and kill were also required to keep their powers in check with benevo­lence and mercy. It is only those who act with valor, to the extent that they can befriend their enemies in times of peace, who capture Benevo­lence.

4. Respect 礼

If you've ever been to Japan, you've likely experi­enced the Japanese politeness or respect. This system is based in Chinese Confuc­ianism but the Japanese Samurai adopted and preserved this system very well. Are you working hard to treat everyone as respec­tfully as they should be?
By constant exercise in correct manners, one brings all the parts and faculties of his body into perfect order and into such harmony with itself and its enviro­nment as to express the mastery of spirit over the flesh.

The Bushido Code

5. Honesty 誠

As a principle, the Samurai did not lie and there are many tales of those who did being put to death for it. The Samurai also didn't see the need for written contracts as that would be doubting the truthf­ulness of their word.
Bushi no ichi-g­on...was a sufficient guarantee of the truthf­ulness of an assertion. His word carried such weight with it that promises were generally made and fulfilled without a written pledge, which would have been deemed quite beneath his dignity.

6. Honor 名誉

There is hardly a more profound concept in Bushido than honor. The Samurai lived and died by their honor, with haragiri (seppuku) being the final way of preserving lost honor. Fortun­ately, killing yourself by cutting your gut open is not allowed in most modernized countries (and definitely not Japan). Still, though, there is a great deal that can be learned from Samura­i-esque honor.

He was born and bred to value the duties and privileges of his profes­sion. Fear of disgrace hung like a sword over the head of every samurai … To take offense at slight provoc­ation was ridiculed as ‘short­-te­mpe­red.’
‘True patience means bearing the unbear­able.’

7. Loyalty 忠義

During Samurai times loyalty was thought of as being more valuable than life itself. Loyalty today is fairly nonexi­stent, but the remainders of Samura­i-era loyalty can still be seen in Japanese companies where employees often stay for their entire lives.
Life itself was thought cheap if honor and fame could be attained therewith: hence, whenever a cause presented itself which was considered dearer than life, with utmost serenity and celerity was life laid down. Of the causes in comparison with which no life was too dear to sacrifice, was the duty of Loyalty.

Help Us Go Positive!

We offset our carbon usage with Ecologi. Click the link below to help us!

We offset our carbon footprint via Ecologi