Samurai Ethic In Modern Japan Essay

1307 words - 5 pages

Yamamoto, Tsunetomo
Bushido: The Way of the Samurai
Garden City Park, NY

After reading this book it is my belief that it is important for Westerners to understand the seemingly strange concepts of Bushido, not only as a guide to events of the past, but as a primer for understanding the Japanese business mentality of today. The first thought that comes to mind when Japanese work ethic is hard working, no breaks, complete commitment to ones job. There may be a reason why Japan was able to rebuild their country so quickly after World War II, this reason is Bushido, the principles of the samurai.
The origin of this book is from the Hagakure, which this book was based on was dictated by Tsunetomo Yamamoto, a samurai. And later scribed verbatim by Tsuramoto Tashiro over a period of seven years (1710-1716) in which they lived together in a far off mountain retreat in Japan. Tashiro was sworn to secrecy over the texts contents because the author believed the teachings to be far too radical and too militaristic for the then peaceful times during the Shogunate Rule (1603-1867). During this time of unusual calmness, the teachings of Buddhism and the ethical codes of Confucius permeated Japan, enriching every aspect of its culture from arts to politics. But the old samurai, Yamamoto, believed that the samurai, as a class, had become effeminate and weak. Yamamoto's basic premise was that the samurai could not serve two masters, religion and the clan, and by doing so had become less effective. The service of the lord and the clan should come first, and once this was done, one could then amuse oneself with the studies of the humanities.

In writing the Hagakure, Yamamoto hoped that someday the Samurai would return to the purity of its strong and compassionate past.
     This book gives a unique look back to the late 18th century, when Yamamoto was active as a samurai. The view is unique, because Japan was unifying and there was less need for each minor lord to have an armed class. The warrior ethic was changing as war became less common. In some way, these notes seem to mourn the passing of the clearest, purest form of that ethic.
     The warrior ethic only changed, though and still underlies many aspects of modern Japanese thought and policy. The feudal caste system still gives a fair description of different levels of management.
     This book is not just about a time and a culture different from that in the modern West. It teaches personal responsibility, a lesson that too many people still need. In part, this means responsibility to one's self, in maintaining professional skills and personal credibility. It also means responsibility and loyalty towards one's employer. From a workers point of view I do not feel thoughtless in saying that, by accepting the pay that feeds and houses me, I have a duty to return the value given. Self interest, if not personal honor, should...

Find Another Essay On samurai ethic in modern japan

Individualism in Samurai Culture and History

1114 words - 4 pages period in Japan, culture among the samurai flourished. It became common to see samurai enjoying no theatre, developing gardens, and taking part in the flourishing tea ceremony (Keene 164). This became important to the samurai because they were desperate to have a sense of honor and power. These activities were enjoyed by the samurai who had enough time and money to spare. This showed status and power to the individual samurai to able to partake in

It is said that Japanese culture is both delicate and fierce; defend this viewpoint with examples

846 words - 3 pages they expressed its cultural beauty. From 1185 to 1868 the Samurai was the premier warrior of the Japanese. Samurai were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of Bushido ("the way of the warrior"). Strongly Confucian in nature, Bushido stresses concepts such as loyalty to one's master, self-discipline and respectful, ethical behavior. After a defeat or similar event, many samurai chose to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) by cutting

Influence of the Samurai on Modern Japanese Society

1763 words - 7 pages Feudal Japan. Along with their dominant military and political standing, the samurai brought with them a unique code or moral belief that became the core of Samurai culture. Because of this, the Samurai and their principles still affect modern day Japanese society with social customs today deriving directly and indirectly from the beliefs of the Samurai. History of the Samurai When discussing the origin of the Samurai, an important time in

The Samurai and the Bushido Code

1027 words - 4 pages . The samurai were powerful warriors with great respect and ethics for their country. They impacted modern Japan by passing on the high ethical and moral standards still recognized today, and it is the reason why Japan is one of the friendliest countries in the world.

samurai warriors roles

827 words - 4 pages During the late 10th century, Japan cental part always been fighting and wars until the Samurai Warriors. The Samurai Warriors were warriors fight for their master (landlord) .At first everyone could be a Samurai Warrior including peasants, but then things change only landowners and those that were born in the Samurai class could be one. Warring clans used to control the most part of Japan. There was not a lot space for farming because all

Evaluate the historical accuracy of the Samurai way of life represented in the film, 'The Last Samurai'

2419 words - 10 pages him. Therefore it was important for family and house values to be strong and virtuous. In early modern Japan, the 'family system' was developed where the head of the house would have his extended family live with him. Certain 'house codes' soon followed, which encouraged courtesy and respect to guests not only in your home, but in your village . This was shown in 'The Last Samurai' when Algren notices that "Everyone is polite, everyone smiles and

Info on the true samurai

3716 words - 15 pages machinations and brief periods of rule by various emperors, the real power was in the hands of the shogun and samurai.Ashikaga Shogunate and the Feudal PeriodVarious samurai clans struggled for power over Kamakura and Ashikaga Shogunates.Zen Buddhism spread among samurai in the 13 century and it helped to shape their standards of conduct, particularly overcoming fear of death and killing. Zen Buddhism in Japan took Sakyamuni as the principal image

Japanes Warriors: The Samurai

1369 words - 5 pages at Suite101: Samurai Women Warriors: Breaking Through Barriers 7. The History Of Female Samurai 2008 8. Portraits of modern Japanese historical figures 1pg Nayden Naydenov 9. THE SAMURAI AND HIS ATTENDANT -- Life and Protocol in Old Japan Okinawa Soba 2008 10/ Jeffery hays Mass Suicide of 380 Samurai and the Battle of Sekigahara

The Last Samurai

905 words - 4 pages ;  The Japanese people were attempting to begin adapting to a western style of life. The government tried to take the samurai way of life out of their people. Some who believed that technology and firepower outweighed honor joined the army to be trained in American style battle. Japan believed that in order to succeed in the modern world they themselves needed to modernize. The towns began to change, people began dressing differently

The origin of the Samurai

2545 words - 11 pages suicide called seppuku. This act involved the dishonored Samurai taking a tanto and slicing his own stomach from left to right. This ritual had to be witnessed by others unless it was a seppuku on the battlefield. There was a separate ritual that the wives of dishonored Samurai would perform called jigai. (Bargen) One particular person who has had a major impact on both Japan and the Samurai that is still reflected in its modern day is Toyotomi

Health and martial arts

541 words - 2 pages In today's busy modern world, we are always on the go either traveling for business or with our families on vacation. Over time, our bodies get worn out and we need to recharge but the stresses of daily life get in the way and then our stress-free lives get less and less more comfortable to live with. Kendo: The Way of the Sword first developed for the ancient samurai of feudal Japan in the 15th century to hone their skills without killing one

Similar Essays

Tokyo Sonata – Family Values In An Increasingly Modern Japan

770 words - 4 pages In Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, the four members of the Sasaki family are intimately followed after a tragic event affects the father early in the film. Due to the catastrophic nature of the event, the audience is quickly exposed to the individual secrets of the Sasaki family and how a family’s values could be perceived as decomposing in modern Japan. As the story progresses, each family member encounters or exposes their own obstacles in

The Work Ethic, In A Modern Guise Author Joanne B. Ciulla

761 words - 4 pages Quality versus Quantity In the essay, “The Work Ethic, In A Modern Guise”, author Joanne B. Ciulla talks about how the modern style of working is different from the traditional and old work ethic, and how the young and coming generation does not want to work hard but instead wants instant results. The long lasting formula of working hard and performing seems to be fading away. Instead of mastering the subject, students care about the final

A Detailed Explanation Of The Samurai Warrior World Religion Essay

872 words - 4 pages and skilled warrior whose primary weapon is a sword. A samurai is extremely loyal and could possibly be serving a lord, an emperor or a Shogun (Shogun is a military in Japan in 1185 through 1868). According to Japanese history and folklore, a samurai is an affiliate of the highest military caste of ancient feudal Japan(“Bushido.”) The samurai warrior of the 12th century marked the reign of the shogunates in Japan directly leading to the rise of

Samurai And Japanese Weaponry Essay

1341 words - 6 pages Japanese History Major Task The Samurai and Japanese Weaponry The samurai were the warriors for the shogun in the feudal times of Japan. The samurai were one of the highest ranked class. The samurai’s from Japan used a variety of weapons. Some were quite different in design and size and some were very similar. The variety of weapons had a variety of purposes. Most people know of the samurai sword and the shuriken or more commonly known