Title

The Japanese Bushido of the Era of Civil War

Presenter Information

Hideki Takei

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 271

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Bushido is the guideline of the samurai’s life. Samurai lived in close quarters with death because they were warriors. This made them think about death all the time so they had to figure out appropriate ways of enriching their life. This is why no matter how samurais’ living environments changed, samurai as warriors used the view of death to interpret bushido. While the essence of bushido was always reflecting the view of death, interpretation of bushido as guideline was not definite because interpretations varied by samurai’s living situations in different eras. Generally, samurai interpreted bushido by its four universal values: loyalty, morality, courage, and honor. For example, the four universal values of bushido during 300 years of the age of civil war (approximately from 1300 to 1600 A.D.) are quite different from those values during the 270 years of peaceful time of Tokugawa era (approximately from 1600 to 1870 A.D.). In this study, we will discuss the view of death as the essence of bushido. Then, we will discuss the four values during the civil war era in three situations from the life of samurai which are (1) learning bushido, (2) training bushido, and (3) showing bushido. We believe discussing the four values of bushido in this particular era is important because it became the main characteristic of bushido of later years.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Hideki Takei

Additional Mentoring Department

ITAM

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May 16th, 12:40 PM May 16th, 1:00 PM

The Japanese Bushido of the Era of Civil War

SURC 271

Bushido is the guideline of the samurai’s life. Samurai lived in close quarters with death because they were warriors. This made them think about death all the time so they had to figure out appropriate ways of enriching their life. This is why no matter how samurais’ living environments changed, samurai as warriors used the view of death to interpret bushido. While the essence of bushido was always reflecting the view of death, interpretation of bushido as guideline was not definite because interpretations varied by samurai’s living situations in different eras. Generally, samurai interpreted bushido by its four universal values: loyalty, morality, courage, and honor. For example, the four universal values of bushido during 300 years of the age of civil war (approximately from 1300 to 1600 A.D.) are quite different from those values during the 270 years of peaceful time of Tokugawa era (approximately from 1600 to 1870 A.D.). In this study, we will discuss the view of death as the essence of bushido. Then, we will discuss the four values during the civil war era in three situations from the life of samurai which are (1) learning bushido, (2) training bushido, and (3) showing bushido. We believe discussing the four values of bushido in this particular era is important because it became the main characteristic of bushido of later years.