Bushido Philosophy

Posted in histry.

The word “Bushido” was made by the Japanese word ,”Bushi”, which means the Worrier and the word ”Do” which means the way influenced by the spiritual way and the philosophy. Therein, Bushi was introduced not for just warrior but a warrior of ‘Dorio’ (gentleness), ‘Shiki” (courageous), ‘Onsha’ (patience), ‘Shudo’ (tough attitudes) and ‘Giri’ (Loyalty).

The Bushido Philosophy was basically influenced by the Shintho Philosophy but it was not limited to the Shintho but other philosophies prevailed at that time. The Bushido philosophy was influenced by the Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism after the Shinto philosophy. In addition to that, Chinese & Japanese local thinking and customs and rituals of ancestors and the loyalty to the king were other influential factors. Even if the Bushido philosophy was influenced by the other philosophies but it occurred by the passing of time while subjected to localization. Therefore, Bushido philosophy always showed the significant local identity.

The thriving era of the Samurai was the end of Heian Era but the philosophy they had goes beyond that period. (But at that time this was not named as Bushido). Therein, first emerged simple facts of the customs and rituals and thoughts practiced by the warrior clans which was treated as the first philosophy of the Samurai and they named this as “Kyuba no Michi” which literally means the way of the hoarse and the bow.

The “Kyuba no Michi” philosophy played a major role in the Samurai life and it was mentioned that the said domain philosophy which was not written was engraved only in the hearts of the Samurai. After the thriving era of the Samurai, loyal code of law was introduced by “Minomotho Yoritho Mo” and this was additionally benefited for the above mentioned philosophy.

The era “Kamakura” added a new paragraph to the Japanese culture and “Chen” Buddhism from China was introduced during this period. The Buddhist philosophy was patronized by the government and this was healthy period for the other philosophies too. And during this period “Chen” philosophy was introduced to the Samurai.

The era, “Kokugawa” (1603-1868) can be mentioned as the second phase of philosophy of the samurai and “Kyuba no Michi” philosophy transformed into “Bushido” which was not occurred with merely name conversion.

Even if the Bushido philosophy remained as an independent philosophy, due to the influence by the other various philosophies, certain characteristic, parts were penetrated into the “Bushido” philosophy. Calmness, belief in Karma, impermanence of the life & things and spiritual life were extracted from the Buddhist philosophy into the Bushido philosophy. They believed that they cannot gain material prosperity from Buddhism but ascetic life. They extracted the things which were not able to get from Buddhism across the ‘Shinto’ philosophy. In terms of code of conducts in Bushido, the Confucius philosophy had major influence on it.

In this way, the Bushido philosophy had great influence on every aspects of the life of the Samurai. Especially, the concept of ‘Giri’ in Bushido philosophy was a part and partial of their lives. “Giri” in Bushido is termed as the sublime duty and it’s seen that the samurai was to complete the duty which was given to him, even with the life sacrifice. Even though ‘Giri’ which literarily means sublime duty, it had a wider meaning more than it literally means