I have been a fan of Japanese culture, history and philosophy for a long time, and I have been studying the history and traditions of the Samurai. I was interested in the Bushido Code and get in to more details. I stumble across this book some time ago and didn’t hesitate to read it.
The Samurai’s and there traditions are fascinating, this is the first post on that topic but there will be more Japanese related in the future. Here is a bit of info about the book that I found on Amazon. At the end of the post I have put the link where you can get the book and my personal review and recommendation.
Product Description (from Amazon)
In eighteenth-century Japan, Tsunetomo Yamamoto created the Hagakure, a document that served as the basis for samurai warrior behavior. Its guiding principles greatly influenced the Japanese ruling class and shaped the underlying character of the Japanese psyche, from businessmen to soldiers. Bushido is the first English translation of this work. It provides a powerful message aimed at the mind and spirit of the samurai warrior. With Bushido, one can better put into perspective Japan’s historical path.
In the sixteenth-century Japan, Tsunetomo Yamamoto created the Hagakure which was secretly circulated among the “awakened” samurai-the samurai elite. In 1906, the book was first made available to the general Japanese public and, until 1945, its guiding principles greatly influenced the Japanese ruling class – particularly those individuals in military power. However, the spirit of the Hagakure touched a deeper nerve in Japanese society. It was this book that shaped the underlying character of the Japanese psyche, from businessmen to politicians, from students so soldiers. BUSHIDO: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI is the first English translation of the Hagakure. From its opening line, “I have found the essence of Bushido: to die!” this work provides a powerful message aimed at the spirit, body and mind of the samurai warrior. It offers beliefs that are difficult for the Western mind to embrace, yet fascinating in their pursuit of absolute service. By reading this book, one can better put into perspective the historical path that Japan has taken for the last three hundred years and gain greater insight into Japan of today.
The 7 virtues of Bushido
RESPECT – RECTITUDE – LOYALTY – HONESTY – HONOUR – COURAGE – BENEVOLENCE
What I think about the book:
The book is a relatively a short read (around 110 pages) it’s a very in your face, straight forward type of book and philosophy (just the way I like it). I recommend it for people who want to explore the world of the Samurai, Japanese history and culture. You will gain a lot from this read (I hope).
If your looking for a book that will entertain you or put you to sleep before bed this is not a book for you.
In order to really get in to the spirit of the book I recommend reading it in total silence early in the morning if you can. When your brain is still fresh and make sure it’s before breakfast as well. Note that the book doesn’t have a story line and in almost every page you will find a different type of information and topic and how the Bushido and the Samurai will reflect on it.
The book had a lot of metaphors and a lot of words that I didn’t understand. I was reading it with Google dictionary open all the time, or maybe that’s because English is not my first language I don’t know.
Overall it’s a very interesting book and if you can manage to grasp some of the wisdom in it and use it in your everyday life that will help you I guess. Don’t take the things written in it literally, because they are a lot of extremes there. But I guess that those ware the times and days, and this type of culture was normal.
Book Available at:
- Amazon (US) – Bushido: The Way of the Samurai (Square One Classics)
- Amazon (UK) – Bushido: The Way of the Samurai (Square One Classics)
- Amazon (Canada) – Bushido: The Way of the Samurai (Square One Classics)
Overall rating – 4/5