Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only once a year. Inazo Nitobe. · Rating details · 4, ratings · reviews. A century ago, when Japan was transforming itself from an isolated feudal society into a modern . Bushido, the Soul of Japan, by Inazo Nitobe, [], full text etext at sacred-texts. com.

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Placing a high value on stoic character, loyalty, and honorable behavior, bushido has no like in modern day society. Beauty of colour and of form is limited in its showing; it is a fixed quality of existence, whereas fragrance is volatile, ethereal as the breathing of life.

I rarely find any English books of worth to read, let alone buy and read. The Soul of Japan is a book written by Inazo Nitobe exploring the way of the samurai. Written at the turn of the century, Inazo Nitobe’s book is very much a product of its time and tells the modern reader almost as much about the time in which it was written as it does of feudal Japan.

Were Western theories of racial superiority Jan 04, Peter W hte it really liked it Shelves: Nitobe does a fantastic job of finding unexpected parallels between both Eastern and Western trains of thought, and he offers many examples as to how they bushiido nearly as dissimilar as one might think.

Even more, because at the same time he presents without realizing, the society and main references of the European society at zoul time. And in my edition, William E. Has Western Civilization, in its march through our land, already wiped out every trace of its ancient discipline?

In the following chapter, he tackles the sources of Bushido, where he states that the way of thought has its roots in Shinto, Zen and Confucian philosophy that have molded the philosophy of the Japanese to a much greater extent.

Combista rated it really liked inaz Shelves: He found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of th A century ago, when Japan was transforming itself from an isolated feudal society into a modern nation, souo Japanese educator queried about the ethos of his people composed this seminal work, which with his numerous other writings in English made him the best, known Japanese writer in the West during his lifetime.

On the whole, people have ambivalent feelings about feudal times. In analyzing Bushido as a social tradition of Japanese feudalism, the author frequently refers to Western literature, thr, and philosophical thoughts, of which his commanding is very impressive. His best-known work in Japanese, Shuyo Self cultivationwas reprinted times. It was interesting and it helped make me understand the Mishima incident a tad more.


There are observations on military power, loyalty to the country, society, the worth of men and women, and a curious albeit brief look into gender roles in Japan, which were possibly very different from what we’ve been exposed to.

But Nitobe manages to make their economic cluelessness sound like ssoul virtue. This is evident especially when you compare generations in the Japanese, many of the elderly still have that fire and passion in them, where now the youth are focused on more trivial matters and pursuits with little to no interest in their own nation’s heritage.

He certainly makes a very appealing case for it–aside from the stuff jaapan seppuku ritualistic suicide.

Bushido: The Soul of Japan – Wikipedia

For example, the chapter about swords is the second shortest among all 16 chapters, which basically only talks about an example of a samur In analyzing Bushido as a social tradition of Japanese feudalism, the author frequently refers to Western literature, religions, and philosophical thoughts, of which his commanding is very impressive. The Soul of Japan inazp Nitobe Inazo. The Japanese Yen banknote Series D, printed from to has his portrait.

Mar 04, Capsguy rated it really liked it Shelves: Author I When men’s fowls and dogs are lost, they know to seek for them again, but they lose their mind and do not know to seek for it.

Predating both World Wars, the idea and conscience of Bushido probably seemed much more alive back then that it does today. We admire him as truly great, who, in the menacing presence of danger or death, retains his self-possession; who, for instance, can compose a poem under impending peril or hum a strain in the face of death.

Sending Japanese literature westward Red Circle Authors, a unique endeavor in the publishing world, aims to connect East and West through literature. Its cold blade, collecting on its surface the moment it is drawn the vapour of the atmosphere; its immaculate texture, flashing light of bluish hue; its matchless edge, upon which histories and possibilities hang; the curve of its back, uniting exquisite grace with utmost strength;–all these thrill us with mixed feelings of power and beauty, of awe and terror.

People interested in Japanese history and culture. The writer has a spiritual idea about Japan, about Bushido and that is what he speaks about. He did this rather successfully, even if some readers including myself a century later would prefer our study of oriental culture and philosophy mixed with oriental history and anecdotes. Nitobe often compares samurai to the knights of chivalry in a favorable light, which may have appealed to westerners when this was published, but really doesn’t appeal to the modern reader which has a less romantic understanding of medieval life.


In China, Confucian ethics made obedience to a parent the primary human duty, but in Japan precedence was given to a lord. Nitobe was dictating to a Western audience that he wanted to use contemporary of the geographic kind examples to show that he wasn’t some alien from another planet.

Bushido The Soul Of Japan 13th Edition

There is a significant amount of referencing to scholarly works and philosophical texts, both Eastern and Western throughout the book so readers from Shakespeare to Confucius may be interested in this man’s explanations of such an important part of Japan’s life. The approach and the ethics therefore reflect the attitudes and society of the nineteenth century, not the twenty-first. But I think that’s more the subject matter rather than the actual writing, since the actual writing verges on being pedantic at times.

He found a close resemblance between the samurai ethos of what he called Bushido and the spirit of medieval chivalry and the ethos of ancient Greeceas observed in books such as the Iliad of Homer. His education and training surely prepared him for the stylistic approach apparent throughout the book. On the one hand, these were horrible times to be alive for Even don Quijote appears as a common frame to expose how absurd some situations could be.

It was written by a Japanese man who had seen the fall of the feudal system, to explain Japanese and, particularly, samurai culture to Westerners.

Finally, I’m really surprised of the deep cultural knowledge the author has.

Bushido: The Soul of Japan. A Classic Essay on Samurai Ethics by Inazo Nitobe

Isn’t this out of proportion? Nowadays, it’s shocking to read the story of an eight-year-old samurai boy being order to commit seppuku ceremonial suicide by disembowelment and actually doing it. Nitobe was not from a samurai family but a brilliant educator, writer, diplomat and politician.

The seven virtues are all still considered virtuous, but we don’t regard them in the same way today. It was in that Japan promulgated its first modern Constitution, one that consciously imitated the constitutions of 19th-century European states. All in all, it was okay. A best-seller in its day, it was read by many influential foreigners, among them President Theodore RooseveltPresident John F.

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