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8 Ethic Code of The Japanese Samurai

Written By anastasius bagus on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | 1:49 AM




Overview of the Samurai:

Samurai is a military officer in the elite class of preindustrial Japan. Samurai work for an employer or landlord called daimyo, while samurai who do not have employer called ronin. Samurai have the set of rules or code of ethics called bushido.

This time i am not sharing about history of the Samurai, but rather the values ​​or ethics adopted by the Samurai, which honestly makes me very impressed for ethical values ​​they profess.

For more details, let's get straight to the scene.


1. Gi (义 - Integrity) = Keeping Honesty.

"A samurai must be well aware of right and wrong, and tried hard to do right and avoid wrong. That's how bushido ordinary life. "(Samurai Code)

A Samurai always maintain ethics, morality, and truth. Integrity is the most important value of Bushido. The word connotes honesty and integrity intact.

Integrity in question is the integrity of all aspects of life, especially among the thoughts, words, and deeds. This value is highly valued in the philosophy of bushido, and is the basis for human beings to understand more about morals and ethics.

2. Yu (勇 - Courage) = Courage in the face of adversity.

"Make sure you forge yourself with one thousand days training, practice and hone themselves for thousands of days". (Miyamoto Musashi)

Courage is a character and attitude to survive for the sake of the principle of truth believed despite a range of pressures and difficulties. Courage is also a characteristic of the samurai, they are ready to risk anything, including risking his life for fighting for beliefs.

Their courage is reflected in the principle that considers life is not more valuable than a feather. However, courage is doe not mean rage, but based on rigorous training and discipline.

3. Jin (仁 - Generosity) = Has affectionate nature.

"Be the first to forgive." (Toyotomi Hideyoshi)

Bushido has the aspect of a balance between the masculine (yin) and feminine (a). Jin represent the feminine nature is love. Although practicing swordsmanship and battle strategy, the samurai must possess love others, compassion, and caring.

Compassion and concern not only aimed at master and/or landlord, but for humanity. This attitude must remain indicated both in bright daylight, and in the darkness of night. Generosity is also shown in terms of forgiveness.

4. Rei (礼 - Respect) = Respect to others.

"Are you walking, standing still, sitting, or leaning, on the behavior and attitude is reflect yourself in a way that truly reflects the true warrior. (Samurai Code)

A Samurai never be rude and careless, but always use a code of ethics are impeccable throughout time.Courtesy and respect are not just aimed at the leaders and parents, but to guests or prepared any encounter. Being polite includes how to sit, talk, and even in the treatment of objects or weapons.

5. Makoto or Shin (信 - Honesty) = Be Sincere and Honest.

"Samurai say what they mean, and do what they say. They make bold promises and keep them." (Toyotomi Hideyoshi)

"The words of a samurai is stronger than steel." (Samurai Code)

A Samurai always be honest and sincere to admit, say or to give appropriate information and truth.All of every samurai should keep his words and always alert not wag, even when seen or heard bad things about colleagues.

6. Meiyo (名誉 - Honorary) = Maintain self-respect.

"If you're in public, though not on duty, that should not be carelessly relax. Better you read, practiced calligraphy, reviewing the history, or the manners soldiering." (Samurai Code)

Maintain the honor of the samurai way is to run the code of bushido consistently over time and do not use shortcuts that violate morality. A samurai have high self-esteem, that they keep the way of honorable behavior. One way they keep the honor is not wasting time and avoiding behavior that is useful.

7. Chūgo (忠义 - Loyal) = Maintain loyalty to the leader and teacher.

"A knight dedicate his whole life to the service of a task." (Samurai Code)

Loyalty shown by the high dedication in carrying out the task. Faithfulness is not only a warrior when in a state of successful leadership. Even, in unexpected circumstances occur, the burden of leadership experience many problems, a samurai remained loyal to his boss and not leaving their master. Final honor of a samurai is dead and struggles in performing their duties.

8. Tei (悌 - Respect Parent) = Honoring parents and humble.

"No matter how much you instill loyalty and family obligations in the heart, without being good for express the respect and care to leaders and parents, then you can not be said to have appreciated the samurai way of life." (Samurai Code)

Samurai great respect and care for older people especially their parents, the leadership, and the need to understand their family tree. They also serve their ancestor. They focus to served and not think about personal body and soul.


That's eight values ​​or ethics adopted by the samurai. Astonishing is not it?!

Summary: 
If you explore more about the code of the samurai, then we will find that behind dexterity in playing a samurai sword and battle strategies, in fact they are directed to live in peace of mind and full of faith. This principle is really embedded into the mind and heart of a samurai, so they always turn on their heart as a source of light and confidence.

The most fundamental principle of the samurai is to always live by the teachings of honesty with yourself, and if not, they are not really living true life.

Although that teaching seems simple but actually very meaningful and bring peace in the hearts of samurai. If it has to be honest to yourself, then they will spontaneously honest with anyone.

Although there is a tradition in samurai suicide (according negative side), but it would be better that we take is the meaning of the positive aspect of the eight ethics above.

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