Bushido and Samurai



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Bushido and Samurai

1. While the samurai warriors have long since been gone, their values are preserved in contemporary Japan. The Code of Bushido, the Samurai's code of honor, upholds loyalty, discipline, total dedication, honor and valor, and numerous examples of these elements can be witnessed today or in recent history.

During World War II, for instance, Japanese Kamikaze pilots showed loyalty to their country by willingly accepting death. Today, as Japanese people have great respect for their bosses, some businessmen commit suicide when fired, in an attempt to spare their bosses and family the burden of shame or dishonor. Just as the samurai were fearsome once, the Japanese people of today continue the tradition of high integrity and "death before dishonor."



2. The Samurai Legacy

Today, with the dying out of Samurais, Bushido no longer have a military force in Japan. However Bushido's ethical foundations still play a major part of Japanese culture and society. Bushido's stress on loyalty to the head of a group is still evident in the strong sense of loyalty workers have to their employers, students to their teachers, apprentices to their masters and to their country.

These bushido values of the samurai once again become familiar to these workers who are loyal, honorable and are willing to sacrifice everything for the company. The Japanese also have a term "Business is war" which relates to bushido.

From: http://nepharion.lazee.org/legacybushido.htm

1. How has the code of Bushido influenced modern Japan?

2. What does "business is war" mean?

3. Do you agree?

3. Changing Value

"Male views about company life are also changing. A new breed of young Japanese workers scorn the maxim that the meaning of life is found in the discipline of work, developed by the Tokugawa period thinker Ishida Baigan. This generation refuses to take k jobs, employment considered kitanai, kitsui, kiken, ("dirty, difficult, and dangerous"). College graduates stated that they wanted plenty of holidays, no overtime, and generous salaries. To the shock of most adults, adolescents arrested for theft reported that their main motive simply was to get money for entertainment."

James L. McClain, Japan A Modern History

Breakdown of order in classrooms or gakkyuu houkai



4. Japan Insight, 6/3/02

We may be fed the stereotypical images of obedient students in Japanese schools. Most Japanese in the community find it hard to believe that in more and more classrooms we see a breakdown in order in our schools today.

1. What is the main idea of these passages?

2. How would you describe modern Japanese values?

3. How is this different from Samurai values?

4. Is there a samurai influence in modern Japan?



5. Which set of values describes our society?

6. Which set of values is better for society?


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