Inazo Nitobe. · Rating details · 4, ratings · reviews. A century ago, when Japan was transforming itself from an isolated feudal society into a modern . 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. Nitobe Inazo’s “Bushido: The Soul of Japan,” first published in English in , played an important role in the spread of the word. Over the past.

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Or as one disingenuous reviewer put it, “I imagine him expounding on this point while wearing a tophat in a London salon, charming the knickers of some gaggle of Oxbridge twats.

The Soul of Japan” was nonetheless a pioneering work of its kind and made him most famous in the West. I enjoyed it a great deal, as romanticised and flawed as it is, more as a historical document than an actual history book. Great book of ethics and morals. In this sense, a beautiful mix can be found: Modern society, if it pretends to any unity, cannot admit “purely personal obligations devised in the interests of an exclusive class.

Of course no where near as prominently as it once did, but it is still there.

Rather than taking aim at saying it’s better or worse than other places or identities, it offers a perception of society through a lens that is oft Although a short text, I nirobe a sweet time in reading this text.

This simplistic account of the development of bushido is problematic, however, and relies on pre-war theories that conflated diverse historical periods and ideologies to provide legitimacy for the modern imperial state and nation.

Were Western theories of racial superiority Therefore, that person you would have to slather obsequiousness on was iinazo likely to be a pu On the whole, people have ambivalent feelings about feudal times. The approach and the ethics therefore reflect the attitudes and society of the nineteenth century, not the twenty-first. This is partly because, as a latecomer to the world of 19th-century imperialism, Japan did not want to be seen as a second-class imitator of the West.


Published March 1st by Kodansha International Ltd first published His best-known work in Japanese, Shuyo Self cultivationwas reprinted times.

This book serves as one historic explanation for this difference. Each of these virtues has a chapter devoted to it Ch. The attitude to women, too, is niitobe nowadays. Nitobe advanced Bushido as the only ethical framework — apart from Christianity — powerful enough to challenge capitalist orthodoxy.

Bushido: the Soul of Japan by Nitobe Inazo –

We still value loyalty, but in today’s society there is a Shakespearean addenda: Enjoy and Be Blessed. Project Gutenberg 58, free ebooks. This was not necessarily what I expected. Nitobe found in Bushido Way of the Warrior the sources of the virtues most admired by his people: American Commodore Perry opened up Japan to Western Trade in when he sailed a few gunboats into Tokyo harbor and “convinced” the Japanese to trade with the United States.

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

He wrote it in English, later translated into Japanese, and he breaks down the tenets of bushido or the ways of the warrior, bushi warrior and do way and placed them within the historical context of chivalry and knighthood. Was a short book but not the easiest book to read or understand. But what happened in Nitobe’s bushifo, that he mentions a bit, was how Commodore Perry transformed Japan simply by opening up Japan to capitalism and western trade.

Although a short text, I took a sweet time in reading this text. I feel, however, that for the time the book was written ca. This book is a classic to which generations of scholars and laymen alike have long referred for insights into the character of the Japanese people. In the following chapters, he discusses things that may be foreign to a lot of westerners like the practice of self-immolation or seppuku, as well as the importance of honor in the battlefield.

Perhaps the downloadable versions have the same flaw. Very informative about the code of the samurai. The seven virtues are all still considered virtuous, but we don’t regard them in the same way today. The main thesis, as I can gather is, Enticing as is an historical disquisition on the comparison between European and Japanese feudalism and chivalry, it is not the bushid of this paper to enter into it at length.


The Japanese nation, its land, its people, and its life, with special consideration to its relations with the United States.

The author writes well but this is more of a misty-eyed, nostalgic pining for ‘the good old days’ gy a scientific analysis.

They were not only the flower of the nation, but its root as well. A Quaker, Nitobe draws heavily on the sayings of Confucius and the writings of Mencius to provide a holistic understanding of the worldview of the warrior society that dominated Japan from around to CE.

Bushido: The awakening of Japan’s modern identity

Even when we encounter something against values of the western culture, like ritual suicide, we find him citing examples for it from the Western Culture. I should give a little context to this.

The former was painful; the latter verged on cultural chauvinism. So it was there that I decided to look at one country somewhere in the Northeast Pacific—Japan.

While it was a nice read, it doesn’t really tell you anything about Bushido as such. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Five doctoral degress Nitobe was a fine stylist in English; he wrote five out of his sixteen volumes in that language, which earned him a place among the best known Japanese writers of his age. It is unfair to expect a nineteenth-century Japanese man to have exactly the same moral values as twenty-first century Westerners.

I’d still say this book is of value even reading now and a lot of the psyche and practice comparisons inqzo the book between the West and Japanese are relevant to this day. And nktobe Bushido, albeit corrupted just like corrupted ideas of Chivalry, survive in the Japanese mindset.

And all of its many readers in the past have been amply rewarded, as will be all those who turn to its pages in the next and future decades. Osame-to and read more.