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Bushidō expanded and formalized the earlier code of the samurai, and stressed frugality, loyalty, mastery of martial arts, and honour to the death. Under the bushidō ideal, if a samurai failed to uphold his honor he could regain it by performing Seppuku (ritual suicide).Busido

In an excerpt from his book Samurai: The World of the Warrior, historian Stephen Turnbull describes the role of seppuku in feudal Japan: In the world of the warrior, seppuku was a deed of bravery that was admirable in a samurai who knew he was defeated, disgraced, or mortally wounded. It meant that he could end his days with his transgressions wiped away and with his reputation not merely intact but actually enhanced. The cutting of the abdomen released the samurai’s spirit in the most dramatic fashion, but it was an extremely painful and unpleasant way to die, and sometimes the samurai who was performing the act asked a loyal comrade to cut off his head at the moment of agony. Bushidō was widely practiced, varying little over time, and across the geographic and socio-economic backgrounds of the samurai, who at one time represented up to 10% of the Japanese population. The first Meiji era census at the end of the 19th century counted 1,282,000 members of the "high samurai", allowed to ride a horse, and 492,000 members of the "low samurai", allowed to wear two swords but not to ride a horse, in a country of about 25 million.

Bushidō includes compassion for those of lower station, and for the preservation of one's name. Early bushidō literature further enforces the requirement to conduct oneself with calmness, fairness, justice, and propriety. The relationship between learning and the way of the warrior is clearly articulated, one being a natural partner to the other.

Other parts of the bushidō philosophy cover methods of raising children, appearance, and grooming, but all this may be seen as part of one's constant preparation for death—to die a good death with one's honor intact, the ultimate aim in a life lived according to bushidō. Indeed, a "good death" is its own reward, and by no means assurance of "future rewards" in the afterlife. Notable samurai have throughout history held such aims or beliefs in disdain, or expressed the awareness that their station—as it involves killing—precludes such reward, especially in Buddhism. On the contrary, the soul of a noble warrior suffering in hell or as a lingering spirit is a common motif in Japanese art and literature. Bushidō, while exhibiting the influence of Dao through Zen Buddhism, is a philosophy in contradisticintion to religious belief, with a deep commitment to� propriety in this world for propriety's sake.

Seven virtues of BushidōEdit

The Bushidō code is typified by seven virtues:

  • Rectitude� (gi)
  • Courage� (yuu)
  • Benevolence� ( jin)
  • Respect� (rei)
  • Honesty� (makoto or shin)
  • Honour� (yo)
  • Loyalty� (chuu)

Associated virtuesEdit

  • Filial� piety ()
  • Wisdom� (chi)
  • Care For The Aged� (tei)

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