The Samurai Way of Life
The name Samurai means literally he who serves. Which was precisely what a Samurai did, he served the Shogun. Being a Samurai was a noble birthright and warriors were basically elite guards of the Imperial court. When we zap back in time we see fierce warriors highly trained in the martial arts who were unafraid to die. The romanticized idea of the multi functional Samurai who painted, wrote poems and perfected the art of gardening in addition to this fighting skills originates from a later period when Japan was no longer at war and the Samurai no longer needed to fulfill their role as professional fighters. Which meant they had more time to spiritually develop themselves, to teach and to get involved in art.Samurai had evolved into a lifestyle, albeit a very honorable one.
The Samurai Code of Honour
The Samurai lived by a moral code of honour named Bushido, or the way of the warrior. This code consisted of seven virtues which needed to be applied not only to their fighting skills but to their moral values as well. If a Samurai lived by these rules he would be considered honorable. Fear of disgrace was like a sword hanging hovering over them at all times. Honour and reputation. That was what these ancient warriors lived for.
When you look at these virtues they appear to be timeless. No reason why we shouldn’t adopt them into our lives today.
May you be inspired to become a better person by reading the seven virtues of Bushido – the way of the warrior.
1. Gi – Justice
Justice, also explained as integrity, is the strongest virtue of all. It is all about doing the right thing and making the right decision because it’s ethically and morally correct. Be honest when you deal with other people and commit to your decisions.
2. Rei – Politeness
Politeness in the Samurai sense is more than just being kind. It is about caring for and about others. True warriors don’t need to show their strength. They are polite even to their enemies.
3. Yu – Courage
Courage is only real courage when applied with righteousness. A true warrior is courageous every moment of his live whether he is in danger or not.
4. Meiyo – Honour
You have only one judge in life and that is you. Your character shines through in the decisions you make and take and how you carry them out. This virtue is about earning the respect from others and about your reputation.
5. Jin Compassion
A Samurai is powerful. This power must be used for good causes. Show kindness and compassion for all regardless. Show love, mercy, affection and sympathy and help others.
6. Makoto – Honesty and sincerity
Speaking and doing are one and the same word for Samurai. A Samurai need not give his promise. When he is intent on doing something he will do it. Follow the laws of the universe and you will become an honest man.
7. Chu – Duty and Loyalty
To be trustful and loyal to those you are responsible for, unconditionally.
And although it is not one of the written Bushido virtues, let’s not forget focus. As one of the old masters said:
“When you think you have won, you have lost.”
So we have found you a short video on the trained instincts of the Samurai. Enjoy watching!