ü@We hear the word ügSamurai Japanüh in the World Baseball Classic and the Soccer World Cup to impress the world as strong Japan. But why do the ancient samurai still have such a great influence on the mentality of the Japanese?
ü@Samurai kept the unwritten moral code of Bushido as their standards of conduct. Based on Confucian, Buddhist and Shinto ideas, it originated in the Kamakura Period (latter half of the 12th century) and reached perfection in the Edo Period (17th -mid19th). It puts emphasis on justice, fortitude, benevolence, compassion, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty, and self-control, etc.
ü@Samurai were taught to be loyal to their lords, worship their ancestors, and, as children, to be devoted to their parents. The discipline of fortitude, one of the important elements of Bushido, inculcated endurance in them; not permitting a groan under any circumstances, and the teaching of politeness requiring them not to spoil the pleasure or serenity of others by expressing of their own sorrow or pain. Samurai were to accept fate calmly, and to face danger or disaster with their usual calm frame of mind. They were also taught that it is true courage to live when it is right to live, and to die only when it is right to die.
ü@But over the 260 years of the Edo period, the Bushido developed into Bushido Spirit and this ethical system of the warrior class attracted followers from among the masses over the course of time. Many thrilling anecdotes were told of those who compensated for breaking their word by committing suicide - ügA samuraiüfs word is his bond,üh And the story of Forty-seven Roninsüf loyalty to their lord was told to merchants and farmers through a number of media, including theaters, story-tellersüf dais, musical recitations, kabuki, and novels. Also, young samuraiüfs stories of courage and perseverance made an impact on children in the common class. Benevolence to the weak, the inferior or the vanquished, was ever extolled as peculiarly becoming to a samurai. The samurai grew to be the beau ideal of the whole race. It is said, ügas among flowers the cherry is queen, so among men the samurai is lord.üh They set a moral standard and guided by their example. Bushido for samurai class gradually spread to the masses, and became a moral code for all Japanese.
After the 3.11 Tohoku-Pacific OceanEarthquake, the whole world was impressed by the dignity with which Japanese behaved. No looting was observed. They endured long lines to wait their turn to buy staples at a half-destroyed convenience stores and supermarkets. Peoplesüf actions of generously giving to others in hard times and volunteersüf cuddling up to the suffers show us that it is not going too far to say the Bushido spirit still exist deeply in the soul of the Japanese.