Bushido: The Soul of Japan (Version 2) by Inazō Nitobe (1862 – 1933)

Bushido: The Soul of Japan is a study of the way of the samurai. A best-seller in its day, it was read by many influential foreigners, among them US Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, as well as Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts.

The author found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of the seven virtues most admired by his people: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, and loyalty.

He also delved into the other indigenous traditions of Japan, such as Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism and the moral guidelines handed down over hundreds of years by Japan’s samurai and sages. Nitobe sought similarities and contrasts by citing the shapers of European andAmerican thought and civilization going back to the Romans, the Greek, and Biblical times. He found a close resemblance between the samurai ethos of what he called Bushido and the spirit of medieval chivalry and the ethos of ancient Greece, as observed in books such as the Iliad of Homer.

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