Bushido is a concept that this course has taught me to appreciate, and the value of the honor code that it instills. Bushido is a traditional Japanese code of conduct that Samurai are expected to follow. In doing so, they must adhere to a set of virtues in their everyday lives, treating all people with dignity and fairness (Yamamoto & Wilson). Moreover, the willingness to fulfill their duty to their homeland is a central component in their role. Three of the Samurai virtues that I wish to develop within myself are: chugi, yu, and shin (loyalty, courage, and truthfulness respectively). These are qualities that I already see in myself. I believe that these are universal qualities that can be respected throughout any way of life. In developing Bushido virtues, I believe that I will become a better, more disciplined person. Throughout this semester, I plan to dedicate my time to developing these virtues.
Chugi (loyalty) is important in all interpersonal dealings. A person’s commitment to someone or something shows their dependability and willingness to serve a cause that is greater than themselves. I plan on developing loyalty by sticking to commitments that I make. I will maintain consistency with long-term projects and provide the data and research that I say I will. I will keep appointments that I set and stay away from those who are not beneficial to those who I keep close. I will stay faithful to my significant other and resist any temptation that others might present me with, The value of my conduct towards my significant other and other close friends and family will strengthen as I gain a greater sense of loyalty (Li, et. Al). As my chugi strengthens, I will find myself more dedicated to my line of work and my superiors who provide me with work. As I practice loyalty in all facets of interpersonal interaction, this virtue will become more inherent to the point of being second nature. My resolve will become unshakeable in the sense that others will always be able to count on me to never work against them. My contempt for death will prevail as I maintain an unwavering chugi, and I will come to respect and appreciate the loyalty of others.
Yu (courage) is a fundamental part of Samurai code. It is courage that motivates us to do what may be difficult but is ultimately right. When we are courageous, we are able to live lives with confidence and clarity. We serve others in ways that effort and sacrifice, even if we don’t believe we are capable of doing so. I plan to strengthen my courage this semester by going above and beyond tasks that I find challenging. When making important decisions, I will weigh the “right” decisions against the “desired” decision. When able, I will make the sacrifices needed to fulfill commitments I make and meet the needs of others. As my resolve strengthens, I will become more inclined to put others before myself. Moreover, I will find that I do so in an eager and willing manner. Developing this trait will also develop a sense of self-respect. I will find myself more willing to make sacrifices for the greater good. It will strengthen the respect and trust of those who I interact with. It will ideally inspire others to act in the same way. My craft will become mastered as a result of my courage to do whatever is necessary to meet my objectives. This courage is the force that drives us to make something of ourselves and to constantly improve.
Shin (honesty) is a virtue which interlopes with loyalty and courage. It takes courage to be honest at times and being honest demonstrates loyalty. Honesty is a fundamental value in all aspects of life, and one of the most defining elements of our moral character. I will strengthen my shin by refraining from telling lies of any nature, even if they are over trivial things. I will also keep my promises and do all of my coursework with the utmost integrity. I will refrain from engaging in dishonest acts which have a negative impact on others. Honesty is something that can become habitual, making it an inherent virtue after awhile. Developing this habit will strengthen a person’s resolve in all their interpersonal dealings and conduct in the world. A person who is steadfast in their honesty will be trusted by others and will develop a clear conscience. My craft is mastered when I abide by all rules and methods, ensuring that my productivity is of the utmost highest quality. As honesty develops in myself, my contempt of death will strengthen, and I will become more able to differentiate between honest and deceitful people (Cleary). I will also resist lying and associating with liars, both of which will weaken my resolve.
- Cleary, Thomas F. Training the Samurai Mind: A Bushido Sourcebook. Shambhala, 2009.
- Li, Chi-Sing, et al. “The Bushido Matrix for Couple Communication.” The Family Journal, vol. 20, no. 3, 2012, pp. 299-305.
- Yamamoto, Tsunetomo, and William S. Wilson. Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai. Xist Publishing, 2015.