Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only once a year. Inazo Nitobe. · Rating details · 4, ratings · reviews. A century ago, when Japan was transforming itself from an isolated feudal society into a modern . Bushido, the Soul of Japan, by Inazo Nitobe, [], full text etext at sacred-texts. com.

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Occupation of It was in that Japan promulgated its first modern Constitution, one that consciously imitated the constitutions of 19th-century European states.

Critics have pointed out that no such word as Bushido existed before the Edo Period Confucianism predominated at that time, and there was no uniform moral code among the samurai class. Over the past century, his book has been reprinted more than times and translated into dozens of languages. President Theodore Roosevelt was so impressed by it that he bought 60 copies to inazoo to friends and family.

Until it was published, Western perceptions of Japan tended to merge with those of China: Nitobe changed all that when his text established Japan as a masculine, dynamic and poetic land with a unique warrior culture. Nationalist critic Tetsujiro Inoue bitterly denounced Nitobe and established an alternative Emperor-worshipping form of Bushido — the version of the concept that would ultimately take root in Japan.


He was variously an author, diplomat, agriculture expert, politician, educator and economist who held five doctorate degrees and wrote in Japanese, English and German.

Bushido: The Soul of Japan. A Classic Essay on Samurai Ethics by Inazo Nitobe

He also studied abroad in America and Germany, and converted to Christianity. For a year-old native Japanese writing in flawless English, the book is thf tour-de-force of erudition.

He explains how the fundamentals of Bushido lay in paying homage and pledging fealty to a superior. In China, Confucian ethics made obedience to a parent the primary human duty, but in Japan precedence was given to a lord.

Bushido, the Soul of Japan Index

But Nitobe manages to make their economic cluelessness sound like a virtue. Throughout the book, Nitobe attempts a difficult balancing act: This is partly because, as a latecomer to the world of 19th-century imperialism, Japan did not want to be seen as a second-class imitator of the West. It was important for the nation to show that it could challenge and compete with the West — that it had its own highly sophisticated ethical system.

For those who had eyes to see, the book heralded a change in the world order. The 20th century was going to be very different to the 19th. Nitobe advanced Bushido as the only ethical framework — apart from Christianity — powerful enough to challenge capitalist orthodoxy.


This is the first in a three-part series on Bushido. Superstar of World Literature.

Bushido The Soul Of Japan 13th Edition

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