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The Samurai, Bushido, and Other Things

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well i respect you point of view every one...but i have read amazing true stories about warriors who lived in Muromachi Period and the edo era.
and there is a large number of stories documented...well that is a statistic that you can use to separate the real from the fake.
and from what i read, the samurai are people who should be admired...

i am a reading maniac...and i have read a lot about a lot of civilizations ...
and warrior spirit can be revealed in the people listed below:

Scottish, red Indians, Caucasus , janissaries(Turkish ottomans) , Zulu, Mongolians...and the Japanese

read about these, and then you can tell me what you think about warrior spirit.
 
I'm not saying there haven't been true heroes and honestly good warriors. In many cases these groups have been created to protect against invaders, keep villages and crops safe, give people a sense of security in hard times, it all begins with a noble purpose. That's where the great tales come from.

It's that after awhile the true purpose sometimes gets lost and the protectors can end up becoming the problem. Demanding wealth, power, money, land from the people they were originally vowed to protect.
 
I'm not saying there haven't been true heroes and honestly good warriors. In many cases these groups have been created to protect against invaders, keep villages and crops safe, give people a sense of security in hard times, it all begins with a noble purpose. That's where the great tales come from.
It's that after awhile the true purpose sometimes gets lost and the protectors can end up becoming the problem. Demanding wealth, power, money, land from the people they were originally vowed to protect.

you know....you are right...
this might happen some times...
some times a person looses his focus to his true gaol and ends up falling victim to his greedy self.
i am just glad that is not the case in many stories i read...
but what you say is true....i have stumbled on stories where the hero becomes the villain and seeds another hero to clear him away. :(
 
Thankfully there are always good guys out there, unfortunately it's not nearly as easy to be good as it is to be bad. That's why the heroes are always immortalized. :) But, still, the samurai has been blown out of proportion and mysticised to the point where people forget they were flesh and blood.
They did good things but they did bad things as well. I think it's good to remember both sides of the story otherwise the history gets lost and all that's left is fantasy.

Or at least that's what I think 👍
 
Without reading this thread too much, Bushido is another part of Japanese history which has not stood the test of time well. Like other aspects (Samurai, etc), many of the nasty and gory details have been left out, everything else has been polished and refined to make it more palatable. Rather than aiming for accuracy, the Japanese have reshaped their own history into something that is appealing and suits better to the small screen than "historic texts".

Bushido is about considering everyone an enemy, death is the only conclusion (fight until you or they die, even minor discretions or crimes punished by death, etc), victory is the only option. This sort of thinking leads to massive mistrust and situations where people throw their lives (or opportunities) away in futile efforts.
 
what you said makes great sense ...

but i want to keep that samurai image in my head :p

it is nice to dream ..right?
 
to look for dying is to look for good living ...
we shold not consider it by today's thought
It differs in the age.
It might be a death if catching a cold.
so was Wound in battlefield, even Fracture..The deaths were far nearer than today.

I want to do life without regret whenever I die. :p
 
what you said makes great sense ...

but i want to keep that samurai image in my head :p

it is nice to dream ..right?

Yeah, your right. :)

Nobody really wants to remember the bad...but I guess we have to if we don't want to keep repeating their mistakes.
 
Where are you guys getting your information or are you just making this up as go (Cognitive Dissonance at work, i.e. you only believe what you prefer to believe).

This paragraph from one of Caster's recent post may be applicable here despite the age difference:

The question as to why Isabella should mislead the reader or, in fact, mislead herself cannot be answered here; we can only speculate. First, Isabella was not bilingual or bicultural; that is, she had not gone through the experience, when young, of living abroad and struggling with the complexities of a foreign language, which experience, if she had had it, might have made her mind more flexible and open to other ways of thinking. By the time she had come to Japan, Isabella was forty-six years old, and had long formed her views on life and what was right and wrong. In fact, her views seem to have been so set that often she virtually ignored reality in order to maintain them. Further, as a journalist with a readership in mind, Isabella may have occasionally succumbed to the temptation to startle her audience, to remind them, by slight exaggeration, of the absolute strangeness or outrageousness of her experiences.
 
But what you have is inaccurate and really should be considered an offence to the real history.

what i read is recorded histroy ...it is true,
but madam napolian was right when she said that these stories don't represent all the samurai virtues and reality.

the samurai is a great warrior, and will always be admired. the samurai dies in battle and gets glory rather than running and living is shame..
that might not be always true, but in some amazing true stories -as i mentioned before- are awesome.
 
what i read is recorded histroy ...it is true,

Because the record of history, as written by the victors and upper crust, is always going to fair, balanced and accurate *more eye rolling*

The most interesting written record of Japan I have seen is the diaries of the first Europeans in Japan. The most interesting for me was repeated mentions of Samurai "testing" their swords on criminals*, hacking the bodies up until there was nothing discernible left. By all modern standard such a thing would be unthinkable (the whole the katana is holy nonsense), but there is plenty of evidence if you dig through enough texts.
 
Because the record of history, as written by the victors and upper crust, is always going to fair, balanced and accurate *more eye rolling*

The most interesting written record of Japan I have seen is the diaries of the first Europeans in Japan. The most interesting for me was repeated mentions of Samurai "testing" their swords on criminals*, hacking the bodies up until there was nothing discernible left. By all modern standard such a thing would be unthinkable (the whole the katana is holy nonsense), but there is plenty of evidence if you dig through enough texts.

bro the victors don't record history fairly...
they record it as their own interest......
just like what Europeans record about Arabians..
they made Haroun alRashid a man who drinks and a womanizer ...
which is a complete contrast of what he was for example...
he was one of the toughest leaders of the Abbasid caliphate.
 
You have to look at a variety of texts and look at historical records to try and piece the reality together. Too many Japanese have a very romanticized version of military men in Japan, from samurais through the kamikaze pilots. I think in a sense bushido was applied in a very abstract way, rather than the way most Japanese like to think it was applied. The revisionist bent runs through lot of societies, though some do a better job of admitting more of the truth in their own textbooks.
 
Did I touch a nerve? :p

What about the diaries of William Adams and co who describe exactly what I have said?
 
Did I touch a nerve? :p

What about the diaries of William Adams and co who describe exactly what I have said?

i didnt say it didnt happen, it did, and cowerd samurai did exisit as well.

but tough glorious samurai stories exist as well
 
The Sword and the Samurai

For those interested or those who have a spare 47 minutes to watch this interesting video. I stumbled over this while looking for music (..don't ask😊).

Now I know why those swords have that wavey line on them, as well as other things about bushido and Japanese history.

[google]1904491468220255450&ei=t2Q_SuyOEJDKwgP9x4CWBQ&q=samurai&hl=en[/google]
 
Because the record of history, as written by the victors and upper crust, is always going to fair, balanced and accurate *more eye rolling*

The most interesting written record of Japan I have seen is the diaries of the first Europeans in Japan. The most interesting for me was repeated mentions of Samurai "testing" their swords on criminals*, hacking the bodies up until there was nothing discernible left. By all modern standard such a thing would be unthinkable (the whole the katana is holy nonsense), but there is plenty of evidence if you dig through enough texts.


Are you currently living in Japan?
 
Very good although historical records do exist of samurai committing seppuku either thru disgrace or indeed as junshi to follow ones master or loved one?

Ewok85 do you also know about 'Tsujigiri' or 'cutting at the crossroads' where samurai were allowed to test the sharpness of their katana on those of lesser standing simply because they had the desire to. This practice was banned eventually but it certainly cast a shadow over the Bushido I think.
Btw some swords actually had engraved on the tang how many bodies they could cut through in the tests you described above. I have heard it said that such ken have an ominous vibe about them too >_<
 
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