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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Finally, I’m really surprised of the deep cultural knowledge the author has. Over the past century, his book has been reprinted more than times and translated into dozens of languages.

The British imperialism, the late French revolution system and the German social nationalism are taken as the correct values, or better, the expected ones for a society to succeed. I’ve read a German version, published by Nikol Verlag and translated by Dr. Lists with This Book. Niggardliness of gold and of life excited as much disapprobation as their lavish use was panegyrized. A best-seller in its day, it was read by many influential foreigners, among them President Theodore Roosevelt that bought five copies of the tne, President John F.

The significance of Japanese politeness and sincerity is also tackled, as well as the concept of loyalty, the role of women, the training and education of the noble warrior class Samuraiand valor and courage, among others.

There should be no question that Nitobe understands and uses a rhetorical mastery in his writing style.

Bushido: the Soul of Japan by Nitobe Inazo –

Not knowing too much about samurai or Bushido, I don’t know why I bought it. After reading this, you’ll definitely have a much better understanding and appreciation of many aspects of Japanese culture that initially come across as being either senseless or totally barbaric. The author makes a great point that now over years since he wrote this that Inazi as a way of life passed through generations is long gone, what with Japan as we all see it today being what it is, but the soul of it What an interesting little book!

Aug 09, Edward Morton rated it it was amazing. But I forget somehow that I grew bshido IN the west so the contrast of opinions on certain subjects is almost the opposite so I find it extremely hard to relate or be able to apply them to my life. Perhaps the downloadable versions have the same flaw.


While the book is beautifully written, most of the evidence provided is incredulous or anecdotal. There are several reasons why I didn’t really like this book. His education and training surely prepared him for the stylistic approach apparent throughout the book. No longer does one make a conscious decision to be “a stoic” one simply “can be” without drawing counter point logical answers. Then, too, the thorns that are hidden beneath the sweetness of the rose, the tenacity with which she clings to life, as though loth or afraid to die rather than drop untimely, preferring to rot on her stem; her showy colours and heavy odours–all these are traits so unlike our flower, which carries no dagger or poison under its beauty, which is ever ready to depart life at the call souul nature, whose colours are woul gorgeous, and whose light fragrance never palls.

Engaging and beautifully written, BUSHIDO is an insider’s look into the foundational beliefs and customs of bushidl of the most mysterious to Westerners cultures on the planet.

It was written by a Japanese man who had seen the fall of the feudal system, to explain Japanese and, particularly, samurai culture to Westerners. Consider the seventh precept, loyalty. Third, Nitobe’s expertise in not in Japanese cultural studies, but in western knazo and philosophy.

Bushido The Soul Of Japan 13th Edition

Japan had only just emerged from its isolation, and not only was its culture strange to the Western world, but most societies were much less multicultural than they are now, so people were less likely to have encountered a culture other than their own.

Therefore, that person you would have to slather obsequiousness on was as likely to be a putz as not. Born before the Meiji Restorationhe brings a Nitobe specifically wrote this book in to comparatively explain bushido to an occidental audience.

Griffis is writing his Introduction while this war is taking place, adding new urgency to this book’s understanding. Nitobe originally wrote Bushido: He is able to compare the Japanese literature and poetry to German romanticism, he likes to have Shakespeare as a reference as much as he can and the classic mythological heroes are used for us to understand the feelings and emotions of the Samurai.


I’m surprised how relatable it remains today, 40 years after it was first published. It is a short piece of work that may be read lightly.

Or as one disingenuous reviewer put it, “I imagine him expounding on this point while wearing a tophat in a London salon, charming the knickers of some gaggle of Oxbridge twats. You will find many examples from the European and American cultures describing Bushido. However yesterday was different, as I found this book. I find this book lack of objectivity in overly idealizing Bushido. Placing a high value on stoic character, loyalty, and honorable behavior, bushido has no like in modern day society.

However, Nitobe argues that the code of Bushido, when applied the way it was originally intended, is actually very similar to more “enlightened” religions like Christianity. A Class The relationship between ethos and ethics seems evident. So, it is an cultivating journey also through the way society was back then.

This book was written inless than 30 years after the restoration measures which begun the downfall of the warrior. I guess that a historian would find it fascinating for just this reason. Five doctoral degress Nitobe was a fine stylist in English; he wrote five out of his sixteen volumes in that language, which earned him a place among the best known Japanese writers of his age.

It is an interesting though not fascinating look into Bushido and how it’s helped form an essential part of Japan. Aug 14, Bernie Gourley rated it really liked it Shelves: But what happened in Nitobe’s lifetime, that he mentions a bit, was how Commodore Perry transformed Japan simply by opening up Japan to capitalism and western trade.