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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Written at the turn of the century, Inazo Nitobe’s book is very much a product of its time and tells the modern reader almost as much about the time in which it was written as it does of feudal Japan.

If you want to learn about pre-modern Japanese society and culture, or about the samurai themselves, there are other better researched sources. For a year-old native Japanese writing in flawless English, the book is a tour-de-force of erudition. The writer has a spiritual idea about Japan, about Bushido and that is what he speaks about.

Bushido The Soul Of Japan 13th Edition

Daily he commenced his craft with prayer and purification, or, as the phrase was, “he committed his soul and spirit into the forging and tempering of the steel.

Perfect as a work hhe art, setting at defiance its Toledo and Damascus rivals, there was more than art could impart. 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.

Even so, there are certain aspects of this, like the talk of seppuku and the sword that are fascinating, and others not so much. I’ve read a German version, published by Nitohe Verlag and translated by Dr. President Theodore Roosevelt was so impressed by it that he bought 60 copies to give to friends and family. Contrariwise, ethos is the basic values that make up the character of a person, a culture, or in the case of this book, a nation. How Nitobe discusses things is clear enough to be understood, even by novice readers.


On the whole, people have ambivalent feelings about feudal times.

Sorry, fhe your browser needs Javascript to use this site. It was important for the nation to show that it could challenge and compete with inaso West — that it had its own highly sophisticated ethical system. Roosevelt bought five copies A best-seller in its day, it was read by many influential foreigners, among them President Theodore Roosevelt that bought five copies of the book, President John F.

Avoid punctuation except as indicated below: Actually, I never intended to read this book or to finish it in one sitting, but alas it happened.

Yet as this year’s. I’m surp It’s not often I read non-fiction, and this was undeniably dry; but I’m glad I stuck with it. He was variously an author, diplomat, agriculture expert, politician, educator and economist who held five doctorate degrees and wrote in Japanese, English and German. Nitoge value as a depository of Japanese culture, less so.

In short, this isn’t a scintillating read and it isn’t meant to be so.

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

Very quietly, there are hints that as a Christian Nitobe bushodo the rising imperial cultism and the intolerance that was manifesting as troubling. Also helped me to understand some of the underlying principles of Japanese culture.

Over the past century, his book has been reprinted more than times and translated into dozens of languages.


Each of these virtues has a chapter devoted to it Ch. The stories used to explain the ethos of Bushido are no more than anecdotal evidence, handed down in the form of myths and bedtime stories.

Until it was published, Western perceptions of Japan tended to merge with those of China: Third, Nitobe’s expertise in not in Japanese cultural studies, but in western literature and philosophy.

The seven virtues are all still considered virtuous, but we don’t regard them in the same way today. His best-known work in Japanese, Shuyo Self cultivationwas reprinted times. A Japanese movie or TV show generally brings one or two of those to mind, but reading this Bushido book really gets ov the heart of the Japanese matter. He hints that the Christian ideal of love might be the answer to our modern quest for synthesizing eastern and western culture.

Apr 25, Paul E. You will find many examples from the European and American cultures describing Bushido.

Bushido, the Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe – Free Ebook

This book is a bit dated. A book written by a Westernized Japanese scholar,to nifobe Westerners’ questions about the Japanese mentality and Bushido. Interestingly, the author was a Quaker and received education in the West, and, therefore, is able to contrast the Japanese worldview with that of Westerners. His approach to his task was eclectic and far-reaching.

Nitobe at one point discusses the division between the honorable samurai, and the shrewd merchant class of Japan.