The Spirit of the Samurai: The Kamakura Bafuku, the rise of the Bushido, and their role in diplomacy
Japan is undoubtedly a central component to understanding international order in Asia. Its actions from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s defined the region, and its consequences have had repercussions that have lasted into the present day (Shambaugh, 10). But where does one go to understand Japan? A place that many people would start is with the Bushido, “the code of conduct of the samurai” (Nitobe, x). In 1905, when noted writer Dr. Inazo Nitobe wanted to explain “why such and such ideas and customs prevail in Japan” (Nitobe, xii), he used the Bushido as his explanation. Introducing the Bushido as the Japan’s “Precepts of Knighthood” (Nitobe, 4), he then proceeded to lay out the various values and tenets that consist of its make-up.
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