Samurai were determined and dedicated warriors & they lived a very disciplined life. They followed the way of the Warrior (Bushido). They raised the bar and encountered many difficulties. They set very high standards in every aspect of life and they expected a lot from themselves. Self-discipline was the key to this philosophy.
When I read the book Hagakure The Book of the Samurai I found some things that every man should implement in his life. It also gave me some great insight into the life’s and virtues of the Samurai.
Here are Bushido’s Seven Virtues
I. GI – Justice or Rectitude
This is making sure that you are on the right way when you make a decision. That you can make a decision quickly. It’s making sure that you do not become indecisive and that your decisions are made and based on the right reasons.
II. YUUKI – Courage
This is making sure that you do the right thing and that you have the courage to do it. It makes sure that you listen to yourself and do what you believe in and not what people think you should do.
III. JIN – Benevolence
The Samurai were Warriors so they had the skill to kill. However, benevolence is about making sure that you are balanced in how you think. This virtue tells you to have sympathy and mercy at the right time.
IV. REI – Respect
Respect is an attitude of consideration or high regard; good opinion, honour and admiration. Respect is a poor virtue if it’s motivated only by a fear of offending good taste.
V. MAKOTO – Truthfulness/Honesty
Honesty was very important for the Samurai. Their believe was that being honest in everything you do gives you respect and that means you can be trusted.
VI. MEIYO – Honour
Seppuku (stomach cutting) was used either voluntarily by samurai to die with honour rather than fall into the hands of their enemies.
VII. CHUUGI – Loyalty
The samurai treated each other like family and would do everything within their power to protect and help their comrades. Loyalty was important because it meant they can trust each other.
Those are some great virtues and we should take note of them, take them to heart and start to implement those virtues into our life.
Let’s move on to some Life Lessons from the Samurai we covered the Bushido but there is much more to learn from those Warriors.
Quotes from the Book “Hagakure The Book of the Samurai”
The Way of the Samurai says that you have to be aware because you do not know and can not what is going to happen next. Victory and defeat are matters of the temporary force of circumstances.
When meeting difficult situations, one should dash forward bravely and with joy.
When you have to deal with disasters or difficult situations, it is not enough to simply say one is not at all nervous or anxious. When you are facing difficult situations, you should face it bravely and with joy.
A warrior is a person who does things quickly.
In the words of the ancients, one should make his decisions within seven breathes. Lord Takanobu said, “If discrimination is long, it will spoil.” Lord Naoshige said, “When matters are done leisurely, seven out of ten will turn out badly. A warrior is a person who does things quickly.”
Death is always at one’s door, one should make sufficient effort and act quickly.
The Way of the Samurai is, morning after morning, the practice of death, considering whether it will be here or be there, imagining the most sightly way of dying, and putting one’s mind firmly with death. Although this may be a most difficult thing, if one will do it, it can be done. Human life is truly a short affair. Death is always at one’s door, one should make sufficient effort and act quickly.
A person rises from the humble to the higher classes because he has value.
To feel and think that a person of no family cannot do the same work as one of a higher family, or that a man who has been only a foot soldier shouldn’t be allowed to become a leader, is extremely wrong thinking. As for a person who has risen from the humble, his value should be prized and especially respected even MORE than that of a person who was born into his class.
One cannot accomplish great things simply with cleverness.
One must take a broad view. It will not do to make rash judgments concerning good and evil. However, one should not be sluggish. It is said the one is not truly a Samurai if he does not make his decisions quickly and break right through to completion.
If one has not previously mastered his mind and body, he will not defeat the enemy.
Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending.
The Samurai were men of few words. However they would ask questions and listen carefully.
They had an outstanding work ethic. They worked in bad weather because they believed that it made them mentally tough and strong.
They disliked any kind of comfort because they believed it would make them weak.
In order to progress in life, one had to improve every day in every aspect.
Be like them become a Samurai a Warrior of great Discipline, amazing Work ethic, Strength, Intellect, Courage and Honour. Incorporate their values into your life and you’ll see improvements in every aspect of your life.
As always thanks for reading and until next time.
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