Bushido - 武士道 - The Samurai Way

Learn Japanese with Anime, click to learn more!


Bushido (武士道) - or bushi - is a practice, so as to be a code of honor for samurai. Bushido literally means "way of the warrior". It was an unwritten manual, which for samurai meant emphasizing loyalty, fidelity, self-sacrifice, justice, refined manners, humility, martial spirit, and, most importantly, honor above all, for a death and dignified life.

Bushido was developed between the 9th and 12th centuries. His great influence on Japan was demonstrated through writings translated from the 12th and 16th centuries. The basic development occurs through the diffusion of influences and concepts Buddhists, Shinto and Confucianists. It arose from the combination of these doctrines and religions and feudalism itself.

Another feature of Bushido is that there is a code of honor. This code has 7 precepts to follow and become a samurai of honor and dignity before your life, and before the feudal lord or your daimyo.



Through this article, and others in the future, we will see more about Japan's elite class of warriors, the Samurai. The source of this article is the Bushido Online, inspiration and even some phrases were taken from there. Don't forget to check out their website. So come on!

Influences of doctrines and religions

Buddhism is linked to bushido through the fearlessness of danger and death. Samurai are brave warriors who did not fear their death, as they believed in Buddhist teachings, for which he preached the afterlife. Therefore, they lived continuously in the yearning and "faith" to continue in their role as a warrior in their continuous reincarnations. Learning and encouraging detachment was the basis of a samurai, because with the practice of it, they became the greatest warrior caste that ever existed.

Samurai - artes marciais


Shinto is also part of Bushido's precepts. Shinto brings with it the precepts of loyalty, patriotism and reverence for its ancestors. Shinto is of great importance to their country, Japan. This patriotism that leads them to loyalty to the memory of their ancestors, the samurai committed the same loyalty to the emperor and his feudal or daimyo lord. They also believe that the Earth does not exist just to meet people's needs. "It is the sacred residence of the gods, the spirits of their ancestors ... The Earth must be cared for, protected and fed by an intense patriotism".

Confucianism is more linked to belief in relation to human beings and their families. Bushido preaches justice, benevolence, love, sincerity, honesty and self-control. And these sermons are "intimate" relationships offered by Confucianism for emphasizing filial duties between servant and teacher, father and son, husband and wife and several other distinctions. With the definition that justice is one of the main factors in the samurai code, as well as love and benevolence as a virtue of samurai.

Cultura japonesa


The way

Bushido means "Way of the Warrior", "Bushi" equal to Warrior and "do" equal to Way. Following the same direction, the ideogram for path, in Japanese, is equal to the Chinese form “Tao”, expressing a philosophical concept for a absolute. This concept gives the idea of the origin, principle and essence of all things.

“Bushido, means the total life of the warrior, his devotion to the sword, his respect for the rules dictated by Confucianism. It is not just an ethical system to be followed by social classes. It is the road of the cosmos, the sacred vestiges of Heaven, pointing out the Way ”. - The Book Of The Five Rings.

In general, a warrior is one who seeks his own path. We are all warriors, many of us are looking for the way without knowing it. To be a warrior is to have an objective and, through this, it is possible to discover your gifts and limitations. through this awareness, the warrior achieves his goal, combined with the will to overcome weaknesses, fears and limitations. Each person follows his own path. And we all do that aware of our inclination, therefore, a warrior is one who follows his specific path.


Bushido – 武士道 – o caminho samurai

Meaning of the term

The term bushi cannot be addressed to anyone. It is different, because the bushi in his studies and practices is based on surpassing men. Samurai are different in their fidelity and honor, not being honored in your life is the greatest regret of a samurai warrior. "THE warrior's word is worth more than anything”.

“When the warrior takes responsibility, he keeps his word. Those who promise and don't deliver, lose self-respect, are ashamed of their actions and their life consists of running away, they spend more energy making excuses to dishonor their word, than the warrior uses to keep his commitment. Sometimes the warrior takes on a responsibility that will result in injury. He does not repeat this attitude, but he honors what he said and pays the price for his impulsiveness. - Manual Of The Warrior Of Light.

Bushido practices

The bushi is not only the path of the "warrior" and of war, the bushi is also the path of the pen and the sword, a concept that came from ancient feudal Japan. Keeping an open mind was the duty of the nobility (bushi), so that he could master both the art of war and reading, and should appreciate both arts. Therefore, you must learn the path of all professions, learn about all subjects, appreciate the arts and when you are not engaged in military duties, you should always practice something, reading or writing, so that you can store the story in your mind ancient and general knowledge.

Bushido – 武士道 – o caminho samurai

The samurai needed to have self-control, detachment and austerity in order to maintain their honor, and that, as a result, we can say that they, the samurai, are complete warriors. And the bushido - your honor code - adds, even today, strong influences on the lifestyle of the Japanese people, offering an explanation of character, as well as their indomitable inner strength, the Japanese.

The correct behavior was followed at all times to present, in fact, a posture worthy of a samurai, without deviating from yours - true - way, the bushido. The etiquette must be followed, every day of everyday life, as well as in the war for the samurai. Sincerity and honesty are the virtues that evaluate their lives. Transcending a pact of complete fidelity and trust is linked to dignity.

Honor and dignity

“A samurai must, first of all, always keep in mind, day and night, from the morning of the new year, when he picks up the sticks for coffee, until the night of the last day of the year, when he pays his bills, the fact that that one day will die. That is your main task. ” - Bushido The Samurai Code - Daidoji Yuzan.


Bushido – 武士道 – o caminho samurai

To be a warrior is to be aware of death. If he has such a conscience, he will avoid conflicts, he will be free of diseases, besides having a personality of quality and different from other human beings. The warrior does not care about tomorrow, and that means adding character and total sincerity and consideration to other people, being deeply sincere.

Dying for unnecessary arguments could result in your dishonor and, perhaps, afflict your family's reputation and name. If the idea of death is maintained, he will be careful and liable to be discreet and will not say things that offend other people. In addition, they will not commit unhealthy excesses with food, drink and sex, using moderation, common sense and deprivation in everything, for good physical and mental health.

Miyamoto Musashi he once said: - Men must shape their way. The moment you see the path in everything you do, you will become the path.

Bushido – 武士道 – o caminho samurai


code of honor

The feudal Japan warrior class known as samurai, or bushi, achieved fame for their bravery, martial techniques, honor and for their unwavering spirit in the face of death. This reputation is due to a code of ethics and conduct, followed and lived by the warriors, known as bushido.

Bushido's precepts:

GI - Justice and Morality
Direct attitude, right reason, to decide without hesitation;

YU - Courage
Heroic bravery;

JIN - Compassion
Benevolence, sympathy, unconditional love for humanity;


KING - Politeness and Courtesy

MAKOTO - sincerity
Total truthfulness, never lying;

MEIYO - Honor

CHUGO - Duty and Loyalty
Devotion, Loyalty.

For a samurai, honoring the name of his family and ancestors is said through death in a battle or duel, however, not necessarily. And failing, before his master, was the greatest dishonor for the warrior, who at last had no choice but suicide, or seppuku as known. This is only possible by the standards that govern the samurai warrior through bushido.


There are huge books explaining all the details about bushido. It is impossible to address the whole topic in just one article. We will close the article here and thank you for reading and possible sharing.