- THE SAMURAI
TRADITION OF BUSHIDO AND KARATE-DO
- The Warrior
and the Way
after the Meiji Restoration (1868) the samurai class in
Japan was dissolved because there was no longer any need
for them since all of Japan was now unified under the
Emperor. However, the values of the samurai were not
lost, but instead they were handed down to the lower
classes as the inheritance from the warriors.
- In 1882,
the "Imperial Decree to Soldiers and Sailors"
was issued to the military. What this did was to codify
the values of bushi-do (Way of the Warrior) and apply
this samurai code of honor and strict social behavior to
the modern military training. This document advised all
soldiers and sailors to practice loyalty, obedience and
bravery; it stressed that the modern warrior was in
essence the same as the samurai of former times and so
the the tradition of the samurai class were thus given to
the modern Japanese army.
- The first
- Loyalty was
the essential duty of the soldier.
reflected the long tradition of a samurai relationship
with his Lord which held that in truth a samurai's life
indeed belonged to his lord. In the modern army this
meant that the soldiers life belonged to the Emperor and
- The second
- Courage was
essential since the trait of a fighting man is his spirit
courage there is nothing, especially on the battlefield
during hand to hand combat.
- The third
- Valor as a
trait to be admired and encouraged in the modern warrior.
behavior in the face of the enemy was not desirable; the
soldier should be able to control his emotions and act
discriminantly and correctly in battle. The article
further advised that performance of duty was one of the
more valorous acts.
- The fourth
in keeping one's word.
bearing in mind that righteousness in fulfilling one's
duty was to be honored.
- The fifth
was a samurai value.
- Luxury and
extravagance were considered effeminate and would not add
to the performance of a warriors duty, rather, they would
turn the soldier into someone who might seek material
things at the expense of his duty.
- In addition
to these basic articles, there was concern over
sincerity, a sincere effort by the soldier would allow
great achievement and satisfaction. Another element the
soldier-samurai realized that was necessary to follow the
precepts was perfection in everything he undertook and of
course there was always the strict teaching and
enforcement of courtesy and respect to higher ranks in
the military which was part of the Japanese culture.
- It is clear
that bushido with it's code of honor and social behavior
followed by the samurai class almost a thousand years ago
is the same as our dojo kun practiced in karate-do today.
- I. Samurai
era (1100- 1600) - unwritten code taught only through
- 2. Sobo
Yamaga (1622 -1685) - wrote code of ethics for Bushido.
- 3. Karate
Sakugawa (1733 -1815) - wrote Dojo Kun.
- 4. Samurai
Class dissolved (1868).
- 5. Imperial
Decree issued to military (1882).
- 6. Gichin
Funakoshi (1868 -1957) - made the Dojo Kun popular
- 7. Kenneth
Funakoshi (1938 - ) continuing Master Gichin Funakoshi's
principles to this day.
- Part the
clouds - see the way.
objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
- of the
human spirit through physical and mental training."