Bushido (武士道?, "the way (or the moral) of the warrior") is a Japanese term for the samurai way of life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry in Europe. The "way" itself originates from the samurai moral values, most commonly stressing some combination of frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honor until death. Born from Neo-Confucianism during times of peace in Tokugawa Japan and following Confucian texts, Bushido was also influenced by Shinto and Zen Buddhism, allowing the violent existence of the samurai to be tempered by wisdom and serenity. Bushidō developed between the 16th and 20th centuries, debated by pundits who believed they were building on a legacy dating back to the 10th century, although some scholars have noted that the term bushidō itself is "rarely attested in pre modern literature", but it was frequently alluded in Japanese culture and literature.
The Bushidō code is typified by eight virtues:
- Righteousness (義 gi)
Be acutely honest throughout your dealings with all people. Believe in justice, not from other people, but from yourself. To the true warrior, all points of view are deeply considered regarding honesty, justice and integrity. Warriors make a full commitment to their decisions.
- Heroic Courage (勇 yū)
Hiding like a turtle in a shell is not living at all. A true warrior must have heroic courage. It is absolutely risky. It is living life completely, fully and wonderfully. Heroic courage is not blind. It is intelligent and strong.
- Benevolence, Compassion (仁 jin)
Through intense training and hard work the true warrior becomes quick and strong. They are not as most people. They develop a power that must be used for good. They have compassion. They help their fellow man at every opportunity. If an opportunity does not arise, they go out of their way to find one.
- Respect (礼 rei)
True warriors have no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. Warriors are not only respected for their strength in battle, but also by their dealings with others. The true strength of a warrior becomes apparent during difficult times.
- Integrity (誠 makoto)
When warriors say that they will perform an action, it is as good as done. Nothing will stop them from completing what they say they will do. They do not have to 'give their word'. They do not have to 'promise'. Speaking and doing are the same action.
- Honour (名誉 meiyo)
Warriors have only one judge of honor and character, and this is themselves. Decisions they make and how these decisions are carried out are a reflection of whom they truly are. You cannot hide from yourself.
- Duty and Loyalty (忠義 chūgi)
Warriors are responsible for everything that they have done and everything that they have said, and all of the consequences that follow. They are immensely loyal to all of those in their care. To everyone that they are responsible for, they remain fiercely true.
- Self-Control (自制 jisei)