Bushido Illustrated

The Soul of Japan

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Pub Date 14 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 14 Sep 2021
Amber Books Ltd, Amber Books

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Description

“Chivalry is a flower no less indigenous to the soil of Japan than cherry blossom” are the opening words to Inazo Nitobe’s Bushido: The Soul of Japan. It was 1900 and Inazo, a Japanese academic living in the USA, had been prompted to write the book after an American professor had wondered how the Japanese imparted moral education on their children if schools didn’t offer any religious instruction. The answer, Inazo realised, was through Bushido. Bushido is the chivalric code of moral principles that the Samurai followed: rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honour and loyalty. Influenced by Confucianism, Shinto and Zen Buddhism, it tempers the violence of a warrior with wisdom and serenity. Alongside Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Machiavelli’s The Prince, Inazo’s book has become influential among military and corporate leaders looking for ways to manage their people and overcome their opponents. Beautifully produced in traditional Chinese binding and with a timeless design, Bushido Illustrated: The Soul of Japan includes the classic Inazo Nitobe text with a new introduction and colourful illustrations throughout. It will appeal to anyone interested in leadership, the code of the Samurai and Japanese culture.

“Chivalry is a flower no less indigenous to the soil of Japan than cherry blossom” are the opening words to Inazo Nitobe’s Bushido: The Soul of Japan. It was 1900 and Inazo, a Japanese academic...


A Note From the Publisher

Please note the printed edition is hand bound in a traditional style with an imitation cloth cover.

Please note the printed edition is hand bound in a traditional style with an imitation cloth cover.


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781838860899
PRICE £19.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

What an incredible book! I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but I've really been blown away. I need to start by saying this book isn't exactly for the casual reader. Written in the early 1900's, the language is as poetic as it is academic, and will be complicated to follow for anyone not used to this formal style. It is an exploration of Bushido, also known as the way of the Samurai, but on a much deeper scale than many popular Western interpretations. The author takes us through the defining principles of Bushido, alongside a profound exploration of Western similarities, both cultural and spiritual. The author does profess deep Christian beliefs, and this gets woven into his examination of the Japanese vs European culture at each stage. Sometimes it felt like he was apologising for any practices that might go against the grain of the Christian faith, which marred it a bit for me as my focus was the Japanese culture and belief system itself, rather than Western ideals. However, it was written so beautifully, it hardly mattered most of the time. Once I'd gotten used to the flow of the language, I found it a fascinating read. Some of the chapters were more difficult to process than others, (the hara-kiri one for example) while some took me completely by surprise (fascinated by the chapter on women in the Bushido world and the teachings/expectations laid out for them)! The essential moral code and the unique perspective it brings to the Japanese culture even now (from my own outside perspective) is truly incredible. It is a book I'd recommend dipping into if you're not used to it, as it can be quite heady. The chapters are well defined, and are complemented by 67 stunning traditional illustrations & paintings. The whole layout and design of the book is really a visual treat, and I'm very keen to get my hands on the Chinese cloth-bound hard copy! Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me take a look at this stunning advance copy, and I'd highly recommend it for anyone with serious (perhaps more scholarly) interest in Bushido specifically, or in Japan's history and culture in general.

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