Bushido is a Japanese term for a code of ethics and is the way in which a lot of fighters choose to live their lives. The movement started in Ancient Japan, with the samurai warriors and shogun, who would adopt the principles and teachings of Bushido to live their lives the way they thought best. Many of these guys also used Bushido as a way of forging highly successful careers as warriors or military generals.
So, what is Bushido, and how does it fit into life? Well, it’s to do with the way fighters live their lives and carry out their careers. It revolves around a code of honor and ethics – unwritten principles that fighters should be following to get the best out of their lives and enrich their fighting experiences. There are considered to be 8 fundamental virtues of Bushido: righteousness, courage, compassion, respect, integrity, honor, loyalty, and self-control. Here are some of the most prominent figures who followed the Bushido way of life.
Sakanoue no Tamuramaro
This guy was a renowned shogun, a Japanese military warrior who had a famed and legendary military career. He was around in the Heian period of Ancient Japan, and he was only the second man ever to be awarded the title of shogun. As a result of his military prowess, and his Bushido lifestyle, Tamuramaro gained a lot of respect both during and after his career. It is said that the famous Tanabata festivals were first held as a mark of remembrance for his stellar career and impact.
One of the most famous samurais who ever lived, Honda Tadakatsu is also one of the earliest followers of Bushido. Once the shogun evolved from a military body into a civilian entity, Tadakatsu struggled to adapt to a life out of the military. His legend in battle was such that many claimed he never sustained a single injury in over 100 battles. This led to him being given the nickname ‘The Warrior Who Surpassed Death Itself.’ He was considered one of the finest samurai to ever live, and his Bushido way of life was a big part of this.
Tsunetomo was a famed samurai active in Japan during the Saga Domain. He is known for being one of the most skilled and respected samurais in the nation and dedicated 30 years to serving his lord Nabeshima Mitsushige. Following his master’s death, Tsunetomo exiled himself from the world and lived as a nomad in the mountains. He started to chronicle the teachings and wisdom of the samurai, which were later written and published under the title Hagakure. Even still, this is considered one of the principal teachings of Bushido in Japan.
The way of Bushido may not be very well-known outside of some pockets of Japan, but it is an important cultural way of life. We can learn so much from the samurai and the way they chose to do things. Putting the maximum effort and discipline into everything they do, honor, code, and loyalty was a massive part of these guys lives and careers. The three examples we’ve given on this list are just a few of the best and most influential military fighters in Japanese history. All of them practiced the Bushido way of life and set the benchmark for many of the later teachings of Bushido.