Japanese Bushido Symbols

Interested in Japanese bushido symbols? Want to know their significance and meaning? Find out about the unique Japanese symbols for bushido as we take a look into the origins and meanings of the culture.

Bushido is a Japanese term that is today used for many different things from video games to martial arts competitions. It is most commonly found in Japanese tatto symbols. The question is what really is Bushido?

The term Bushido came into existence as the result of a combination of a few different words. The word Bushi actually means warrior and the Do means way. This can accurately be phrased out to mean the way of the warrior. In reality however the concept of Bushido is not as simple as it sounds. An alternative explanation of the same term is that bushido is a means to seek peace through the use of force.

The Bushido code was officially written down in 1965 although it existed in an unwritten form for many years before this time. Before it was formally written the Bushido code is thought to have existed with the house codes of different feudal lords as its base.

This reveals that the term Bushido in itself is quite a modern terminology. The famous work entitled “Bushido: The soul of Japan” by Nitobe has done well to familiarize the world with this concept.

The Bushido code has its roots in the emergence of the Samurai. Japan is greatly indebted to the Samurai because for much of its history it was the Samurai that brought it progress and stability. The spirit of communal welfare and commonality originates from the emergence of the Samurai and elemenets of bushido can still be found in many Japanese family symbols.

Thus it can be seen that the Samurai influenced the formation of Bushido which consequently had a big impact on the country itself. The concept of suicide being a noble thing in Japan also has its roots in the Samurai culture.

It is no wonder that the Bushido symbols that we find today are held in high esteem by the Japanese people. Typically the Bushido symbols are supposed to symbolize a number of zealous virtues such as courage, rectitude, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor and loyalty. Hence the symbol is something that has a positive connotation with it.

It has also been observed that Bushido has been influenced by a number of Asian religions as well. Despite the overriding influence of the Samurai we find the Bushido code taking inspiration from other Asian religions. Zen Buddhism and Confucianism are the strongest of Asian influences on Bushido. The influence of Shintoism is also apparent on Bushido.

The Bushido symbol also seeks to symbolize the ‘do what comes natural’ spirit. As this was the anti orthodox Buddhist school of thought in those times. In Bushido however you are not meant to linger because that is what causes your downfall. The higher ethics and elevated morals have been derived from Confucianism.

Many non-Japanese people are largely unaware of the history behind Bushido. Nonetheless they continue to be attracted by the symbolic representation which seems to be very aesthetically appealing. This is why it is found on a number of arts and crafts items from Japan.

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