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#351118 - 07/12/07 10:40 AM a definition of budo
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
"budo is about learning to die"

this one has been on my mind constantly, any thoughts?
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#351119 - 07/12/07 11:28 AM Re: a definition of budo [Re: student_of_life]
freedom_warrior Offline
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Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 23
one cannot learn to die, one can only learn to accept death as a natural part of life.
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#351120 - 07/12/07 12:14 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: freedom_warrior]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
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Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
its been a while since i posted, i forgot how every thing ahs to be worded just so,lol.

well then, budo is preperation for death?
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#351121 - 07/12/07 12:25 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: student_of_life]
jkdwarrior Offline
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Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
Since our natural instinct is to survive, it is very difficult to completely come to terms with the fact that we are going to die without fearing it. So many people say they aren't afraid to die, but they really are. I've done many hours of meditation on this subject and I still fear it. This anxiety however has decreased substantially over the years and I believe that when it does happen I'll be that bit more prepared and it will pass easier.
Its kind of like the way of the warrior. To be willing to lay down your life if necessary is the optimum fighting spirit.
_________________________
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#351122 - 07/12/07 12:28 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: jkdwarrior]
freedom_warrior Offline
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Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 23
i think budo is about adapting but in a way i think it is about accepting that death will come so yeah in a way budo is preperation for death
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#351123 - 07/21/07 12:05 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: freedom_warrior]
ButterflyPalm Offline
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Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
This distasteful idea is from a bygone era where political masters purely for self-preservation and or political objectives brainwashed their glorified bodyguards (aka samurais) into thinking that death in battle (especially in the defence of the master himself) is of the highest honour attainable.

The warrior -- "Bushi" -- did not die for himself or for any high moral principle -- "Budo" -- he died for his master and only his master; "Budo" was there to make it palatable, both for the pitiful Bushis and his family.

This same idea was drumed into those pitiful kamikazi pilots of WWII and now we see the same thing being used in the religious indoctrination of suicide bombers.

Everything except the packaging remains the same.

You are born to live! Death is but a negation of Life, not its objective.
_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#351124 - 07/21/07 03:08 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: ButterflyPalm]
student_of_life Offline
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Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
good point, death for a master who is not deserving of the service is a sad idea. a way to use people, keep them ingorant and keep their minds busy, then their "masters" would be free to do damn near anything, only having to but yank the chain to get things done.

we see the same thing almost every where as well. every thing form the amercian dream, to death in service, to having multiple wives, so subserveant indivuadls in any relationship. without debating thses spefic topics, cause we'd get locked, i agree that the theme is a prety sad one.

i've always had second thoughts when i read about the saumrai living to serve like that. a kind of "i don't think so tim" kind of feeling.

the budo im talking about is different then dieing for anyone like that. i guess im trying to work out a kind of personal budo. more like a lack of dependance on anything, getting to the root of wants and "needs",and forcing myself out of safety zones and unproductive circular thinking. it feelslike a constant kind of race to keep your head out of the sand to see for your self what the real colour of things is. instead of having to take any one's word for it. and not falling into a "im sure their telling me the truth" frame of mind, indulging in a false sense of safety.

like i should only have to see the sun rise once to know how beautiful it is. if while it was rising i was thinking about what happened yesterday, or what i was going to do today, i would miss it, and if i died before the next sunrise, i would always regret not being clear minded enough to just sit there and take it all in.

being ready for death is being completly in what im doing now, don't regret the las second, don't worry about the next.

thoughts? tips? pointers?
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its not supposed to make sense

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#351125 - 07/21/07 10:16 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: student_of_life]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
In Bushido, the way of the warrior is the resolute acceptance of death. When death comes, it is "your time", and it should, as the poem "Thanatopsis" says be greeted as welcome, and not feared.

http://www.bartleby.com/102/16.html


You have to have an understanding of the society where Budo and Bushido come from, and it was a feudal society. Above all other things, loyalty to your "Lord" was demanded and expected, and "above all things, loyalty" was the code of the Samurai. The clans of Japan each had leaders and Lords that ruled over them, and the order of the society was kept by the Samurai and their brutally strict laws.

As Western influences drew Japan away from the feudal social structure, the foundations of Budo were shaken, and much of its essence was lost. Nitobe's book on Bushido, and the Hakagure (rules for the Samurai) give you a clear insight into exactly what was expected of warriors, and a good understanding of how Samurai were to conduct themselves.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#351126 - 07/21/07 10:42 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: wristtwister]
WuXing Offline
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Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
I think people are confusing Budo and Bushido. Maybe they represent the same thing to some people...in my understanding, "Budo" means "martial way". It is the word they use to describe the actual martial arts as a whole (especially the homogenized versions compiled from the various "jutsu" developed during the feudal period); kendo, iaido, judo, naginatado, kyudo, etc.
"Bushido" is the Way of the Warrior, the code developed for the samurai to follow, including absolute loyalty to one's lord and willingness to die. Practicing Budo would be a part of Bushido, but following Bushido may not necessarily have to be a part of Budo. To some, I'm sure the two are inextricable, but in modern times especially I think "bushido" is pretty much extinct.

However, being able to eschew the fear of death is an excellent goal, and practicing martial arts is one thing that can lead in that direction. This does not mean you want to die, but that you move forward without hesitation when you need to. When it is time to act, you act without regret. When it is time to stay still, you stay still without doubt. Doing what is natural, without over-thinking and analyzing everything...being in touch with the Tao.

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#351127 - 07/22/07 12:17 AM Re: a definition of budo [Re: wristtwister]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
that was a very sobering poem wristtwiser, thanks for sharing it.
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#351128 - 07/22/07 11:59 AM Re: a definition of budo [Re: WuXing]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Like everything of the "Eastern" genre, the concepts of Budo are held in many things. You're exactly right that Bushido is the Code of the Warrior, just as the Hakagure is the "rules" for a warrior, and neither of them are actual Budo... however, Budo would be impossible without them.

Eyrie and I constantly talk about Aikido being like an onion, with layer upon layer of technique, method,centering,... all of which are "pieces of the whole". Budo is also like that.

One may study an art for years and never scratch the surface of Budo, depending on how they practice and what their philosophy of training is.

"Training with intent" is another item. If we're doing bokken practice, I'm trying to hit you... plain and simple. My built in restraint will stop me from hitting you only inches before I strike your body, but my intent is to hit you with that weapon. I will be hitting you full speed, and full power... hence, the need for "control". That is what I've meant every time I've ever said "control"... the ability to stop the technique at any point in the strike (either before the target, or after)

Bushido, the code of conduct for Samurai, defines the actions and thoughts that should be held as a warrior. It defines the thought processes involved in what regulates your actions, and what defines your conduct as a warrior. With Bushido, you should be conducting yourself properly, and establishing yourself through your training.

The Hakagure defines "rules" of conduct, and specifically initiates certain behaviors that are expected of warriors. You have to remember when the book was written, during feudal times which are 100 years gone in Japan, so their applications are somewhat muted in today's society, but the principles of the conduct is still good and can be upheld.

You nailed it here...
Quote:

However, being able to eschew the fear of death is an excellent goal, and practicing martial arts is one thing that can lead in that direction. This does not mean you want to die, but that you move forward without hesitation when you need to. When it is time to act, you act without regret. When it is time to stay still, you stay still without doubt. Doing what is natural, without over-thinking and analyzing everything...


Well put...
The reason I have my post script selected is to put that focus into a real world involvement. If we don't use our knowledge to make the world a better place, we are doomed to live in a world that is a worse place... so focus is also an attribute of Budo.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#351129 - 07/22/07 07:52 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
s_o_l,

Perhaps this will help...
http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=224

There are 2 certainties in life - taxes is one of them.... the uncertainties in life is what makes life interesting and challenging.

Personally, the whole "preparing for death" idea seems like a total waste of time to me. Time is all we have in this short life, and I'll be damned if I have to prepare my tax return as well as my funeral. I'm sure I have better things to do than that.... like um... wine, women, and song?

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#351130 - 07/23/07 12:48 AM Re: a definition of budo [Re: eyrie]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Quote:

...wine, women, and song?





Death & Taxes?

wine -- a taxed item;

women -- some men die because of them;

song? -- hear my karaoke singing and chose one.


Wuxing,

...being in touch with the Tao.

Are we confusing Budo/Bushido with the "Tao"?

_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#351131 - 07/23/07 06:49 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: ButterflyPalm]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Perhaps my self-indulgent, hedonistic example was merely to illustrate a point that there's more to life than making pre-emptive funeral preparations...

The reality is, most food items are subject to GST... unless you're growing your own food on a self-sufficient basis.

Women, can't live with them, can't live without them, unless, of course, your sexual orientation leans the other way.

As for singing, melodious or otherwise, it's all "noise"... I think the joy that comes from doing it is what counts.... as long as it's not your rendition of Fox and Gimbel's 1971 hit...

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#351132 - 07/23/07 08:30 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: ButterflyPalm]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
No. Is there somewhere where the Tao is not? I don't think bushido is about following the Tao, but practicing martial arts can be about following the Tao (even Japanese martial arts). Does a sage go about worrying, in fear of the unknown?

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#351133 - 07/23/07 11:04 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: WuXing]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Let's not forget the Neo-Confucianist influences of Chu Hsi (Zhu Xi) during that period...

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#351134 - 07/26/07 07:54 AM Re: a definition of budo [Re: student_of_life]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Bu - martial/war

Do - way/path

one of many ways/paths to learning about yourself. since the war experience reportedly touches upon just about every profound depth of Human emotions and direct link to primitive instincts; a philosophy is built around those experiences in an attempt to make sense of it all - the alternative is insanity. A broken mind in combat is a sure path to defeat and death.

'Budo' was/is just one culture's answer to dealing with the human factor within a war setting...and the definition of 'Budo' changes with each war, and each century, to meet the needs of those utilizing it's construct.

today, the everyday 'war' people fight is different from 500 years ago. people's everyday 'war' is more metaphore than actual physical threat. -it's the spirit and philosophy of the metaphore that loosely connects to the physical intent of the past....giving the 'Budo' of today.

...from one point of view, anyway.

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#351135 - 07/26/07 08:16 AM Re: a definition of budo [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Posts: 6772
furthering the thought...
every culture and time have their popular ways of dealing with the war experience. 'codes', 'philosophies', 'justifications', 'loyalties to a god(s)', etc.

They are all interchnagable and replacable ways that Human's cope with the larger forces around them. most of the time, the 'way' is exposed to someone early-on thru the culture they are exposed to.
As the world grows smaller, more people are exposed to more cultures and 'ways'. 'Budo' is a Japanese export to the world. but many Japanese budoka would say that if you aren't Japanese, you'll never really truely understand Budo. Partly, I think they are right since it is tied closely to culture - just like someone who's never lived in the US might never really 'get' American senses of humor. But in some measure, it's also about protectionism, pride, and culture-biased discrimination - you only see what they export....which cloud/distort definitions of Budo.

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#351136 - 08/03/07 05:18 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: Ed_Morris]
caltrop Offline
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Registered: 07/22/06
Posts: 10
I'm probably going to be completely hacking the heck out of the literal meaning of budo and bushido, since I'm not an expert on the two terms, but couldn't 'willingness to die' also be read as willingness to give up pleasure, comfort, and personal choice in sacrifice to something greater than yourself?

There is a lot of this in the special operations forces of the military, and their commitment to 'the mission'. This is a stretch here, but it's not like they teach you this stuff verbatim in your training. I think that perhaps the human mind tends to move in this direction when undergoing the long-term suffering and discipline of these types of units. This could explain why you see a lot of it (although it's not called budo or bushido) in special ops, and why we may also see it as a result of eastern martial tradition.

We have many Bushis (budokas?) in our armed forces right now, even though they don't know that's what they are.

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#351137 - 08/03/07 05:30 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: eyrie]
JMWcorwin Offline
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Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
It's not about pre-emptive funeral preparations. We're just talking accepting the inevitability of death so that the fear of it doesn't cause you to hesitate in battle... thereby speeding the process along.


Not preparing for death. Accepting death as a given. Less fear, less hesitation, more time for the tortures of wine, women and song.

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There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

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#351138 - 08/05/07 10:20 AM Re: a definition of budo [Re: caltrop]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I'm no expert on the subject either, but like most everyone else contributing on forums - I still have an opinion anyway

the 'willingness to die' idea was an imperial Japan WWII invention. It was a extremists perversion of 'bushido code' that was propagandized to their own soldiers/people in a form of brainwashing leading to kamikaze and dare-to-die justification.

Along the same lines of any extremist group which warps ideals of popular doctorine in order to further their own agenda. sound familiar?

From my reading, pre-Meiji Samurai ideals promoted fearlessness, honor and shrewd tactics - not suicide IN battle. A distinct difference - but you can see how the ideal can be molded.


back to Budo...as with bushido ideals, the definition of Budo is dependant upon the time period. Today's everyday Budoka has more internal battles than external threat. Hence, some say, the difference between Bu-Do vs. Bu-Jutsu. however, some argue that both views have always complimented and contain each other.

It's through the external training, that a Budoka gets to their internal battlefield. ...but I don't think you need the term 'Budo' to do that - no need to get caught up in foreign terms which could lead to romanticism (maybe the difference between 'lusting' vs 'loving' an Art?).
Anyone who challenges themselves and perseveres is fighting the same battles, regardless of what they call it.

like I mentioned...just my take on the subject.

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#351139 - 08/05/07 05:00 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: Ed_Morris]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I would defer to Musashi's "Book of Five Rings"...
"It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way. Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death. Although not only warriors but priests, women, peasants and lowlier folk have been known to die readily in the cause of duty or out of shame, this is a different thing. The warrior is different in that studying the Way of strategy is based on overcoming men. By victory gained in crossing swords with individuals, or enjoining battle with large numbers, we can attain power and fame for ourselves or for our lord. This is the virtue of strategy. "

and this commentary:

Resolute acceptance of death
This idea can be summed up as the philosophy expounded in Ha Gakure or "Hidden Leaves", a book written in the seventeenth century by Yamamoto Tsunenori and a few other samurai of the province Nabeshima Han, present-day Saga. Under the Tokugawas, the enforced logic of the Confucius-influenced system ensured stability among the samurai, but it also meant the passing of certain aspects of Bushido. Discipline for both samurai and commoners became lax. Yamamoto Tsunenori had been counsellor to Mitsushige, lord of Nabeshima Han, for many years, and upon his lord's death he wanted to commit suicide with his family in the traditional manner. This kind of suicide was strictly prohibited by the new legislation, and, full of remorse, Yamamoto retired in sadness to the boundary of Nabeshima Han. Here he met others who had faced the same predicament, and together they wrote a lament of what they saw as the decadence of Bushido. Their criticism is a revealing comment on the changing face of Japan during Musashi's lifetime: "There is no way to describe what a warrior should do other than that he should adhere to the Way of the warrior (Bushido). I find that all men are negligent of this. There are few men who can quickly reply to the question "What is the Way of the Warrior?" This is because they do not know in their hearts. From this we can see they do not follow the Way of the warrior. By the Way of the warrior is meant death. The Way of the warrior is death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. It means nothing more than this. It means to see things through, being resolved. Sayings like "To die with your intention unrealized is to die uselessly", and so on, are from the weak Kyoto, Osaka Bushido. They are unresolved as to whether to keep to their original plan when faced with the choice of life and death. Every man wants to live. They theorize with staying alive kept in mind. "The man who lives on when he has failed in his intention is a coward" id a heartless definition. That to die having failed is to die uselessly is a mad point of view. This is not a shameful thing. It is the most important thing to the Way of the warrior. If you keep your spirit correct from morning to night, accustomed to the idea of death and resolved on death, and consider yourself as a dead body, thus becoming one with the Way of the warrior, you can pass through life with no possibility of failure and perform your office properly.
"The servant must think earnestly of the business of his employer. Such a fellow is a splendid retainer. In this house there have been generations of splendid gentlemen and we are deeply impressed by their warm kindness... all our ancestors. This was simply abandoning body and soul for sake of their lord.
"Moreover, our house excels in wisdom and technical skill. What a joyful thing if this can be used to advantage.
"Even an unadaptable man who is completely useless is a most trusted retainer if he does nothing more than think earnestly of his lord's welfare. To think only of the practical benefit of wisdom and technology is vulgar.
"Some men are prone to having sudden inspirations. SOme men do not quickly have good ideas by arrive at the answer by slow consideration. Well, if we investigate the heart of the matter, even though people's natural abilities differ, bearing in mind the Four Oaths, when your thinking rises above concern for your own welfare, wisdom which is independant of thought appears. Whoever thinks deeply on things, even though he may carefully consider the future, will usually think around the basis of his own welfare. By the result of such evil thinking he will only perform evil acts. It is very difficult for most silly fellows to rise above thinking of their own welfare.
"So when you embark upon something, before you start fix your intention on the Four Oaths and put selfishness behind you. Then you cannot fail.
"The Four Oaths: Never be late with respect to the Way of the warrior. Be useful to the lord. Be respectful to your parents. Get beyond love and grief: exist only for the good of man."

While it is archaic, it is my understanding of Budo and how Bushido fits into it.



Edited by wristtwister (08/05/07 05:25 PM)
_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#351140 - 08/05/07 09:57 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: wristtwister]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
The commentary is the archaic part. just to add a thought -

'acceptance of death' is much different from seeking death. That is, if every warrior sacrificed himself in every battle - then the war wouldn't last too long. it's strategically inferior (in a conventional battle setting) to indoctrine suicide as a policy. nonconventional warfare is another story....but we are talking about rows of samurai facing each other and clashing. fearless, for sure. trying to die? no.

today, Japanese would say that committing suicide for failing is the cowards way out. living with and learning from mistakes is much harder to do. 180 degree shift in the intepretation of budo/bushido, yet the spirit of it remains intact.

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#351141 - 08/05/07 10:24 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: Ed_Morris]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
What gets left out of that equation is that warriors only sought death as a "good" death... meaning that they died gloriously and honorably in service to their masters. Culturally, it was important for them to die with honor, and not bring shame on their families.

The rules for ritual suicide were pretty clear, and there were choices where doing one thing was dishonorable, yet suicide to prevent yourself from having to do it was honorable. It isn't simply that they "sought death", they simply had rules to determine whether it was a good death or not.

"The Last Samurai" was a movie that portrayed how Bushido worked in the Japanese culture pretty well. There were no illusions about right and wrong, and it was clear that the sellouts in the movie were traitors to their own people. While it was necessary for the Japanese to leave the feudal system and join the modern world, the movie portrays a pretty good indication of how painful the change was... for the Samurai were reduced to having no station in the society, where they were once the rulers of the provinces and villages.

It was their sense of honor that made them great.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#351142 - 08/05/07 11:29 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: wristtwister]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
understood, but the lasting image many have of 'bushido' isn't Tom Cruise...it's the WWII kamikaze - and my only point is that Samurai were not kamikazi yet both drew from the same code. clearly there was a difference in interpretation of it.

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#351143 - 08/05/07 11:55 PM Re: a definition of budo [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Nothing in life is ever truly black or white... merely different shades of gray...

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#351144 - 08/06/07 03:16 AM Re: a definition of budo [Re: eyrie]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
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Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
How about a modern soldier's perspective. I joined the military, in a time of war, expecting to deploy. Now, that keeps getting pushed back, but I know the likelihood of me seeing combat is high. Therefore, an acceptance of death is necessary to me. I could be killed in a combat situation. Obviously, Budo and Bushido today have to have a different meaning for most people in the modern world, as preparing to die in a knife fight is just plain wasteful, but the spirit of Budo does live on in the hearts of today's military personnel, regardless of nationality.

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