The Samurai and the Bushido Code Essay

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The samurai were élite warriors in Japan during the 1200’s to the early 1700’s. Fifth century Japan saw conflicts with Korea and China, but Japan had a very untrained army, with a clumsy Calvary, and poor infantry men (Blumberg 1). The reason was that horses were seen as a burden and were never bred to be strong, fast, and large for war purposes (Blumberg 2). In the 6th and 9th centuries, a series of rebellions in Japan began from the Emishi people of the northern home islands; these country people were very well-trained in mounted archery. The nimble Emishi would defeat the Japanese riders with ease (Blumberg 2). But during the war against the Emishi, Japan learned to breed horses for fighting, adapted new fighting methods, and developed…show more content…
When the samurai were about to engage in battle, most of them would state their rank, family name, and accomplishments. If the samurai was a high-ranked officer, the winner of the duel would have to send the head of the defeated to the capital city where the city officials and the people could see it (Clark 4). However, if the samurai was not killed by his opponent, he had to commit seppuku. Seppuku, also known as harakiri, is when a samurai must commit suicide by stabbing a knife into his abdomen and disemboweling himself. A kinsmen or friend would then cut off their heads. Seppuku was seen as more honorable than getting captured in battle or being forgiven from dishonor by an upper rank (Clark 5). It was also seen as more honorable to commit seppuku than dishonor the Bushido Code. Bushido comes from medieval Japan, but until the 1600's it was something that had to be taught by a master. It was later written down for everyone to see and understand (Hurst 16). Bushido comes from all kinds of traits. It comes from Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shintoism. All these schools of thought and religion has formed the code of the warrior that the samurai follow in their everyday life (Clark 2). Buddhism teaches the samurai that you need to detach yourself from worldly feelings, wants, and needs. This was so that the samurai would not fear danger or death (Clark 3). Zen mediation teaches the samurai how to focus to rid themselves of unsteadiness and of all

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