This paper presents an analysis of the book is dedicated to the values and identity of the Japanese samurai culture. The author talks about the bodily and spiritual Japanese culture, especially for nature and death, as it reveals the basic principles of Zen aesthetics.
Modern cultural-historical process that operating in the framework of a democratic society is focused on the formation of a strong personality, a man - "warrior" in a variety of concepts. It demonstrates the interest to the eastern military tradition and military ethics. Even now, from the perspective of a foreigner, the current generation of Japanese, regardless of age, bears the imprint of its recent past. Undoubtedly, the spiritual qualities of modern Japanese society is still under the influence of the code of the samurai.
Michael Cooper examines the ethical values of the samurai and the analogy of European history, trying to show that the ideas of the Bushido is not something exceptional. Yet, in some measure Bushido is a unique phenomenon in the world. "They came to Japan: an anthology of European reports on Japan" reveals the origins of the Japanese mentality in the context of the philosophy of the code of honor "Bushido", the base of which it is the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. It analyzes being and consciousness, moral and ethical aspects of the national character of the Japanese people and conducts a retrospective analysis of traditional and modern Japanese philosophy of life.
Japan's military tradition is relevant in today's world. These symptoms are many and varied: kabuki theater performances, film, art and literature in the style of Zen, traditional samurai costume in everyday modern Japanese or dialectical language features warrior of the Tokugawa period. Martial scheme feudal samurai traditions celebrated by Western observers in the Japanese business world, in particular the relationship between the employer and employee: a strict principle of hierarchy, discipline, respect for the rules of conduct in accordance with the ranking on the ladder. Easily recognizable presence of the past in all forms of life in contemporary Japan, according to the author is not surprising in light of the feudal past in contrast with the general direction of modern urban life. However, without a doubt, their ethics was so attractive that it will continue to impact on people's hearts for a long time. The effectiveness of modern versions of ancient martial arts is confirmed by the fact that they have had a huge impact on other national methods of combat as practiced for sporting purposes, and as part of utilitarian training programs of police and military forces.
The samurai had a decisive influence on the formation of a kind of Japanese culture and the Japanese as a nation, because they were the privileged aristocratic military caste in feudal Japan. "They came to Japan: an anthology of European reports on Japan" retrospectively captured many recognizable features of modern Japan, the Japanese way of thinking and lifestyle. Despite the fact that Christian ethics focuses on the individual and their zealous followers, it still could take its rightful place in Japan, because now there is a tendency of growth of the value of the unique personality of each person. Personal responsibility samurai fighting spirit, the art of fighting, family relationships, public debt, education, finance, ethics, and much more - all these components of military labor and everyday life of the Japanese warrior covered in "They came to Japan: an anthology of European reports on Japan" from the perspective of Japanese chivalry.
The book is written with remarkable accuracy describes the cases of bribery, corruption, bureaucratic, professional and political incompetence that occur now - so deeply rooted giving rise to their feudal and military regimes. Thus, this book is essential for anyone who wants to understand today's Japan and Japanese people. The author shows that it took several centuries of military rule, to hammer out some sort of a standard of perfect conduct samurai warrior, to make the teaching of moral and practical, to determine the personal, professional and social standards of behavior of a soldier in accordance with the historical traditions of Japanese chivalry.
The value of life in the hierarchy of human values in Western culture are no doubt the shrine, but eastern culture thanks religions (Buddhism, Zen Buddhism), or preach the rebirth of the soul in general, the absence of death, the value of earthly human life disappears. The longer the samurai will remember about death, the longer it takes to perform the duty of loyalty and the duty to keep the family. The perception of death as a daily reality brings the concept of eternity in the everyday household level, resulting in the minds of soldiers to pacify the feelings of fear.
The samurai had to cultivate, to temper the spirit and the body. A military man must never discover their inner feelings, his personal needs should be as neutral as possible, in public he had to appear in the appropriate form of his rank, to uphold the honor of his master. Formation of these qualities Samurai medieval period influenced the national character of Japanese people as a whole, define the ethical standards of behavior in society and securing the national traditions.
Acquires spiritual harmony and allows you to make the withdrawal from life in the name of justice in an aesthetically sublime ritual form. The ritual seppuku carried out by the sword, which had a central role in the life of the samurai. Sword, being closely related to the vital interests of the samurai, became a symbol of loyalty and sacrifice. For a warrior sword always acted in two ways: on the one hand, it was intended to destroy everything that stands in the way the owner of the sword, and with the other hand - to suppress the involuntary emotions generated by the instinct of self-preservation. The first function is related to the spirit of patriotism and militarism, the second corresponds religiously with the ideas of loyalty and selfless dedication. In the first meaning of the sword as it carried a destructive principle, representing a rough, demonic power. That's why the second function of the sword had to balance the destructive power of the ideals of humanity.
In no other country like Japan was not as developed etiquette of the sword - the soul of the samurai. The author notes a symbolic way of communicating with the world, other than the iconic signaling systems specific to animals. Signals are part of the physical world, the characters, being deprived of the natural or the substantial existence, have primarily functional value. And that sword is a functional value in the cultural outlook of the military class. In today's world features can be found in bushido and other martial arts. The ritual seppuku as relevant today: the Japanese tend to justify and even admire such suicides. In conclusion, the code of honor "Bushido" had a strong influence on the formation of the Japanese national character and his moral and ethical values are relevant in modern Japan.
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