Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Dark side of Bushido. Bushido as an ethical standard

The objective of the text is to consider negative aspects of bushido. I start from a hypothesis that the reception of bushido is partial and inadequate, because apologists for bushido often are not aware of or hide the dark side of the samurai‘s codex. Next I demonstrate, mainly based on Hagakure and historical relations, that Nitobe‘s vision of bushido is idealized. I consider an argument that we should not judge bushido in the context of its perversions, because they are based on misunderstanding of samurai‘s codex. The result of the consideration is that mentioned argument is not so strong as apologists of bushido think. I point out that aspects of bushido, which cannot be accepted from the perspective of humanistic and Christian values. And last but not least, I show that bushido, understood as an ethical system, is contradictory.
In the article I use three methods: analytical, hermeneutical, and comparative method.