Guide The Spirit of the Samurai

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Wisdom: Ascertaining the true nature of things, always cultivating knowledge.

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Fidelity: Showing trust and trustworthiness, working to fulfill promises given by word if not by contract. Loyalty: Showing voluntary faithfulness to loved ones, while not being faithful or submitting to superiors one does not respect.

Samurai Shodown II - Haohmaru (Arcade) Level 8

In other words, Fidelity only exists in the presence of Sincerity. Bushido, the foundation of the samurai, teaches a path for people to live as people.

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Therefore, a samurai avoids meaningless killing and never draws their sword except in extreme situations. Some hypothesize that its asymmetric limbs—the grip is positioned two-thirds distance from the tip—is meant for ease of use while on horseback, but evidence suggests that its form predates mounted warfare.

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  • With time, such armor became purely decorative, a status symbol passed on from generation upon generation of noble families. One of the displayed swords is mounted in the higo koshirae style associated with the Hosokawa clan. The third lord of Kumamoto, Tadatoshi Hosokawa, is perhaps best known as the patron of Musashi Miyamoto, legendary swordsman and author of the 17th century text The Book of the Five Rings; the current clan leader was a former prime minister of Japan.

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    There is a move that all cinema samurai make after slicing through an opponent, a swish and flick to remove blood before sheathing. In real life, chiburi was less about sword maintenance and more about expressing zanshin, the state of relaxed awareness brought about by martial activity. In comparison, the tanto is a nondescript blade, lacking the elegance and status of the katana.

    But it has honor in spades—being the weapon of choice for seppuku, the ritualized disembowelment performed by military officers who chose an honorable death over capture.

    Inazō Nitobe, Bushido: The Spirit of the Samurai - PhilPapers

    The tanto is plunged deep into the abdomen, then drawn from left to right to slice it open. Done properly, the resulting cut will cause a swift death by exsanguination. From the violent Sengoku civil wars emerged the beginnings of specialist schools teaching martial arts techniques and a mindset accepting of the forfeiture of life.

    The relative peace of the Tokugawa era contributed to the transition of martial technique from offense to self-defense, its crystallization into kata predetermined sequences , and the shift from clan combat to inter-school competition.

    ISBN 13: 9781590302903

    A smaller room in the exhibit features different Japanese martial arts, and often there is a description not just of the fighting style but also of a philosophy. Described as a cross between a sword and spear, but with a curved blade meant for cutting, the naginata was a useful combat weapon in the days of mounted warriors, enabling foot soldiers to dismount and disable riders.

    But while it became less useful as a combat weapon for men, women continued to use it as their weapon of choice: because it kept opponents at a distance, the naginata helped reduce height or strength advantages. Emphasizing form and grace over brute force, training in naginata was believed to help instill the virtues of harmony, order, chastity, and moderation.

    Bushido: The Spirit of the Samurai

    It was also handy for self-defense. Archery plays a central role in a number of Shinto ceremonies—the noise of a kaburaya whistling arrow is believed to ward off evil spirits—hence the popularity of the archer priestess character in popular literature. If you squint hard enough, the gi could pass for something Luke Skywalker would wear on Tattoine, and the hakama could very well be part of any fashionable Jedi wardrobe—perhaps while they practice their lightsaber kata?

    And as long as these artifacts of the samurai age exist, then so does the spirit of its time.

    Bushido: The Spirit of the Samurai

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