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The Japanese code of Honor and attitude toward death

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dgjorsdvx
06-25-2014
06:07 AM ET (US)
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23
shopping
09-21-2011
03:47 AM ET (US)
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22
Spam deleted by QuickTopic 08-24-2011 10:50 PM
21
Markus
07-20-2011
10:10 AM ET (US)
Speaking of the Japanese code of Honor, this blog post reveals how to make people want to be social with you:

http://www.socialanxietycures.org/social-a...-be-social-with-you
  Spam messages 20-18 deleted by QuickTopic between 07-14-2011 08:14 AM and 04-12-2011 06:44 AM
17
jackey
02-24-2011
06:57 AM ET (US)
Blu ray to AVI
  Spam messages 16-13 deleted by QuickTopic between 08-30-2010 07:24 AM and 05-16-2008 02:03 AM
12
Phoebe Ndoro
12-15-2002
11:56 AM ET (US)
I found the Hagakurre to be a particularly interesting book. It made me aware of how how "honour" has a different meaning and is expressed differently in a variety of cultures.
For instance, the Hagakure disucsses how revenge is honorable : "The way of revenge lies simply in forcing one's way into a place and being cut down. There is no shame in this".(29)
The Samurai is justified in seeking revenge and is expected to commit revenge at any cost to himself. Even if the odds are stacked against him and he dies without accomplishing much revenge, his death is still honorable because it was his determination and will that counts, and not necessarily the results. "No matter if the enemy has thousands of men, there is fulfillment in simply standing them off nd being determined to cut them all down".
This contrasts strongly with the Christian religion, which places an emphasis that NOT seeking revenge, despite the temptaion to do so, is honrable.As the New Testament says that if a person slaps you, you should turn the other cheek.
11
Evie Thibault
11-25-2002
10:48 AM ET (US)
Hagakure passage, from page 45:
Lord Naoshige said, "The Way of the Samurai is in desperateness. Ten men or more cannot kill such a man. Common sense will not accomplish great things. Simply become insane and desperate.
"In the Way of the Samurai, if one uses discrimination, he will fall behind. One needs neither loyalty nor devotion, but simply to become desperate in the Way. Loyalty and devotion are of themselves within desperation."

I found this passage quite interesting because, on first glance, I thought it contradicted many of the other passages in the book. But, the actual word that Wilson translated into "insane and desperate" is shinigurai, which means "being crazy to die." It is similar to shiniguur, which means death frenzy.

Throughout this book, I was struck by the vast number of things one must do and consider to be the perfect samuraii. The Way seemed so complicated, with admonissions to compassion, avoiding conflict, raising children that know how to behead, taking vengeance immediately, not talking, asking advice of others, dressing well, and wearing cloves to ward off illness. But, in this passage, the essence of the Way is very simple. Be glad to die, and the rest of the elements of the Way will follow. If you have nothing to lose, if you've accepted death, you will win. The man who cares less about himself will take greater risks, and the greater the risk the greater the payoff. It reminds me of one big game of chicken. If you are insane and desperate, you will not veer off of the road before your oponent.

The idea that "loyalty and devotion are of themselves within desperation" is intriguing. I can't quite wrap my mind around "desperation" as a word with positive connotations. But if desperation is the surrendering of oneself such that "self" disappears, it is the perfect word for the samurai. Loyalty and devotion are the result of someone else being more important to you than yourself. The samuraii's devotion to his master is complete to the point of committing suicide upon his death (when he is allowed to do so).

More than any other reading, this book has helped me to understand the mind of the martyr. If one has already given up his entire life in the service of another (which could be a person, cause, or deity), death is a very short jump. To live as if you are dead is not to live dispassionately or ineffectively, but simply to live as if you have nothing left to lose. Dying as a martyr makes a powerful statement of loyalty, but it is also just a logical step in the surrender of self.
10
Katie McConnaughey
11-25-2002
03:36 AM ET (US)
It was so difficult to pick only one passage in the Hagakure, as there are so many interesting angles from which to look at this work. One thing that really struck me about the role of the Samurai within society is in regard to the perfection of their conduct. Not only are they expected to consistently behave in a distinguished manner (“It is because a samurai has correct manners that he is admired (pg. 31)”), but he is also expected to inform others of their wrongdoings, albeit in an extremely polite fashion. Thus, on pg. 21, I find the following passage to be interesting:
 “To give a person one’s opinion and correct his faults is an important thing. It is compassionate and comes first in matters of service. But the way of doing this is extremely difficult. To discover the good and bad points of a person is an easy thing, and to give an opinion concerning them is easy, too. For the most part, people think that they are being kind by saying the things that others find distasteful or difficult to say. But if it is not received well, they think that there is nothing more to be done…by bringing shame to a person, how could one expect to make him a better man?”

To me, this shows some of the confusion surrounding the behavior of the samurai. They are expected to uphold these moral and behavioral codes through not only themselves, but by enforcing these standards upon less “well-behaved” individuals, although they are not to do this in a pushy sense or to insult the other individual. The goal here is to simply help the person to be the best possible version of themselves. In doing this, though, it is only natural for a feeling of superiority upon the part of the samurai in the subject area that he is correcting. So, for the samurai, where does helpfulness end and when do feelings of superiority become established? If a samurai is supposed to regard The Way as a constant learning process for himself and is constantly aware of his own inconsistencies, when and why does he then sometimes have the ability to correct others in their behavior? It is strictly the societal status?
9
Katie McConnaughey
11-25-2002
03:13 AM ET (US)
I found Silence to be absolutely fascinating. More than anything, it was Rodrigues’ complete love for Christ that I found most compelling: “I am always fascinated by the face of Christ just like a man fascinated by the face of his beloved (pg. 22),” and “From childhood I have clasped that face to my breast just like the person who romantically idealizes the countenance of the one he loves. While I was still a student, studying in the seminary, if ever I had a sleepless night, his beautiful face would rise up in my heart (pg. 44).” When I read these short statements and then put them into the context of one willing to die for Christ, I found them even more touching. It brought me back to our discussion on the very first day of class when asked if any of us had anyone in our lives that we were willing to die for. I am not articulating this very well at this late hour, but I just find this parallel to be particularly moving. For Rodrigues, Christ is not a distant and unapproachable deity, but a very real and very personal figure for whose sake he is willing to perish. Likening Christ to a human love makes the Christian martyrdom ordeal very different and perhaps, somewhat easier to bear, keeping in mind that through death it is then possible to be united with that “beloved.”
8
Ana M. Pardo
11-25-2002
01:14 AM ET (US)
Silence is incredible! I appreciated Rodrigues honesty about himself and his doubts.
“Supposing God does not exist…[…] I knew well, of course, that the greatest sin against God was despair; but the silence of God was something I could not fathom.” (p 68-69)
Here we have a priest whose life is about believing in god and whose issue on questioning god evolves; from externalizing his expectations and wanting to receive an answer or sign from god, Rodrigues internalizes his doubts and thoughts to bring an answer from himself. This process was not evident at all to me until I read the last line of the book.. “Even if he had been silent, my life until this day would have spoken of him.” All of a sudden god becomes what people make of him and believers’ lives are not defined solely by divine providence and acceptance of reality but by their acts. The Christian’s purpose becomes then to do what Jesus would have done in that situation.
 Here, Judgment is shared, Rodrigues finds freedom in bending the rules of the church to act like Jesus would and speak for him. There is appropriation of the faith and there is confidence on god but more importantly on humanity- I really liked this idea.
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