Chivalric code of honor of the Japanese military caste, the samurai. Bushido means “the way of the warrior”; the code stresses simple living, self-discipline, and bravery.
Bushido originated during the 12th-century wars leading up to the first shogunate, but until the Edo period it was an unwritten code of loyalty and restraint. The austerity and meditative awareness of Zen Buddhism played a large part in shaping this outlook. From the 17th century there are various writings, influenced by Confucianism, explaining Bushido. The martial-arts scholar Yamaga Soko wrote several books, including Bukyo zensho/A Compendium of Military Teachings 1656. Hagakure 1717 is the collected teachings of Jocho Yamamoto (1659–1719) on the manners and inner life of the ideal samurai. Both this and Budo shoshin-shu/First Steps in Bushido by Daidoji Yuzan, which dates from the early 18th century, emphasize a constant awareness of death.
(Japanese) code of honor of Japanese military class; chivalry.