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Bushido
___Bushido is the moral code of the samurai class. Based on Confucian ideas, it originated in the Kamakura Period and reached perfection in the Edo Period (1603-1867). It puts emphasis on loyalty, self-sacrifice, justice, sense of shame, refined manners, purity, modesty, frugality, martial, spirit, honor, affection, etc.

___The glorification of death which prevailed in samurai thinking goes back to the days when these warriors fought strictly as professionals, before they became the dominant class, but such thinking remained strong even into the Edo Period when peace prevailed. In the Saga clan, for example, strong emphasis was put on the concept that "Bushido is the way of death". However, this is only one aspect of the entire system of bushido.

___Two other important aspects are martial spirit and honor. That is to say, emphasis is on prevailing over others. But this does not mean simply winning over others by physical force. Rather, in bushido one is encouraged to pursue spiritual training for the purpose of conquering oneself, for only through conquering oneself is it possible to conquer others. Strength is deemed to derive from victories in self-discipline and it is strength obtained in this manner which spiritually overpowers and commands the respect of others as a manifestation of spiritual stature. Refined manners were considered to be an important aspect in the expression of spiritual strength.

___In Europe, chivalry developed under the influence of Christianity and gave much weight to such virtues as courage, reverence, a sense of shame, honor and generosity. Although chivalry had much in common with bushido, however, it was different from bushido in that the relation between a knight and his lords was contractual while bushido stressed absolute loyalty.

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