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Bushido: The Soul of Japan Hardcover – Feb 1970


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; New edition edition (Feb. 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804806934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804806930
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,311,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The first book of its kind, Bushido, The Soul of Japan, first published in 1905, brings the rich ethics and traditions of the samurai to a Western audience. Never before had anyone explained the life of the samurai in English, nor had anyone traced how this code has shaped the character of the Japanese people. Nitobe explains all aspects of samurai life, from sword training to cultural education. History buffs and anyone interested in this unique culture will enjoy this thorough and engaging account of a warrior's code from a time long past. Japanese politician and author INAZO NITOBE (1862-1933) attended Sapporo Agricultural College, where he converted to Christianity. In 1884, he came to the United States to study at Johns Hopkins University and became a Quaker. He was a prolific writer, most remembered for writing about his native Japan for a Western audience.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933) was a Japanese agricultural economist, author, educator, diplomat, politician, and Christian during Meiji and Taisho period Japan. Nitobe was a prolific writer. He published many scholarly books as well as books for general readers (see below). He also contributed hundreds of articles to popular magazines and newspapers. Nitobe, however, is perhaps most famous in the west for his work Bushido: The Soul of Japan (1900), which was one of the first major works on samurai ethics and Japanese culture written originally in English for Western readers (The book was subsequently translated into Japanese and many other languages). Although sometimes criticized as portraying the samurai in terms so Western as to take away some of their actual meaning, this book nonetheless was a pioneering work of its kind. The Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada is named in his honor. A Second Memorial Garden has been built at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 7 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933) was a Japanese author with a unique perspective; he was an educator and a Quaker. When queried about the basis of morality in Japan, he thought long and hard on the subject. His answer was that Bushido was the Soul of Japan, and from that idea flowed this book.
In this wonderful book, Mr. Nitobe explains Bushido to the Western observer. Using the Bible and other Western literature as examples of common points of reference, he explains 1) the origins and sources of Bushido, 2) its character and teachings, 3) its influence, and 4) its continuity and permanence.
So, if you are interested in Bushido in particular, or Japan in general, then I strongly recommend this book. Even though it was first published in 1905, it makes a wonderful introduction to the Western reader. I highly recommend this book!
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By R. Court on 27 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author was a Japanese living in America, and writing in English before WW1 for an American and European audience. He was also a Christian convert. The intent was apparently to make the Japanese appear likeable to The West.

A strange book therefore, but worth reading if you are interested in the history of Japan's relations with The West.
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By Simon on 24 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is written by a member of a samurai family and is quite in depth but don't be put off the first time, I had to read it twice! It does of course give you an insight in to the way of bushi culture and presents some good opinions though maybe not practicable in this century.
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