I really liked this book, finding it very, very readable. It gives a good insight into its subject matter the Japanese culture and national character or "soul", however, what really makes it a great book is the author's style of writing which allows the book to flows fairly well.
I've read a lot of martial arts and oriental culture books such as Angry White Pyjamas: An Oxford Poet Trains with the Tokyo Riot Police
, Zen in the Martial Arts
and Clearing Away Clouds: Nine Lessons for Life from the Martial Arts
(in a popular sense) or The Book of Tea
, Ideals of the East: The Spirit of Japanese Art
, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
and it compares well to these.
There is a good explanatory introduction which explains the book was composed by an oriental convert to Christianity, it is almost written with western or foreign/non-Japanese readers in mind and popularised during a war between Japan and Russia. I can understand how some it could appear dubious, or how Bushido could have been exploited by Japanese Fascist/Chauvinistic forces during the second world war, there is some talk of racial pride but I think it can be contextualised.
If you are interested in moral philosophy or strictures, guides to right conduct or history I would recommend this book to you, it begins with a discussion of the sources of Bushido, a kind of code of knightly conduct, and elaborates what Bushido is, including outlines on the development of individual character, equanimity of temper, honour, loyalty, self-control and other character traits. Enjoyed this book a lot and liked this particular format which has pictures of the author and a nice reproduction of a picture of blossoms on water before the book itself begins.