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Bushido: The Soul of Japan Hardcover – 1 Feb 1970

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,985,668 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 descended from a Samurai family on the island of Honshu. Nitobe rose to fame for his work as an agricultural sugar expert and later became leader of the Japanese delegation to the League of Nations in Geneva. Holding strong Quaker beliefs, Nitobe was an influential advocate for positive US-Japanese relations and through his work and teachings sought to become a ‘bridge across the Pacific Ocean’. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
Maybe I expected something different after reading a few books on Japanese culture and samurais, such as Book of Five Rings, but Bushido proved a tad tedious to read. Don't get me wrong, it's a complete and brilliant insight on traditional Japanese culture, focusing on Bushido, or the arts of war. But the author/researcher/doctor who wrote this just quotes too many european writers/philosophers and takes that tiny bit of pure japanese traditional taste out of the whole book. As a result, it just sounded a little pedantic for me and I quite expected a tiny bit more of humbleness from the author's part. Taking this small glitch into account, the book provides loads of information on traditional japanese culture, basically it describes the way Japanese behave in almost every situation, ritual or class. Not too bad although makes a bit of a tedious reading, mainly because of the author's style.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are no page numbers in this paperback edition and the footnotes are very oddly distributed throughout the text. There were also random Chinese symbols/kanji in the text which I'm not sure were mean to be there. I imagine the lack of formatting is due to it being an Amazon published book, hencewhy so cheap. Did the job though, I read it and fine, good read.
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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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