The Origins of the Samurai and Bushido Codes

Powerful Essays
The Origins of the Samurai and Bushido Codes

"Explain the meanings and discuss the concepts and origins of Samurai and Bushido code, then relate these concepts towards the modern Japanese Soldier and Leader during World War 2 and show evidence to support that the Japanese soldier treated enemy prisoners exploiting Samurai and Bushido traditions."

Bushido - ???- the feudal-military Japanese code of behavior; the way of the warrior [samurai] Japanese chivalry [knighthood]

In order to understand bushido and its traditions, a comparison must be made between the 'traditional' bushido (idealistic) and the bushido code which was adopted into the Japanese military during World War II. The Japanese justified that the reason they treated the prisoners in a form of such brutality is because it's a part of their way of life, the concept of 'no one surrenders'. However if so surrendered then your life is pretty much hell, and according to the Japanese custom your family back home is brought shame. With the evidence from source material though, it seems that the Australians and very likely other nations in there prison camps understood what was going on around them. Indeed the Japanese breached the Geneva convention but what is it exactly, did the other countries follow it accordingly? The Japanese method of dealing with Allied prisoners was seen through the 'western eyes' as brutality, scum and inhumane. Yet by the same according to source material some Australian soldiers recognized that the Japanese did what they did, and in some cases they exploited the true meaning of bushido or did they?

To understand if the Japanese soldier and leaders in particular abuse the code of bushido, the traditional bushido must be looked at.


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...the Japanese military in World War II and the spontaneous atrocities that occur in most other. There is much of the blame on the Japanese society and its interpretation of bushido that had virtually no concept of individual human rights, which found its epitome in the Japanese military, to whom the concept had no semantic value whatsoever.

All orders were given "in the name of the Emperor", and so the leaders could never be questioned. Japanese soldiers tried as war criminals were genuinely shocked to have this defense set aside. Simply the fact that they would also attempt to kill themselves for the Emperor too. Either and Explotation of the Bushido code or the Japanese just saught revenge on the white race, due to race relations maybe because the Japanese were looked upon as yellow people from Asia like the Chinese and not capable to fight a 'western country'.
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