We all know what Bushido means. Are we all sure that we know what Bushido is? Are we aware of its deeper meaning and essence?
Bushido was (for many still is) the code of ethics and behaviour of the legendary Samurai warriors. It was a strict code to which every Samurai was, morally, obliged to adhere. In his excellent work "Bushido, the warrior’s code", Izato Nitobe provides an in-depth analysis of Bushido, which is worthy to be read by all dedicated budoka.
Everyone who considers himself a budoka should follow Bushido. This is certainly not an easy task. Living in the contemporary "consuming society", to follow these rules and code requires great spiritual strength, as well as self-consciousness. But trying to adhere and act in daily life according to Bushido will strengthen your spirit and will allow you to reach a higher level in the Martial arts.
Bushido, as any other spiritual form, is driven by certain virtues, which constitutes its characteristics. The Seven Virtues that are defining Bushido and its spirit are:
· Jin: Benevolence toward mankind; Universal love; compassion.
· Makoto: Utter sincerity; truthfulness.
· Chugi: Devotion and Loyalty.
· Meiyo: Honor and glory.
· Yu: Valor; bravery, tinged with heroism.
· Rei: Proper behaviour; courtesy.
· Gi: The right decision, taken with equanimity; Rectitude.
As members of the Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu Karate do Academy, we are devoted and loyal (Chugi) to the way shown by Kase sensei and we have committed ourselves to sincere (Makoto) practice. In this endeavour, we must always remember Funakoshi Gitsin’s words: "Karate starts with courtesy (Rei), we must be brave to overcome every obstacle (Yu), we must avoid unnecessary violence against anyone (Jin), thus honouring ourselves and our organization (Meiyo). And we must be sure that following this way, we have taken the right decision (Gi), the kanji which has been selected to comprise the mon of Shotokan Ryu Kase Ha.
Spiros G. Drossoulakis