Bushido Code: The 7 Samurai Principles That Can Change Your Life

For the ancient Japanese warriors, the samurai, it was important to follow certain codes of ethics, principles, and to have a horizon. That is why they created the code of Bushido: a guide on the lifestyle that they should follow.

The Code of Bushido, also known as “The Way of the Warrior”, was not so much a strict guideline, but rather an orientation on how they should approach life. Hence the allusion to the path: the code of Bushido was a lifestyle and a process.

That is what makes it so interesting and current, despite its age. This code takes principles from Zen, Confucianism, Buddhism and Shintoism. And although it was designed for warriors, it can help us all to look at life differently.

If you think about your life from these principles of the samurai, it is very possible that you will begin to see the world differently.

Bushido code: its 7 principles

1. GI – Honesty and Justice

“Be honest in your dealings with everyone. Believe in Justice, but not in the one that emanates from others, but in your own”, says the Bushido code. According to this, we should all be guided by our own conscience, and through it act with honesty and justice.

And yes: for the code of Bushido there are no half measures: “For a true samurai there are no shades of gray when it comes to honesty and justice. There is only right and wrong.”

2. YU – Heroic Valor

“Rise above the masses of people who are afraid to act. Hiding like a turtle in its shell is not living.

A samurai must have heroic courage. He is absolutely risky. He is dangerous. It is living life fully, completely, wonderfully. Heroic courage is not blind. He is smart and strong.”

How many times should we act like samurai and decide to live our life fully despite fear?

3. JIN – Compassion

“Through intense training the samurai becomes fast and strong. He is not like the rest of the men. He develops a power that must be used for the good of all.

He has compassion. Help peers at every opportunity. If the opportunity doesn’t arise, he goes out of his way to find it.”

This principle reminds us that all the potential we develop in our lives should not be left to us alone. Instead, the best we can do is share it with others.

4. REI – Courtesy

“Samurai have no reason to be cruel. No need to prove their strength. A samurai is courteous even to his enemies. Without this direct show of respect we are no better than animals.”

Many times we have been taught that being ruthless is the only path to success. However, these ancient warriors believed the opposite: that a good fighter is one who can respect even his worst enemy.

5. MEYO – Honor

“The True Samurai has only one judge of his own honor, and that is himself. The decisions you make and how you carry them out are a reflection of who you really are. You can not hide from yourself”.

First of all, honor. Because we can fool everyone, but we can never fool ourselves.

6. MAKOTO – Absolute Sincerity

“When a samurai says that he will do something, it is as if it was already done. Nothing on this earth will stop him from doing what he has said he will do.

He is not to ‘give his word’. You don’t have to ‘promise’. The simple act of speaking has set in motion the act of doing. Speaking and doing are the same action”.

They say that nowadays the value of the word has been lost. That no one can be trusted. Can you imagine if we all became aware that talking and doing can be the same thing?

7. CHUGO – Duty and Loyalty

“For the samurai, having done or said ‘something’ means that this ‘something’ belongs to him. He is responsible for it and all the consequences that follow.

A samurai is intensely loyal to those in his care. For those for whom he is responsible, he remains fiercely faithful.

A man’s words are like his footprints; you can follow them wherever he goes. Be careful which way you go.”

Take responsibility for oneself, for one’s own actions, for the words said, for the commitments assumed. Without blaming others and recognizing our duty. That is what the Code of Bushido proposes.

As you can see, this list of samurai principles can be applied to any life. And the truth is that if more people had him as a guide, perhaps we would live in a better place… Although without all of us having to be samurai warriors!

What do you think of this Code of Bushido? Share it with your friends!

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