Meaning "Way of the Warrior". Bushido expanded and formalized the earlier code of the samurai, and stressed frugality, loyalty, mastery of martial arts, and honor to the death. Under the Bushido ideal, if a samurai failed to uphold his honor he could regain it by performing seppuku (ritual suicide).

Other parts of the Bushido philosophy cover methods of raising children, appearance and grooming, and most of all, constant preparation for death. One might say that death is at the very center of Bushido as the overall purpose- to die a good death and with one's honor intact.

The Bushido code is typified by seven virtues:

* Rectitude (gi)
* Courage (yuu)
* Benevolence (jin)
* Respect (rei)
* Honesty (makoto or shin)
* Honour (yo)
* Loyalty (chuu)

Others that are sometimes added to these:

* Filial piety (kō)
* Wisdom (chi)
* Care for the aged (tei)

In an excerpt of James Williams' article "Virtue of the sword", a fairly simple explanation of modern bushido can be found:

The warrior protects and defends because he realizes the value of others. He knows that they are essential to society and, in his gift of service, recognizes and values theirs… take the extra moment in dark parking lots at night to make sure that a woman gets into her car safely before leaving yourself. Daily involvement in acts such as these are as much a part of training as time spent in the dojo, and indeed should be the reason for that time spent training… When faced with a woman or child in a situation in which they are vulnerable, there are two types of men: those who would offer succor and aid, and those who would prey upon them.

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