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Rectitude or Righteousness (義) – Principles of Bushido

One of the precepts and arguably the most important and misunderstood precept of Bushido is rectitude. Rectitude can be defined as “right thinking”, “moral thinking” or righteousness. Webster’s dictionary defines rectitude as follows: Main Entry: rec·ti·tude Pronunciation: \ˈrek-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\ Function: noun Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Late Latin rectitudo, from Latin rectus straight,…

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Duty (義理 Giri) – Principles of Bushido

Hanshi Jeff Ader - Okinawa Karate Blog

The concept of “Giri” contains elements from words like loyalty, duty, responsibility and obligation. The Japanese kanji that make up giri, translate as loyalty, reason. Or, in other words, duty is the reason for loyalty. In America this is a hard concept to explain because most of our citizens are brought up to be very…

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Honor (名誉 meiyo) – Principles of Bushido

Nabe Matsumura

One of the most significant principles of Bushido was and is that of honor. Described to laymen as “nobility of the soul” this principle has to do with nobility of purpose and a precise and defined code of conduct and personal integrity. While the Samurai indeed had privileges of rank, they also had an obligation…

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Sokon (Bushi) Matsumura

“Military Knight Ways” As a System of Ethical Behavior I have been asked to review and re-present the Code of the Samurai so over the next several weeks I hope to discuss the Code of Bushido as it fits and impacts the modern martial artist. In some ways it seems highly unlikely that a system…

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The Tiger and Courage

Okinawa Martial Arts Blog

“The tiger’s fangs are long and his claws are sharp. He is unrelenting and stern, courageous and cunning – the ruler of earth. To become like the tiger, you must let your spirit merge with the spirit of an animal that knows no fear and can attack without hesitation.” These are the words of Fred…

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