Bushido Tenets in Chinese / Japanese...

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See also: Bushido - Code of the Samurai Warrior


  1. Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

  2. Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

  3. Benevolence

  4. Respect

  5. Wisdom

  6. Filial Piety


Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

wǔ shì dào
bu shi do
Bushido / The Way of the Samurai Scroll

武士道 is the title for "The Code of the Samurai".

Sometimes called "The Seven Virtues of the Samurai", "The Bushido Code", or "The Samurai Code of Chivalry".

This would be read in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja as "The Way of the Warrior", "The Warrior's Way", or "The Warrior's Code".

It's a set of virtues that the Samurai of Japan and ancient warriors of China and Korea had to live and die by. However, while known throughout Asia, this title is mostly used in Japan and thought of as being of Japanese origin.

The seven commonly-accepted tenets or virtues of Bushido are: Rectitude 義, Courage 勇, Benevolence 仁, Respect 礼(禮), Honour 名誉, Honesty 誠, and Loyalty 忠実. These tenets were part of an oral history for generations, thus, you will see variations in the list Bushido tenets depending on who you talk to.


See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Samurai | Warrior

Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

Also means: honor loyalty morality righteousness
gi
Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision Scroll

義 is about doing the right thing or making the right decision, not because it's easy but because it's ethically and morally correct.

No matter the outcome or result, one does not lose face if tempering proper justice.

義 can also be defined as righteousness, justice, morality, honor, or "right conduct". In more a more expanded definition, it can mean loyalty to friends, loyalty to the public good, or patriotism. This idea of loyalty and friendship comes from the fact that you will treat those you are loyal to with morality and justice.

義 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius doctrine.

儀 There's also an alternate version of this character sometimes seen in Bushido or Korean Taekwondo tenets. It's just the addition of a radical on the left side of the character. If you want this version, click on the image to the right instead of the button above.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Judgment | Impartial | Confucius Tenets

rén
jin
Benevolence Scroll

Beyond benevolence, 仁 can be also be defined as "charity" or "mercy" depending on context.

The deeper meaning suggests that one should pay alms to the poor, care for those in trouble, and take care of his fellow man (or woman).

仁 is one of the five tenets of Confucius. In fact, it is a subject in which Confucius spent a great deal of time explaining to his disciples.

I have also seen this benevolent-related word translated as perfect virtue, selflessness, love for humanity, humaneness, goodness, good will, or simply "love" in the non-romantic form.

仁 is so important to me that I named my second daughter with this character. Her name is "Renni" which means "Benevolent Girl".
-Gary.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Altruism | Kindness | Charity | Confucius

Respect

Politeness, Gratitude and Propriety
rei
Respect Scroll

We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. We treat others with dignity and honor the rules of our family, school, and nation. Respect yourself, and others will respect you.

礼 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

礼, beyond respect, can also be translated as propriety, good manners, politeness, rite, worship or an expression of gratitude.

禮 Chinese RespectPlease note that Japanese use this simplified 礼 version of the original 禮 character for respect. 礼 also happens to be the same simplification used in mainland China. While 禮 is the traditional and original version, 礼 has been used as a shorthand version for many centuries. Click on the big 禮 character to the right if you want the Traditional Chinese and older Japanese version.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Confucius

zhì
chi / tomo
Wisdom Scroll

智 is the simplest way to write wisdom in Chinese, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

Being a single character, the wisdom meaning is open to interpretation, and can also mean intellect, knowledge or reason, resourcefulness, or wit.

智 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

智 is sometimes included in the Bushido code but usually not considered part of the seven key concepts of the code.


See our Wisdom in Chinese, Japanese and Korean page for more wisdom-related calligraphy.


See Also:  Learn From Wisdom | Confucius

xiào
kou
Filial Piety Scroll

孝 represents filial piety.

Some will define this in more common English as "respect for your parents and ancestors".

孝 is a subject deeply emphasized by the ancient philosophy and teachings of Confucius.

Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although generally not considered part of the 7 core virtues of the warrior.

Note: 孝 is not the best of meanings when seen along as a single character. Some will read the single-character form to mean "missing my dead ancestors". However, when written at part of Confucian tenets, or in the two-character word that means filial piety, the meaning is better or read differently (context is important for this character).

We suggest one of our other two-character filial piety entries instead of this one.




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Bushido
The Way of the Samurai
武士道bu shi do / bushidowǔ shì dào
wu3 shi4 dao4
wu shi dao
wushidao
wu shih tao
wushihtao
Justice
Rectitude
Right Decision

giyì / yi4 / yii
Benevolencejinrén / ren2 / renjen
Respect
reilǐ / li3 / li
Wisdomchi / tomozhì / zhi4 / zhichih
Filial Pietykou / koxiào / xiao4 / xiaohsiao
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.


Many custom options...


Filial Piety Scroll
Filial Piety Scroll
Filial Piety Scroll
Filial Piety Scroll


And formats...

Filial Piety Vertical Portrait
Filial Piety Horizontal Wall Scroll
Filial Piety Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Bushido Tenets in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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