A look into how the Japanese Warrior code can help us in our every day Modern life.
Hey guys! I hope everything is going great. Today we are going into warrior mode because I will be explaining how to be a Modern Samurai and how to live by its lifestyle in our current times. Imagine how a Samurai from the Edo Period would react if he looked at everything going on in modern times. It will be an ultimate nightmare for the warrior, let me tell ya!
A Faulty Modern Society
As you can tell, modern times emphasize so much political correctness, the LGBT movement, and female empowerment. So where is the focus on nurturing our male children? Where are the role models so they can grow properly? Where has manhood gone? To the trash, I say!
Let´s take a look into how one big percentage of men behave nowadays. A survey made by YouGov in the UK back in 2017 presented 56% of 65+ men describing themselves as “completely masculine”, as opposed to only 2% of 18–24s. That percentage is astonishing, to say the least.
Not to mention how technology impacts our daily lives on a larger human scale. My grandmother told me once: “Phones have gotten smarter, but we humans get dumber every day.” Good saying granny! Knowledge is power.
I would dare to say that we´ve come to a time and place in which we are connected to the Internet 24/7 with cheap dopamine available to grab on the run, but not enough physical connection to fruitful human relationships.
Ethics from the Far East
Anyway, enough about modern western society, let´s travel all the way to the other side of the planet towards the East. This little country is so rich in economics, politics, magnificent culture, mass media, and, of course, its history. I’m talking about Japan, a country so unique and different in a good way.
There is a lot of misconception surrounding the veracity of the Samurai as they´ve been romanticized through the years thanks to anime and films alike, from Hollywood and the industry of cinema in Japan creating the Samurai genre in the ’70s, contrasting US´s Western genre. And of course, animes and mangas going popular not only in Japan but worldwide depicting Japanese warriors with perfect swordsmanship and tough as nails.
However, apart from their fictionalized account, were the real samurai as cool as portrayed in media?
One primordial characteristic of their concept of masculinity is the Bushido, also known as the Way of the Samurai. Their code of honor has been written as a guideline for the future generations of Samurais to follow.
From the Eastern perspective, respect is considered as the foundation of human interaction; without respect, there is no way you can build relationships with other people.
That point of view differs completely in the Western perception of masculinity, as the West might erroneously view the Japanese warriors as “nice guys” and “weak”. This counterpoints the modern Japanese men (herbivore men) but remarking Samurais as nice guys is a statement far from reality.
Bushido: The Way of the (Modern) Samurai
Honoring the teachers, action speaking louder than words, respect, and unprecedented duty are the principles that dictate their Way. The Bushido insists you to devote unconditional loyalty to your master; so far as to take your own life with the suicide ritual of the Seppuku if you show any kind of dishonor.
The Samurai would give their life if necessary to contribute for a higher motive, and if not, they would turn into social outcasts or independent criminals, also known as ronin.
In my opinion, having the guts to not fulfill some personal vendetta or goal and sacrifice yourself for some greater benefit; is mental strength and true altruism.
Back again at the present time, you see people sprawled out, disconnected. Everyone is in their little worlds. There is too much evil in the world; you can either join the crowd´s thinking or be the one who stands out.
In order to become a modern Samurai, in this case, to develop a warrior-like mentality like Samurais, you must study the Bushido. Live by the Way of the Samurai; follow the principles and you may even change some.
Actualize the code of the Samurai to your current reality. I’ll give you an example:
Taking into consideration the rule of serving your master and devote your life to it. You can choose to focus on a particular vision or objective in life; being successful, a sport, or some kind of art.
Have unconditional loyalty and belief in your dream; enough that you place that goal as more important than your own life.
Warrior Physical Training
The Samurai often placed the same importance on their bodies as much as spiritual training; they believed that to have mental and spiritual clarity, one must turn their physical bodies to the most powerful tool.
The Japanese Warriors trained to defend themselves and their family; often with a mindset of accepting that they might or will die. Their training was focused on actual combat and had the purpose of taking lives. Constant sword training with katanas, wakizashi’s, wooden sticks, etc.
Do not forget; apart from training your mind, you must train your body as well. What I recommend to implement into your lifestyle is this: if you are not working out, or practicing any martial arts, what are you waiting for?
“The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.”
Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings.
You do not necessarily have to become a master in swordsmanship but you should be able to defend yourself. Invest in any martial art or lift some weights and practice relentlessly with the persistence and willpower of a Japanese Warrior.
Adopting the mindset and training your body will surely lead you towards being the Modern Samurai.