発明された伝統としての「武士道」 : 日本の独自の思想なのか [in Japanese] Bushido as an Invented Tradition : A Uniquely Japanese Ideology? [in Japanese]
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The supposed samurai code, or Bushido, was brought into the world in 1900 by Nitobe Inazo in his book of the same name. In Bushido, Nitobe attempted to create a unique Japanese ethical system that would be considered equal to Christianity. He, and other prewar scholars who followed him, formulated their ideology by taking certain exceptional historical incidents involving the samurai, which they then universalized by applying them to all samurai in all ages. The resultant ethical system had remarkably little connection with the actual warrior class which was eliminated in the wake of the Meiji Restoration, and placed far more emphasis on the virtues of loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice than any of the historical samurai. Bushido, therefore, was one of many "invented traditions" that appeared in all parts of the world throughout the 19^<th> Century. Although Nitobe's original ideology focused more on the supposed ethical aspects of the samurai than the military, Bushido later became a useful tool for Japan's nationalistic and militaristic leadership, who used it to instill loyalty and obedience in both the imperial army and citizenship in general. Unlike many other invented traditions, however, Bushido is still thriving both in Japan and abroad, and has been adopted by Japanese industrialists, foreign economists, as well as writers and other artists. While the Japanese samurai class is not as unique as its mythical image seems to indicate, Bushido is not as singular as Nitobe desired it. It is, in fact, extremely similar to European chivalry in that both of these ideologies have a mythical attraction to great sections of society, despite the fact that neither has a firm basis in historical fact.
- Language & civilization
Language & civilization 2, 91-107, 2004-03-15