Category: Samurai/Bushido

Tozando 2017 Essay Contest Winning Article

The Last Samurai: Martial Arts in the Age of Cultural Appropriation, or the Tom Cruise Dilemma

by Timothy Slover I asked my friend Chelsea to measure my height. She asked me why. I didn’t want to tell her. I didn’t want to say, “I want you to measure me in inches, so that I can convert that number to shaku, and figure out how long my Read More

Tozando 2017 Essay Contest Winning Article

Death in Samurai Literature from Practical to Idiolization

by Edward N. Smith Death comes to us all at the end of our life’s journey, regardless of the path we walk. Inescapably, it pursues us; hiding in the shadows, it waits patiently for our time when our road runs out. Across human societies, culture and class mark subtle differences Read More

Tozando 2017 Essay Contest Winning Article

Recovering from the 2011 Sendai Earthquake

A winning article for 2017 Tozando Essay Contest Photos and text by Rachelle D. Lawrence In his 17th century treatise on the Japanese sword, Zen, and politics, Yagyu Munemori wrote about the “killing” sword and the “life-giving” sword. The sword that protects a life also takes a life, whether in Read More

Atago Shrine on Mount Agato

The Belief System of Commanders During the Warring States Period

The Japanese people’s reverence of nature dates back to ancient times and is rooted in the religious worship of nature, especially since the prosperity of Sangaku Shinko. This roughly translates as ‘mountain worship’ and originated as a practice in Shugendo in the 7th century as an amalgamation of beliefs and Read More

The Loser’s Big Stage

The previous article on seppuku was met with a lot of responses, so I would like to write a follow-up. As mentioned, seppuku initially was not someone one did to take responsibility for a mistake, but was done in order to follow a deceased master to death or to kill Read More

Seppuku – Why did the samurai cut their own bellies?

When watching historical plays you often see samurai committing Seppuku. He would hold a dagger and plunge it into his stomach, cutting it until his own death. It is a shocking custom of the Samurai, famously known outside Japan as Harakiri. Seppuku was only allowed for samurai, and it was Read More