Thread: Budo, Bushido
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:07 AM   #19
Josh Reyer
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
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Re: Budo, Bushido

Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
No. Ididn't blame "bushido" for Rape of Nanjing.
Then why bring it up?

Is that wrong to blame "nazism" for holocaust?

The fact was that "bushido" was promoted in the Japanese army in the WWII. The killing was done by those Japanese. You could argue the wrong type of "bushido" was misinterpreted in that period in Japan.
I would argue nothing of the sort. I would argue that the causes of Nanjing were the exact same as the causes of My Lai, the Holocaust, Dresden, and Hiroshima/Nagasaki. Dehumanization and deindividuation. Any time there is armed conflict, the enemy is dehumanized. WWII propoganda on both sides are easy examples of this, as well as the usual tactics of referring to the enemy by an all-encompassing dimunitive, rumors of atrocities by the other side, etc.

Deindividuation is, put simply, mob mentality. Highly encouraged in most militaries, where adherence to orders is held to be paramount, and the linked chain of command can lead to all sorts passing off of final responsibilities. But also often found in non-war situations, too. Looting in New Orleans, for example, or the Los Angeles riots. When one doesn't feel that one will be held responsible for his actions, one can commit all sorts of violence.

People like to blame ideologies and philosophies for atrocities because we don't want to believe that we all have the capacity for such great evil against our fellow man. But Stanley Milgram put a rest to that delusion decades ago. Bushido, Socialism (in the case of Nazism), Democracy, Communism, Chivalry, Christianity, Islam, these are but the once idealistic, alturistic concepts that have been at one time or another co-opted as rationalizations by opportunists to have someone else do the dirty work.

However, my point was I believed O'Sensei was more of a Japanese version of Buddhasm than bushidosm.
That is first a false dichotomy. One can be Buddhist and be an adherent of bushido (Miyamoto Musashi prayed to Kannon the day he started writing the Book of Five Rings), or Shintoist, or even Christian (there were a number of Christian samurai before the Tokugawa shogunate cracked down on foreign influence).

As for Ueshiba, he believed in Omoto-kyo, which is an ecclesiastic off-shoot of Shinto (which was just subverted by the powers that were in fascist Japan just as bushido was). And while he didn't talk much about bushido, he certainly made a great deal of budo, calling aikido "budo", even "the true budo" until his dying day.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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