I am afraid that I can no longer like the book. I live in Japan and am raising a family here. Bushido (both the book and the concept) was used as a tool to stupidify (to coin a term) and control a populace leading up to and during WWII. And after the war this never went away, and now there is an amazing lack of culpability, not just about the war, but about everything. So when I see the book, I don't think of samurai virtues like benevolence and respect
, I think of crimes against humanity that people have gotten away with. Funnily/scarily enough, the book is enjoying a bit of popularity again.
I am aware of that hypocrisy too. I don't have strong feelings about it, like yourself. Well, that's because I am not of Japanese ancestry or Japanese, or live in Japan, I guess there is no personal involvement. I like this book over other publishers because the way it was done. Like you mention the pictures they used, I liked them too. I liked the feel/style of the book that they did. The pictures they choose and the layout. The contents, well I already discussed that with PAG and I didn't want to be redundant.
I have been fortunate to speak to many Japanese living here and in Japan. And of what you describe there is generally two areas I see that I can place those discussions in. Some supportive of the Japanese WWII effort. Others not. Now as far as Americans. There are those who fought in WWII and opposed the Japanese, and have bitter feelings about things like the "Death Marches". And those put in American who where put into camps, who where Americans of Japanese ancestry. I know one family who lost their farm and had to buy it back twice, and very bitter about it. Or friend's grandparents who spent time in the camps as kids and had have no resounding anger to the loss of their homes and the other hardships they suffered.
Hypocrisy it isn't exclusive to the Japanese. It is my understanding it is pretty rampant in many Asian governments, China is a big gone. And hypocrisy is also big in the Western world way back to Athens in the 4th Century BC. And the bible has been used in worse ways and justifications by scads of peoples, then Nitobe's book. I am not surprised it was misused, and I personally don't discount the book because it was a tool misused and twisted by a government or a political party, FWIW.
I guess cause I don't live in Japan and it is a matter that doesn't touch me. I look at it as something that the Japanese have to deal with, and I am on the outside looking in. Thank you for your thoughts.