I think Lowry, when he says that the "code" of bushido as presented by Nitobe is "a romantic, almost absurdly idealized treatment of the warrior caste" is in accordance with fact, reason and/or truth for his statement concurs with the findings and opinins of Japan history scholars, both western and japanese, like G. Cameron Hurst III, Karl Friday, Furukawa Tetsufumi, Kamei Shunsuke or Ōta Yūzo.
Ok then the bushido code of Nitobe is idealized. But Saotome gives the almost same meaning to the seven pleats of the hakama..
But I think it is useful for every budoka at least to think about the seven virtues, after that.. everyone decides how he will behave himself. But in my humble experience it is always better for oneself to live with that virtues than without them..or against them