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Old 11-16-2003, 09:37 PM   #10
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 78
Please excuse me to add a little more, from the Confucian perspective. I enjoy this thread.

One of the earliest uses of the Chinese word shi4, the middle Kanji of Japanese bushido, is in the Analects of Confucius, ca. 500 BC. Analects 4:9 is, in Pinyin, "zi3 yue1: shi4 zhi4 yu2 dao4..." The master says: A scholar (or gentleman) with mind (or will) set on the Dao (or path)...

But Confucius did not seem to have a very high view of the shi4, and this was just a starting point of progress on the way (Dao).

The rest of this verse is ... and who is ashamed of bad food and bad clothes, is not fit to be discoursed with. In other word, a shi4, a scholar or gentleman, who is still concerned about things like quality of food and quality or appearance of clothing, these outward matters of life, is not fit for discussion. One commentator said that "the pursuit of truth should raise a man above being ashamed of poverty."

In the Analects there is something of a progression from "shi" to "jun1-zi3" to "sheng4-ren2." Jun-zi, mentioned by Furuya Sensei, is a gentleman or a "superior man," in Analects 4:5. A part of Analects 4:5 is translated as: A superior man (gentleman, jun-zi), never deserts benevolance (or acts contrary to virtue), even for the time it takes to eat a single meal. The sage, in Analects 6:30, helps others as himself. he is characterized by benevolance and giving (perhaps aiki?).

It is intersting that there is no "wu-sheng-ren." Perhaps eventually sagacity and wisdom transcend "wu/bu" and fighting?

(Yes, the kanji does matter! There are more than 500 Kanji with either On or Kun readings of "shi.")

A nice collation of multiple English and French translations of the Analects can be found at

The Chinese text can be found at

Peace to all,

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