Bushido is a particularly internally-consistent ethical code. In its purest form, it demands of its practitioners that they look effectively backward at the present from the moment of their own death, as if they were already, in effect, dead. This is particularly true of the earlier forms of Bushido or budo. Of later forms, traditionalists would scoff, "they reason with staying alive kept clearly in mind."
There are seven virtues associated with Bushido:
- 義 - Gi - Rectitude (Right Decisions)
- 勇 - Yu - Courage
- 仁 - Jin - Benevolence
- 礼 - Rei - Respect
- 誠 - Makoto - Honesty
- 名誉 - Meiyo - Honor
- 尽忠 - Chugi - Loyalty
- Miyamoto Musashi
- Yamamoto Tsunetomo
The modern sport of kendo takes its basic philosophy from bushido, in particular, the theory that the entire purpose of the sport is "one cut, one kill". Unlike other martial arts extended contact or multiple strikes tends to be discouraged, in favor of clean single strokes on the body or the head.
- Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: The Soul of Japan - An Exposition of Japanese Thought (Charles E. Tuttle, 1969)
- Karl F. Friday, Seki Humitake,Legacies of the Sword (University of Hawai'i, 1997)