What is Bushido?
The strict samurai code is called bushido. “Bu-shi-do literally means Military-Knights-Ways- the ways in which you should be observed in daily life as well as in your vocation; in a word the precepts of Knighthood. Bushido is the unwritten code of laws governing the lives and conduct of the Knights and Nobles of feudal Japan, which were the samurai. Bushido is a code of conduct of the samurai which arose during the wars of the 12th century around the Tokugawa period.” Bushido in Japanese (“way of the warrior”), was the warrior code of the samurai. Bushido was a strict code that demanded loyalty, devotion, and honor to the death.
Under Bushido, if a samurai failed to uphold his honor he could regain it by performing seppuku (ritual suicide). Bushido is an 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.
What is Ishoa?
In Japanese terms “ISHOA” circular in shape does not exist (!). I think the Chief took this directly from Peter Urban’s book, where it reads “Zen-Ken-Ishoa = Mind-Fist-Oneness”. This is just Urban Sensei’s poor Japanese translation (he calls Tensho, TENSHOA). The ‘O’ sound in both should be pronounced long and are usually written as an ‘o’ with a horizontal line on the top (which you may or may not have seen before, on Karate-Do for example), or spelt ‘ou’ (as in Toudi or ‘China Hand’, the old Okinawan pronunciation of Karate). Urban’s use of Ishoa comes from the term ‘issho-ni’, which means ‘all together’, as in “Issho-ni itte kudasai” or “Please say it together”. So, at the very outside, it should be spelt ‘Issho’ or ‘Isshou’ (yes, 2 esses). Ishoa means self enlightenment.
“When you fix your intentions on the “Four Oaths” and put selfishness behind you, then you cannot fail.”
1. Never be late with respect to the way of the warrior.
2. Be useful to the lord.
3. Be respectful to your parents.
4. Get beyond love and grief, exist for the good of man.
There are seven virtues associated with Bushido:
1. Gi – Rectitude (Right Decisions)
2. Yu – Courage
3. Jin – Benevolence
4. Rei – Respect
5. Makoto – Honesty (Truth)
6. Meiyo – Honor
7. Chugi – Loyalty
Once presented you now belong to this elite family of warriors following the code of bushido. Note; You should never take of your cross, to do so would be a sign of disrespect to your teacher and fellow members. You are the modern day Knights or Samurai trying to be the best you can be in the dojo of life. You have shown what it is to be a modern day warrior in these times.