The Great Creed and The Minor Creed

bushido. The way of the samurai books

  • samurai katana art

    A person should deeply understand the fundamentals of his great creed in order to act effortlessly and spontaneously (using his undersense) at a decisive point. Minor creed is a system of views on the little things of everyday life.
    Yukio Mishima

    Mental hygiene is paramount to a warrior. He cleanses his mind daily by contemplating his destiny, keeping his samurai pride pure, and barring unworthy thoughts from entering his mind.
    A warrior must rely on his stable and deep-rooted moral code when facing challenges.
    Unlike other people, a warrior understands that all human life is based on predetermination, and he clearly realizes his.
    According to his calling, a samurai serves the people and protects them from evil.
    This is his mission for eternity.

    Praying zen samurai buddhism buddha art priint
    Painting by Tatiana Berg

    Worship the gods and love humankind.
    Inside is the Way, outside is the Law.
    Be devoted to the lord.
    Be respectful towards your parents.
    Be brave in battle.
    Be scrupulous when killing living beings.
    Do not be afraid to die.
    These are the main principles of Bushi-Do.

    In Japanese, gishi literally means ‘decent person’ – the highest title indicating the proficiency in an art or skill. This is the name given to warriors who follow the Law of Giri.

    And therefore surely the Sage controls the people with the highest principles and governs them with Righteousness. He stimulates them with ritual and soothes them with humane treatment.
    Wu Qi

    The business of the samurai is to reflect on his own station in life, to give loyal service to his master, to strengthen his associations with friends, and, with due consideration of his own position, to devote himself to duty above all.
    However, in his own life he will unavoidably become involved in obligations between father and child, older and younger brother, and husband and wife. Although these are the fundamental moral obligations of everyone in the land, the farmers, artisans, and merchants have no leisure from their occupations, and so they cannot constantly act in accordance with them and fully exemplify the Way. Because the samurai has dispensed with the business of the farmer, artisan, and merchant and confined himself to practicing this Way, if there is someone of the common people who violates these moral principles, the samurai should punish him and thus uphold proper moral principles.

    harakiri screenshotA screenshot from the movie Harakiri.

    It would not do for the samurai to know martial and civil virtues without practicing them. Since this is the case, outwardly he stands in physical readiness for any call to service, and inwardly he strives to fulfill the Way of the lord and subject, friend and friend, parent and child, older and younger brother, and husband and wife. Within his heart he keeps...

    Read further in Samurai: Spirit of the Warrior

    Back to the Blog

    This an abstract from the chapter "The Great Creed and the Minor Creed" and "Social Medium" from Spirit of the Warrior by A. R. Berg

You may also like:

Being a warrior is your religion

Being a Warrior is Your Religion


date masamune

Date Masamune: The One-Eyed Dragon


what is bushido

What is Bushido?