I.  Basic English-Language Sources on the History of Bushido I. Basic English Language Sources on History of Bushido

Abe, Toshihiko.  Japan's Hidden Face: A Call for Radical Change in Japanese Society & Commerce.  Philadelphia:

    BainBridge Books, 1998.

Browne, Maurice.  Proposals for a Voluntary Nobility.  Cranleigh, Surrey: Samurai Press, 1908.

Chamberlain, Basil Hall.  The Invention of a New Religion.  London: Watts & Co., 1912.

Daidôji Yûzan.  Budoshoshinshu: The Warrior’s Primer of Daidoji Yuzan.  Trans. William S. Wilson.  Santa Clarita: Ohara

    Publications, 1984.

-----.  The Code of The Samurai: Budo Shoshinshu.  Trans. A.L. Sadler.  Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 1941.

-----.  Code of The Samurai: A Modern Translation of Budo Shoshinshu.  Trans. Thomas L. Cleary.  Boston: Tuttle

    Publishing, 1999.

Holmes, Colin and A. H. Ion.  “Bushidô and the Samurai: Images in British Public Opinion, 1894-1914," Modern Asian

    Studies 14. 2. (1980).  pp. 309-29.

Ikegami, Eiko.  The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan.  Cambridge:

    Harvard University Press, 1995.

Imai, Toshimichi J.  Bushido: In The Past and The Present.  Tokyo: Kanada,1906.

Jansen, Marius B. and John W. Hall.  “Tosa in the Sixteenth Century: The 100 Article Code of Chosokabe Motochika." In

    Studies in the Institutional History of Modern Japan.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.

Katsumata, Shizuo and Martin Collcutt.  “The Development of Sengoku Law." In Japan Before Tokugawa.  Princeton:

    Princeton University Press, 1981.

Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan.  Tokyo; New York: Kodansha, 1983. Contains basic information in English on a \
    number of the works and authors mentioned on this website.

Mishima Yukio.  The Way of the Samurai: Yukio Mishima on Hagakure in Modern Life.  New York: Basic Books, 1977.

Miyamoto Musashi.  The Book of Five Rings.  Trans. Thomas Cleary.  Boston & London: Shambhala, 1993.

-----.  A Book of Five Rings: A Guide to Strategy.  Trans. Victor Harris.  Woodstock: The Overlook Press, 1974.

-----.  The Book of Five Rings: The Real Art of Japanese Management. Trans Nihon Services Corporation: Bradford J.

    Brown, Yuko Kashiwagi, William H. Barrett, and Eisuke Sasagawa.  New York: Bantam Books, 1982.

-----.  The Martial Artist’s Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi’s Classic Book of

    Strategy.  Trans. Steve Kaufman.  Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1999.

Nitobe, Inazô.  Bushido: The Soul of Japan.  10th revised ed.  New York, London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1905.

Scherer, James.  What Is Japanese Morality? Philadelphia: The Sunday School Times, 1906.

Steenstrup, Carl.  “The Gokurakuji Letter: Hojo Shigetoki's Compendium of Political and Religious Ideas of

    Thirteenth-Century Japan.EMonumenta Nipponica 32:1 (Spring 1977), pp.1-34.

-----.  “The Imagawa Letter: A Muromachi Warrior's Code of Conduct Which Became a Tokugawa Schoolbook.E/div>

    Monumenta Nipponica 28. 3 (Autumn, 1973), pp. 295-316.

Tsuda Sôkichi.  An Inquiry into the Japanese Mind as Mirrored in Literature: The Flowering Period of Common

    People Literature.  Trans. Fukumatsu Matsuda.  Tokyo: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1970.

Wilson, William S., trans.  Ideals of The Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors.  Santa Clarita: Ohara Publications,


Yamaga Sokô.  The Way of the Samurai.  In Sources of Japanese Tradition, Volume I.  Comps. Ryusaku Tsunoda, Wm.

    Theodore de Bary, and Donald Keene.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1958.  pp. 389-91.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo.  Hagakure.  In Legends of the Samurai.  Trans. Hiroaki Sato.  Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1995.

-----.  Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai.  Trans. William Scott Wilson.  Tokyo: Kodansha International; New York:

    Harper & Row, 1979.

-----.  The Hagakure: A Code to the Way of Samurai.  Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1980.

-----.  The Wisdom of Hagakure: Way of the Samurai of Saga Domain.  Trans. Stacey B. Day.  Saga, Japan: Hagakure

    Society, 1994.

II.  Chronology of Pre-Modern and Meiji Period Japanese Books on Bushido

Notes on Compilation Procedures and Result
One of the problems we encountered in the initial phases of this project was the question of when people began writing about bushido, using that word in particular to describe what had previously gone by a variety of names.  As a first step in answering that question, we compiled a brief chronology of bushido-related Japanese language works.  The chronology is divided into two sections: one addressing works related to bushido published before Meiji, and a second that lists bushido-related works published during the Meiji period.


The publication dates and even authors of many of the pre-Meiji texts remain unclear.  In these cases titles have been included without authors, and the letters “PDUEhave been used to denote “publication date unknown.Enbsp; Titles using the word “shidô" instead of “bushidô" are marked with asterisks (*) throughout.  A number of the pre-Meiji texts were republished in the Meiji period.  They have been listed under both sections.

Information for the chronology came primarily from two computer-based search engines: the Meiji Microfilm index (available at Columbia University’s Starr East Asian Library) and the Kokusho sômokuroku (available online but requires Japanese input capabilities).  The information below generally reflects the results of keyword searches for “bushidô" “shidô."  Unfortunately this search was largely limited to the titles of works and was also limited by the types of sources included in the Meiji Microfilm and the Kokusho sômokuroku.  In that sense this chronology is far from comprehensive and is sure to have missed works that discuss bushido but did not have that word in the title.

Nevertheless, in the case of the Kokusho sômokuroku, the keyword search produced a total of 19 titles (only 9 of which contain the word bushido), but another search for “budô" resulted in 86 hits (for reasons of space those titles have been omitted here).  Indeed using the available dates and titles, it becomes clear that texts using “bushidô" in the title appear only after the beginning of the Tokugawa period and that the frequency increased during the mid to late Meiji period.

There are a number of other interesting trends that merit a quick note.  Of particular interest to those interested in the Akô Incident is the number of works related to that event. Akôgishi (1909) for example, includes the word “bushidô" in a subtitle, suggesting that the Akô rônin are paragons of bushido.  Several other works deal with individual rônin or the incident and contain similar subtitles.

One might also take note of a small “bushido boomE that occurs right around the time of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5).  A second and perhaps more sustained interest in bushido appears to begin around the time that Nitobe Inazô’s English language work on bushido first appeared as a Japanese translation.  Nitobe’s work may have played a prominent role in this interest, but there were surely other factors that merit further exploration.

Bushido Before Meiji

PDU    Kakun
            Existing kakun are relatively few in number, but the time frame they represent stretches from Kamakura (before
            in some instances) to the late Tokugawa period. Consult the previous section on kakun for more specific
            information on samurai housecodes.  A few collections of kakun were compiled and republished in Meiji:
                1905 *Shônen Shidô no Kun (buke jidai) by Kubo Tenzui
                1906 Bushidô Kakunshû by Arima Yûsei and Akiyama Goan

PDU    *Shidô bukô no sho

PDU    *Shidô kakun
PDU    *Shidô kaidan
PDU    *Shidô kokoroe sho by Hôjô Chikuhô
PDU    *Shidô yôgi by Matsumoto Kodô
PDU    *Takatsuki-han shidôchû kokoroe oboegaki
PDU    Bushidô konryû
PDU    Inpan no bushidô
PDU    Bushidô nichiyôshû
PDU    Bushidô hihanki
PDU    Bushidô yôkanshô by Ishida Ittei
PDU    Bushidô yorozu hishû
PDU    Takedaryû goshiki hata no ben onajiku bushidô shimon dengi

1617     Bushidô kôsha sho also known as Tôryû gunkôsha sho by Ogasawara Shôzô (aka Ogasawara Sakuun)

circa 1643 Gorin no sho by Miyamoto Musashi

                    Gorin no sho does not appear in the Meiji microfilm, but two works related to Musashi and the school of
                    kendô associated with him were printed in the Meiji period:
                    1909 Nitô Ichiryû Kendô Hiyô by Miyamoto Musashi
                    1909 Miyamoto Musashi by Miyamoto Musashi Iseki Kenshôkai

1656    Bukyô yôroku by Yamaga Sokô

PDU    *Shidô by Yamaga Sokô
                Shidô was republished in 1910.

1684    Kokon bushidô ezukushi by Hishikawa Moronobu

1716    Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

                A republication of Hagakure appeared in 1906.

circa 1730 Budôshoshinshû by Daidôji Yûzan

1837-1850 *Shidô yôron by Saitô Masakata (aka Saitô Setsudô)

The Meiji (Re)Invention of Bushido

PDU    Zen to bushidô by Shaku Goan

1897    Bushidô –ichime himitsu bukuro by Kuroiwa Ruikô (Translation)

1898    Bushidô –ichime himitsu bukuro by Kuroiwa Ruikô (Translation)

1899    Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Nitobe Inazo (English Language)

            Nihon bushidô by Mikami Reiji
1901    Bushidô by Inoue Tetsujirô
            Bushidô no josei by Kawasaki Yasutani
            Bushidô hattatsushi by Adachi Ritsuen

1902     Suparuta [Sparta] no bushidô by Nakanishi Soematsu
            Bushidô by Yamaoka Tesshô
            Bushidô (seishin kôwa) by Satô Ganei

1903    Jindô no seisai Ebushidô no shinzui by Hasuike Bonji
            *Igirisu shidô monogatari by Katô Yoneji (Translation)

1904    Nihon bushidô no shinzui by Dai Nihon Bushidô Kenkyûkai
            Nihon bushidôron by Kawaguchi Akiji

1905    Kokon bushidô shitan by Kubo Tenzui
            *Shônen shidô no kun (buke jidai) by Kubo Tenzui
            Bushidô sôsho by Inoue Tetsujirô and Arima Yûsei
            Bushidô sôron (gendai taika) by Akiyama Goan
            Bushidô hyakuwa by Kawamura Fusô

1906    Tosa no bushidô by Aki Kiyoka
            Bushidô kakunshû by Arima Yûsei and Akiyama Goan
            Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Nakamura Yuichi hen

1907    Nijû seiki no bushidô by Bankusu
            Nihon bushidôshi by Ninagawa Tatsuo

1908    Onna bushidô by Kumata Shujirô
            Shônen bushidô by Kunata Ashijô
            Shin bushidô by Yamakata Kôkô
            Bushidô by Nitobe Inazô (Translation into Japanese)
            Bushidôkun by Tomoda Gô
            Bushidô jitsuwa (shinpen) by Oka Mitsuyoshi

1909    Akôgishi (Nihon bushidô) by Shinryûsai Teisui
            Gunjin bushidôron by Tôgô Yoshitarô
            Seiyô bushidô by Maeda Chôta (Translation)
            Nihon bushidô by Shigeno Yasueki
            Nihon bushidôron by Machi Tokuji
            Bushidô bitan by Ikebe Gijô

1910    Giretsu hyakketsu (bushidô kosui) by Tôchûken Kumôemon
            Araki Mataemon (Nihon bushidô no gonge) by Tamada Gyokushûsai
            Bushidô kagami by Takahashi Shizuko
            Bushidô to katei by Ôhata Yutaka
            Bushidô no uta by Mokuzan Kyôzen
            Yamazakura (bushidô no seika) by Tsuji Gonsaku
            *Shidô by Yamaga Sokô

1911    Bushidô meimeiden by Miyoshiya Henshûbu
            Horibe Yasubei (bushidô seika) by Sekka Sanjin
            Yamanaka Shikanosuke (bushidô no seika) by Sekka Sanjin
            Kokkei bushidô (rakugo kôdan) by Yamazaki Gyôsaburô
            Kore issen no uta (bushidô shishi) by Matsuoka Kanzan
            Shônen bushidô by Taniguchi Masanori
            Sumô to bushidô by Kitagawa Hakuai
            Bushidô kunwa (seishin shûyô) by Yoshimaru Kazumasa
            Bushidô kenbu by Miyamoto Takeshi
            Bushidô no seika (seishin shûyô) by Watanabe Misao
            Bushidô hyakuwa by Hara Keikichi

1912    Akôgishiden (bushidô tenkei) by Kobayshi Ôri
            Inôe Daikurô (bushidô seika) by Sekka Sanjin
            Ôishi Kuranosuke (bushidô gonge) by Sekka Sanjin
            Toda Shinpachirô (bushidô seika) by Sekka Sanjin
            Gishi meimeiden (bushidô kosui) by Tôkyô Naniwabushi Dôshikai
            Kore issen no uta (bushidô shishi) by Mizuno Kôtoku
            Kore wa Genroku jûyonnen (bushidô seika) by Kyôyama Kunimaru
            *Shidô no hyôgen (shûyô jitsuwa) by Nankai Gyokyaku

III.  Bushido in America (1900 E1912): A Basic Bibliography, compiled by Nicola Burt


Nitobe’s English text, Bushido: the Soul of Japan, was first published in the United States in 1900.  Described as a code similar to Western chivalry, Nitobe used bushidô to explain Japanese morality to the West.  However, it was not until the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 that the work received attention in American periodical literature.  From 1904, reviews and analyses appeared in a number of magazines and newspapers, and in one full length text, James Scherer’s What is Japanese Morality?  Scherer and other missionaries and Christian converts acknowledged the loyalty that existed in bushidô as presented by Nitobe, and used it as a reason for continued missionary work in Japan.  The loyalty of bushidô would provide a strong base for Christian teachings, although bushidô itself was not a religion, and its morality was lacking in Christian understanding.  Those writing on the Russo-Japanese War used bushidô to explain the success of the Japanese military, also emphasizing the morality and loyalty that could be found in the code.  Thus, bushidô was initially presented to American audiences through Christianity and the war.
For a few years after the war, mention of bushidô declined, surfacing only occasionally to explain an act related to Japan, or as a code to enhance the commercial status of Japan.  It was not until the suicides of General Nogi and his wife on September 13,1912, that bushidô featured prominently in the press, this time to explain a potentially abhorrent act to an American audience.  Having prior knowledge of the code, journalists and others drew on it to mediate the suicides to their readers.  Several articles provided a history of the origins of bushidô in Japan, making the act of the Nogis part of a traditional Japanese past.  In this way, American condemnation was mitigated through attempts at understanding the suicides in the context of bushidô and samurai tradition.
The accessibility of Nitobe’s text contributed significantly to American understanding of bushidô, and its influence emerges in many of the works that referenced bushidô.  Because bushidô also became more prevalent in Japanese texts, it is likely that these combined with Nitobe’s version to create the American understanding of bushidô in the early twentieth century. Bushidô proved to be a useful concept to facilitate American understanding of various Japanese acts, and one that could be invoked in matters not only pertaining to military success.  It was the emphasis in bushidô on loyalty and morality and the comparison to chivalry, all concepts understood by American audiences, that permitted this mediation to occur, and that have probably shaped subsequent understanding of bushidô in the United States.
Nitobe Inazô and Bushidô:
The Works of Inazo Nitobe. 5 Vols. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1972.
Bushidô Reviews and Analyses:
“‘Bushido' among the Japanese: the Relation between Chivalry and Suicide among the Japanese." Missionary Review of the World Vol. XVIII (old series XXVIII), no.7 (July 1905): 528-529.
“Bushido, the Japanese Ethical Code.EThe Literary Digest (March 26, 1904): 448-9.
“Bushido, the Japanese Ethical Code.ELiving Age (April 9, 1904): 115-121.
“Bushido: the Ethical Code of Japan.ECurrent Literature Vol. XXXIX, no. 3 (September 1905): 294-5.
“Christianity’s Present Opportunity in Japan.EMissionary Review of the World Vol. XVIII (old series XXVIII), no. 4 (April 1905): 266-270.
“Dr. Griffis on ‘Bushido.’” New York Times (May 20, 1905): BR329.
“Japanese Knight-Errantry.ENew York Times (April 1, 1905): BR201.
“Japanese Thought.ENew York Times (September 2, 1905): BR573.
“Notes.EThe Dial (Charles Scribner’s Sons: New York City, August 1, 1905): 71.
Scherer, James A.B. What is Japanese Morality? Philadelphia: The Sunday School Times Co., 1906.
“The Religions of Japan.EThe Missionary Review of the World Vol. XVIII (old series XXVIII), no.7 (July 1905): 530-4.
Bushidô and the Russo-Japanese War:
“‘BushidoEand Business.ENew York Times (July 23, 1905): 6,1.
Griffis, William Elliot. “How Japan in War Time Observes International Law.ENew York Times (June 19, 1904): 12.
“Japan and Ourselves.ENew York Times (May 2, 1906): 8.
“Japan’s Most Deadly Menace.EHarper’s Weekly (New York and London: Harper and Brothers, July 10, 1909): 17.
“Nogi and Stoessel.ENew York Times (May 26, 1906): 10.
“‘The Soul of a Nation.’” New York Times (October 27, 1904): 1.
“Why Japan’s Ruler Worshipped at Ise.ENew York Times (December 4, 1905): 7.
“Will be Friends or Foes.ENew York Times (June 29, 1906): 8.
The Suicide of General Nogi:
“A Japanese Denunciation of Nogi.EThe Literary Digest (November 2, 1912): 780.
“American Opinion of the Nogi Suicide.EThe Literary Digest (September 28, 1912): 504-5.
“General Nogi’s End.EThe Literary Digest (September 28, 1912): 527-31.
“Hara-Kiri a Samurai Custom.ENew York Times (September 14, 1912): 3.
“Judging Nogi’s Suicide.EThe Literary Digest (October 19, 1912): 674.
Kennan, George. “The Death of General Nogi.EThe Outlook (October 5, 1912): 255-9.
“Last of the Samurai.ENew York Times (March 30, 1913): BR179.
“Nogi a Spartan, Trained for War.ENew York Times (September 14, 1912): 3.
Noguchi, Yone. “On the Suicide of Gen. Nogi.EThe Nation Vol. 95, no. 2468 (October 17, 1912): 352-3.
Tong, H. K. “Where Suicide Is a Virtue.EThe Independent Vol. 73 (October 17, 1912): 899-901.
“When Nogi Paused in War for a July 4th Banquet.ENew York Times (September 22, 1912): SM1.
Other Materials:
“‘Human BulletsE A Revealing Book.ENew York Times (October 19, 1907): BR650.
Kawakami, Kiyoshi K. “A Japanese on Japan.ENew York Times (July 21, 1906): BR457.
“Knox to Japanese on Our Friendship.ENew York Times (November 4, 1909): 18.
Midzuno Kokichi. “Dr. Inazo Nitobe.EThe Independent Vol. 71 (October 5, 1911): 746-9.
Noguchi Yone. “The Truth About Intellectual Japan.EThe Independent Vol. 71 (October 19, 1911): 864-7.
“Russia and Japan To-Day.ENew York Times (October 23, 1910): LI 12.
A Brief Selection of Japanese Materials:
“‘BushidôE100 nen, hirogeta yûkô.E Asahi shinbun (yûkan), (July 31, 2000): hyûman, 8.
Matsukuma Toshiko. Nitobe Inazô. Tokyo: Mizusu Shobô, 1969.
Nitobe Inazô. Bushidô. Trans. Sakurai Ôson. Tokyo: Teimi Shuppansha, 1908, 1909 printing.
Nitobe Inazô Zenshû. Tokyo: Kyôbunkan, 1969. 16 volumes.
Secondary English Language Sources:
Howes, John F. ed. Nitobe Inazô: Japan’s Bridge Across the Pacific. Boulder, San Francisco, Oxford: Westview Press, 1995.
Useful Resources:
E-resources: ProQuest Historical Newspapers: This can be accessed through the Columbia University Libraries homepage. The New York Times is archived from 1857, and articles are full-text searchable.  Articles can also be printed from the site.
Guthrie, Anna Lorraine, ed. ReadersEGuide to Periodical Literature (Cumulated). Volume I (1900-1904); Volume II (1905-1909); Volume III (1910-1914). Minneapolis: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1905; 1910; 1915.
Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1967.  5 Volumes.