Guest Editor’s Foreword
The oscillation between fascination and derision directed toward bushidō in the last hundred or so years, both in Japan and abroad, is just one characteristic aspect of this ambiguous “samurai code of honour”. Ever since the notion of bushidō took the centre stage in the discourse on Japanese culture and national character in the Meiji period (1868–1912), various thinkers imbued the notion with the whole gamut of ideological interpretations, seeing in it everything from ultimate evidence of Japanese uniqueness on one end, to recognising in bushidō the symbol of Japanese civilized status by virtue of the universality of its ethical postulations on the other. Moreover, this vague and elusive idea of “samurai honour” continues to function as an empty shell for whatever ideological content wishes to occupy its place.
Copyright (c) 2018 Luka Culiberg
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