Code of conduct of the samurai class of Japan, first formulated in the 17th century. Its precise content varied over time, taking on overtones of Zen Buddhism and Confucianism. Along with self-discipline, honour, and austerity, one constant feature was the samurai's obligation to his lord, which superseded even familial ties. This obligation of loyalty and sacrifice was transferred to the emperor with the Meiji Restoration and was a salient feature of the Japanese national mindset until the end of World War II (1945).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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