The Annotated Bushido

Bushido: The Soul of Japan


Inazo Nitobe


Use the main menu to access the annotated text of Bushido: The Soul of Japan. The text contains popup notes for key terms, names, and other references (along with Nitobe's original footnotes). Summaries, comments, and textual notes can be viewed by clicking on the arrow in the upper-right corner of the relevant page. The emendations introduced when the revised edition appeared in 1905 are indicated in the text by a different (reddish-brown) font color.

The main goal has been to make available a reasonably authoritative and accessible collated text of the two main editions of Bushido, along with a comprehensive set of annotations. Comments on the later chapters especially are quite brief, and other resources may be added as time permits. The annotations by and large come from sources that can be found online, although it will be evident that they have been pursued with some diligence. Special mention should at least be made of the Internet Archive, the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and various independent sites that have been cited in the notes. Use has also been made of the resources of the Waseda University library system. Corrections, additions, and other communications are welcome at the e-mail address given at the bottom of the side panel on the Prefaces page. Although the copyright on the original works has expired, this annotated and collated version is a new online work, the copyright of which belongs -- with the exception of the banner image -- to the site's creator and manager, Mark Jewel (professor emeritus, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University, Tokyo).

The list of chapters (following the first edition) is as follows:

  1. Bushido as an Ethical System
  2. Sources of Bushido
  3. Rectitude or Justice
  4. Courage, the Spirit of Daring and Bearing
  5. Benevolence, the Feeling of Distress
  6. Politeness
  7. Veracity or Truthfulness
  8. Honor
  9. The Duty of Loyalty
  10. Education and Training of [a*] Samurai
  11. Self-Control
  12. The Institutions of Suicide and Revenge
  13. The Sword, the Soul of the Samurai
  14. The Training and Position of Woman
  15. The Influence of Bushido
  16. Is Bushido Still Alive?
  17. The Future of Bushido

* The article does not appear in the "Contents" of the first edition, although it is used in the text.




The banner image, by the woodblock artist Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1825), depicts Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159-1189) and his fabled companion Musashibō Benkei (?-1189?). The original uncropped image is held by the U.S. Library of Congress and was downloaded from this page. No known copyright issues are involved.