The Bushido And The Stoic

Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo
2 min readDec 6, 2023
Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash

The serenity that comes with the practice of philosophy, to my opinion, isn’t more beautifully explained than in Inazo Nitobe’s, The Bushido Code:

“A truly brave man is ever serene; he is never taken by surprise; nothing ruffles the equanimity of his spirit. In the heat of battle he remains cool; in the midst of catastrophes he keeps level his mind. Earthquakes do not shake him, he laughs at storms. We admire him as truly great, who, in the menacing presence of danger or death, retains his self-possession; who, for instance, can compose a poem under impending peril or hum a strain in the face of death. Such indulgence betraying no tremor in the writing or in the voice, is taken as an infallible index of a large nature — of what we call a capacious mind (Yoyū), which, far from being pressed or crowded, has always room for something more.”
Inazo Nitobe, Bushido, The Soul Of Japan

“Has always room for something more.”

I don’t believe the Stoics went as far as the Japanese in terms of understanding the “cheerfulness” that arrives with the study of philosophy. Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus feel more strict to me than what Inazo narrates above.

The Samurai, not only remains with his will untouched, but he also wields it, to the point of singing in the face of death. There is a lot to learn here. How can one possibly achieve…