The Soul of Japan. The Soul of Korea.

I wanted to know “the soul of Korea” but I could not find a book about it.

Instead, I read Bushido: The Soul of Japan and The Chrysanthemum and the Sword just because… it was on the shelf.

Bushido: The Soul of Japan at

Bushido: The Soul of Japan from Wikipedia.

hijikata-toshizou0003.jpg 20070918119010395133710300.jpg

Great books. They explain a lot of things about Japanese. A “samurai’s word” is not merely unbreakable; it is factual. … A samurai’s word can never be false. From what I observe, Japanese hate liars even today.

You ask “Not all Japanese were samurai right?” Well, if you read, you’ll know the answer. But let me give you an example. At the end of Edo period, those who fought to protect old-Tokugawa regime (Shinsengumi) were, in fact, sons of farmers. They were also masters of Kendo. They were the last of true samurais.

Anyway, the reason why I wanted to learn about the soul of Korea is that Koreans do lie often. Well, according to Chosun Ilbo[* or “country of liars“], perjury in a Korean court is 671 times higher than it is in Japan. The author of “Korea and Her Neighbours”, Isabella L. Bird Bishop described Korea as “country of rumors”. But, don’t get me wrong. Please. Who said lying is a sin? It could be just a culture or figure of speech. The roots of Korean spirits or soul must be found in Sinocentrism or Confucianism. I must find it. I just want to understand.

If you know a good book about Korean soul and its roots? Please let me know! (English book is preferred) Thanks.


I just found “Taekwondo: The Spirit of Korea” but, the creator of Taekwondo already confessed that he learned everything from Karate. see “Taekwondo is a ripp off, but we don’t remember that


2 thoughts on “The Soul of Japan. The Soul of Korea.

  1. Nitobe’s Bushido is a combination of christian values and confucian values. Actually it has nothing to do with actual “Bushi” in the Edo era.

    Kind a “modern invention”. Have you read the book by 菅野覚明「武士道の逆襲」講談社新書?

    Also Dr. Karl Friday’s article could be also interesting

    As 菅野 explains in his book, the aim of the Meiji restoration was to deny the old regimes of the samurai’s, so it was the way of the samurai’s during the Edo era.

    Nitobe’s “Bushido” has almost nothing to do with actual samurai’s, it is rather his explanation what the Japanese should be in the modern era.

    Kind a funny that even many Japanese believes it (still now) that it represents tradition and history.

  2. tomojiro,

    Thanks for the info. I thought Nitobe’s book is rather his explanation to the westerners what the Japanese in general thought on Samurai at that age(end of the Edo era). Besides,菅野 seems to be talking about the wild true warriors in pre-Edo era. I think Nitobe and 菅野 are both right on Bushi. They are talking about Bushi on different periods. 700 years of Bushi’s age and things change.

    I, of course, need to read more on Bushi, but what is more important to me is the general perception of Samurai and its influence on Japanese people. For example, today’s Japanese people still appreciate the idea of “武士の一言” whether consciously or not, right?

    And the link you gave me.. I don’t understand why you try to relate samurai with WWII. It’s like a fat geek trying to imitate a Ninja’s move or a begger with Jesus-look trying to get a penny.

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