Essay on Samurai and Unconditional Dedication

Submitted By 747613397QqCom
Words: 1167
Pages: 5

The Way of Samurai

Ziyao Chen
Early Asian Civilizations
November 5, 2014

I used to watch a Japanese comic that talks about a boy who always carries a sword with him and tries to be a samurai. It was the first time that I knew things about Japanese samurai culture, and I think that the character’s features in the comic are very similar to the characters in the play Chushingura. The play Chushingura is about a mean lord. Daimyo Moronao, who is responsible for of another lord Enya Hangan’s death. Enya’s retainers, forty-seven samurai, kill Moronao, and the vengeance is completed. In the play Chushingura, the relationship between lord and vassal cab be described as dedicated. As I said, daimyo and samurai are definitely in this dedicated relationship through the play. In the play, different samurai show their dedication, spirit, and loyalty in different ways: the good ways, the bad ways, the right ways, and the wrong ways. It is very hard to judge the wrong and right of samurais’ behaviors. Because the way of samurai should be loyalty, devotion and obedience, which means that samurai should obey all the commands from lord; however, some samurai use their own way to show their unconditional dedication. In the play Chushingura, Enya Hangan, Moronao, and Wakasanosuke are three daimyo. Enya and Wakasanosuke are bullied and taunted by Moronao, and Enya is even killed. So their samurai begin to use different ways that helptheir lord to get out of trouble. The first samurai I want to talk about is Heiemon, who is a lower class samurai of Enya. In the textbook Murphey, it mentions that many samurai were very poor, because they just got rice as stipends from lord. They were forbidden from taking up other occupations unbefitting their status, and it caused a split between the daimyo and other wealthy “upper samurai” and the poor “lower samurai”.1 Heiemon is ashigaru, the lowest rank of samurai,2 which means that he suffers a hard life as a samurai. How can a person still work for the lord if they just get little stipends from the lord? If I were that person, I wouldn’t put all my effort into working for my lord. Besides, working for my lord, I still need to support my family, raise my children, and take care of my parents. Stipends are not enough to support this life, so I won’t able to continue to live as a samurai, and then I will hire to better job for survival. However, Heiemon, as a samurai, behaves throughout with the utmost loyalty and decorum to his lord Enya.3 When Heiemon meets chief samurai Yuranosuke, he says that he went to kamakure, intending to kill Moronao, their master’s enemy. However, their enemy was too strong to get close to him. At same time, when he felt depressed, he heard that there was a league that had formed to kill Moronao, and he was eager to join them, even beg them to let him in4. Therefore, it proves that Heiemon’s unconditional dedication and loyalty even though he is poor and suffers and life. He follows the way of samurai, which is the path of loyalty, devotion and obedience5. On the contrary, there is one who does not follow the path, but he still uses his own way to show his unconditional dedication. The samurai Honzō is lord Wakasanosuke’s chief samurai. After his lord Wakasanosuke decides to kill lord Moronao, who abused his lord Wakasanosuke, Honzō disobeys his lord, and brings the gifts to Moronao’s mansion for flattering lord Moronao. So there is a question, is he loyal to his lord? “The path of loyalty, devotion, and obedience is a straight one6.” In my opinion, the straight way means that samurai should obey their lord without doing trick. Obviously, Honzō does not used this straight way. He flatters lord Moronao, their enemy, and even is called sycophant samurai by Oishi, Yuranosuk’s wife, because he is concerned about his master’s life and the reputation of his house. Honzō does not follow the way of samurai, but I can’t say that he is not…