The path of warfare is long and packed with nuances. In Japanese, Bushido means just that:
Bushi =Warrior/ Do = Path
At B16, we adapted and adopted this oriental code of ethics in order to guide our decision-making: business, cultural and social. We believe in their potential to take us further, arriving at the pinnacles of our professional lives and personal achievements. These are our values:
Chu = Loyalty
Gi = Dedication
Rei = Resilience
Jin = Empathy
Meiyo = Ambition
Makoto = Respect
Yuu = Courage
Admirable qualities that establish a very clear purpose in whatever the context: be loyal, dedicated, resilient, empathic, ambitious, respectful and courageous. In any other article, the key question would then be: what is the point of an ethical code belonging Japanese warriors to humans in the 21st century?
However, I’d bet somebody has already written this article. Let me Google it for you: of course they have… Brands with variants on the name Bushido, entrepreneurs framing this in their methodologies, posts and blogs relating Bushido to their business and its performance… Using these values as a marketing vehicle is no innovation: however, truly incorporating them into the way the company operates requires another type of dedication.
I’m not going to pretend I’m a specialist in the field as that would not be loyal on my behalf. My qualifications for talking about Bushido are: respect for both the work of Hayao Miyazaki and that of Kota Ibushi, I trained Ninjutsu for six years, I prefer Kurosawa to Ozu, Kobayashi to Mizoguchi, Naito to Okada and Cowboy Bebop to Death Note.
To explain how this set of values works in a more “academic” format would end up producing information you may easily find in articles and videos on this subject written by persons who are far better informed than myself. For an in-depth fact-checked bibliography, I would recommend the page dedicated to the subject in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
You cannot talk about Bushido without mentioning the Samurai: the Japanese warrior elite and, eventually, a social class that extended from the 12th century through to their abolition at the end of the 19th century. Bushido is associated with them and results from an oral tradition of values implicit to the statute of the Samurai and formalised in the 17th century (Edo period) and incorporated into the teaching system in the 19th century (Meiji period).
In the latter case, the Japanese leadership adapted the values of the abolished warrior class to better align with the emerging nationalist philosophy. Subsequently, the book Bushido: The Soul of Japan, by the Japanese author Inazō Nitobe, was a best selling throughout the West in the early 20th century and became very influential in the ways these values get understood beyond their original boundaries. And this leads to the 21st century when Bushido is employed as an exotic mantra by companies, vloggers and athletes.
It’s necessary to have the courage to ask the right questions: just how is Bushido going to make a difference to my project?
This takes effect on every step along your path. This is put into practice by elite, resilient creatives who understand the history of the legacy they convey and the commitments they assumed. By communicators with equal measures of ambition and empathy. The path of the warrior is long and full of nuances. We know them because our way led us to incorporate them naturally into our modus operandi that strengthens any team. Through to the Meiji period, following Bushido was the choice, not the obligation, of each Samurai. In the 21st century, this continues to be the case: and, living Bushido, sincerely, will ensure the difference takes place.