A while ago I posted a poem by Robert Pinski entitled “Samurai Song”. I didn’t realize then that the poem was based on this:
Based on Confucian, Shinto, Buddhist and Zen principles, the samurai developed a code which came to be known as ‘bushido’ or the Way of the Warrior. The Samurai Creed, believed to have been written by an anonymous warrior in the 14th century, depicts the fusion between these religious elements and their influence on the Bushido.
I have no parents; I make the Heavens and the Earth my parents.
I have no home; I make the Tan T’ien my home.
I have no divine power; I make honesty my Divine Power.
I have no means; I make Docility my means.
I have no magic power; I make personality my Magic Power.
I have neither life nor death; I make A Um my Life and Death.
I have no body; I make Stoicism my Body.
I have no eyes; I make The Flash of Lightning my eyes.
I have no ears; I make Sensibility my Ears.
I have no limbs; I make Promptitude my Limbs.
I have no laws; I make Self-Protection my Laws.
I have no strategy; I make the Right to Kill and the Right to Restore Life my Strategy.
I have no designs; I make Seizing the Opportunity by the Forelock my Designs.
I have no miracles; I make Righteous Laws my Miracle.
I have no principles; I make Adaptability to all circumstances my Principle.
I have no tactics; I make Emptiness and Fullness my Tactics.
I have no talent; I make Ready Wit my Talent.
I have no friends; I make my Mind my Friend.
I have no enemy; I make Incautiousness my Enemy.
I have no armor; I make Benevolence my Armor.
I have no castle; I make Immovable Mind my Castle.
I have no sword; I make No Mind my Sword