chapter  2
Bushidō in the Modern Period
Pages 2

The criticisms cited - as are now apparent - are directed only to those instructors who must learn to do more than enforcing archaic forms of discipline and etiquette and recognize kendo training as a continuing educational process to realize human growth. If they do not, then bushido, the social manifestation of the discipline cultivated through kendo practice (see footnote on p. x), would have no meaning at all. But, in my opinion at least, bushido, not withstanding the fact that it has been criticized or ignored by some Japanese academics, or looked upon humorously by the American public, has the ingredients necessary to realize human growth even today. Thus bushido needs to be evaluated in the modern context. It will be done by first pointing out its demerits and then its merits.

It will be recalled that kendo discipline had its origin in the violent period of the warring states years, and its way of life was institutionalized as bushido during the peaceful Tokugawa period. Hence, though kendo is a sport, underlying it is the bushido tradition developed in feudal Japan. There are reasons for criticizing this tradition today. It contains elements detrimental to the development of democratic society.