Musui's Story

725 Words3 Pages
Musui’s Story is a personal memoir of samurai Katsu Kokichi, whose life extended during the Tokugawa period in the early 1800s in Japan. This autobiography reflects upon the nature of the Tokugawa society, but most importantly the role that the samurai class held during this era. With repetitional civil wars threatening the population’s safety, the samurai social class arose from the demand of a warrior class that could successfully abstain the population from obvious dangers. In the Tokugawa period, individuals had strict codes and ethics to obey by in order to be considered samurais. These rigorous warriors had to firmly conform to their masters to directly demonstrated respect to those above them in the social class, and they had to follow the bushido code, which was a unique Japanese code of conduct that was created in the 1600s. The bushido code worked impeccably well during war periods, but since the Tokugawa shogunate brought over two hundred years of peace and unity among Japan, the role of the bushido code drastically changed the samurai’s violent existence into one of civility, wisdom, and tranquility. With the warrior class suffering the most during an era of peace, Musui’s story contradicts the relationship between samurai ideals and actual samurai life with the personal account of Katsu Kokichi, who lived a life unworthy of the samurai ways during the Edo period. Kokichi, who officially took the name of Musui after his retirement, lived an adventurous life that can very well highlight the differences between a samurai of the Tokugawa period with one of earlier existence. Through a time of peace, samurai could hardly benefit in terms of finances and security since they were not needed as direly as during times of war. This instigated the samurai class to hold positions in regards to their master’s social standing. For the vast majority of samurai,
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