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Bushido (Way of the Warrior


The Regulations of Imagawa Ryoshun
"Without knowledge of Learning, one will ultimately have no military victories."
"Cormorant fishing and falconing are pleasures that uselessly destroy life. They are
"it is forbidden to pass the death sentence on a man who has committed a major crime
without full investigation"
"It is forbidden to use favoritism and excuse a man who has committed a major crime"
"It is forbidden to bring about one's own excessive prosperity by means of exploiting the
people and causing the destruction of shrines."
"It is forbidden to tear down one's ancestors' family temples and pagodas, thereby
embellishing one's own domicile"
"It is forbidden to forget the great debt of kindness one owes to his master and ancestors
and thereby make light of the virtues of loyalty and filial piety."
"It is forbidden that one should, acting disrespective of the Way of Heaven, attach little
importance to his duties to his master and be overly attentive to his own business"
"It is forbidden to be indiscriminate of one's retainers good or evil actions and to
distribute unjust rewards and punishments."
be mindful of the fact that, as you know the works of your own retainers, the master
knows yours in the same way.
"It is forbidden to disrupt the relationships of other people, and to make others anguish
your own pleasure."
"It is forbidden to put others profit at a loss and, recklessly embracing one's own

and to avoid those who are his inferiors.ambition. but it is important to put them into actual practice. if one is ignorant in the study of literature. it is written in the Four Books and Five Classics as well as in the military writings that in protecting the country. increase one's own power" "It is forbidden to be disregardful of one's own financial status and to live too far above it or below it" "It is forbidden to have contempt for wise retainers and prefer flatterers. This is simply saying that one should not love those who are evil." "Regardless of a person's high or low position. while his retainers go about shabbily. and to ridicule others about everything" "When a person comes to one's home. considering this to be true. Therefore it is said that the master who governs his domain well loves wise retainers." "It is forbidden to be excessive in one's own clothing and armor. Nor should he disdain someone who has fallen while adhering to the path of righteousness. First of all. However. he should look to the companions who the master loves. From the time one is young." "It is forbidden to enjoy one's own tranquility. in gambling and the like. so will a man follow the good and evil of his companions." "It is forbidden to erect barriers in one's own domain and thus cause distress to travelers both coming and going" THE ABOVE ARTICLES SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND AT ALL TIMES Postcript: It is natural that training in the martial arts is the Way of the warrior. it is forbidden to disregard the law of karma. is the wisdom of the good man. all matters are difficult to achieve. and to have one's actions be influenced by those conditions" "One should not be envious of someone who has prospered by unjust deeds. it is forbidden to feign illness and thus avoid meeting him. First. while the man who exploits the people loves flatterers. and to retire a man without adding to him some stipend. a samurai who dislikes battle and has not put his heart in the right place even . and to simply live in ease. To prefer friends who are superior to him. for without the love and respect of the masses. it will not do to be overly fastidious in one's choice of people. he will be unable to govern." "One should be highly reverential of Buddhist priests and treat them with correct manners. One should truly take this to heart. This means that if one would know the heart of the master." "It is forbidden to be given up to drinking and carousing and. to forget one's family duties. This is not limited to the man who governs the country." "It is forbidden to be prideful of one's own cleverness. he should associate with companions who are upright and not even temporarily be taken in by friends of low character. This is so true. Just as water will conform to the shape of the vessel that contains it.

he should think of his own conduct as being incorrect. And though one can say that the treatment of his vassals in the division of the fiefs has not differed since the time of his ancestors. In adhering to correct government. Thus the above is written in the 19th year of Oei (1412 A. even if one invites many people. etiquette and wisdom. Being born into a family that has from the beginning earnestly known the Way of Battle. for his vassals both near and far. Yet. And. But when the government makes its stand in unrighteousness and the death penalty is passed. A man who is said to be a master should. and yet being negligent and lacking wisdom and ability. he may think of himself as good if many people of both high and low positions gather at his door. and do not sustain their underlings. I suppose there are two ways of having the gate crowded with callers. One should be able to discern such situations well and to correct the arbitrariness of his retainers. In Governing the country. should not be reckoned among one's retainers. it is dangerous to lack even one of the virtues of humanity. It is meaningless to divide up the administration of the domain if one's vassals commit useless acts in their own interests. are exploited by the high handedness of his retainers and opposed by the plots of his companions. and receive the scorn of all.D. He should entrust himself to the wise sayings of the ancients and follow the conditions of the law. and even to those officials separated from him by mountains and sea. and will gather at the gates of the authorities complaining of their afflictions with explanations of their distress. righteousness. and he should use those men according to their talents. and still they neglect him and he has no comrades. and in such a case there will be no escaping the retribution of Karma. there will be no rancor from the people when crimes are punished. It is possible that there are many examples of men becoming leaders of samurai. ponder day and night with a heart of compassion into matters of rewards and punishments. Next. in the same way the sun and the moon shine on the grass and trees all over the land. Many famous generals have made this admonition. it is truly regrettable to wastefully tamper with the domain. There are also occasions when the people are fearful of the masters' iniquity.) Imagawa Ryoshun . one must rack one's brains and never depart from the Ways of both Warrior and Scholar. There is a primary need to distinguish loyalty from disloyalty and to establish rewards and punishments. Just as Buddha preached the various laws in order to save all living beings. there will be deep lamenting.though he has been born in the house of the warrior. if one would wonder about the good and evil of his own heart. and thus incurring the criticism of men both high and low. support no soldiers. have no ability in the martial arts. differences in conduct and authority are dependant of the same frame of mind of the present master.