L5r: Legend of the Five Rings Wiki
Please note: This article is about Bushido and the seven virtues, including Courage (Yu). For other uses of the term, please see Courage (disambiguation).
Please note: This article is about Bushido and the seven virtues, including Honesty (Gi). For other uses of the term, please see Gi (disambiguation).


Literally meaning "way of the warrior," Bushido was the code by which nearly all samurai in Rokugan strived to live.

Seven Virtues of Bushido[]

The Seven Virtues of Bushido were:

  • Jin (Compassion) - Just as the farmer does not grow crops merely to fill his own belly, the warrior does not fight for himself alone. A samurai must be constantly aware of the duty to protect others.
"Through intense training the Samurai becomes quick and strong. He is not as other men. He develops a power that must be used for the good of all. He has compassion. He helps his fellow men at every opportunity. If an opportunity does not arise, he goes out of his way to find one."
  • Yu (Courage) - Only fear of death can destroy life; the samurai replaces it with an understanding of danger.
"Rise up above the masses of people who are afraid to act. A Samurai must have heroic courage. It is absolutely risky. It is dangerous. It is living life completely, fully, wonderfully. Heroic courage is not blind. It is intelligent and strong. Replace fear with respect and caution."
  • Rei (Courtesy) - A samurai is neither a bully nor a brute killer. He must treat his enemies with courtesy.
"Samurai have no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. A Samurai is courteous even to his enemies. Without this outward show of respect, we are nothing more then animals. A Samurai is not only respected for his strength in battle, but also by his dealings with other men. The true inner strength of a Samurai becomes apparent during difficult times."
  • Chugo (Duty and Loyalty) - Actions and their consequences define those who take them. The samurai's loyalty to those that he guards for is unshakeable.
"For the Samurai, having done some 'thing' or said some 'thing', he knows he owns that 'thing'. He is responsible for it and all the consequences that follow. A Samurai is intensely loyal to those in his care. To those he is responsible for, he remains fiercely true."
  • Gi (Honesty and Justice) - Set lies aside. A samurai does not make honesty or justice a matter for debate; he knows that there is only truth and falsehood, justice and injustice.
"Be acutely honest throughout your dealings with all people. Believe in justice, not from other people, but from yourself. To a true Samurai, there is no shades of gray in the question of honesty and justice. There is only right and wrong."
  • Meyo (Honor) - Praises and curses are not what defines honor; the samurai reserves his judgement for himself.
"A true Samurai has only one judge of his honor, and that is himself. Decisions you make and how those decisions are carried out are a reflection of who you truly are. You cannot hide from yourself."
  • Makoto (Sincerity) - A samurai's words and his actions are one and the same. To 'promise' would be redundant.
"When a Samurai has said he will perform an action, it is as good as done. Nothing will stop him from completing what he has said he will do. He does not have to 'give his word'. He does not have to 'promise'. The action of speaking alone has set the act of doing in motion. Speaking and doing are the same action."

Compassion Courage Courtesy Duty

Honesty Honor Sincerity

Bushido in Context[]

The code of bushido was originally set forth by the Kami Akodo as instructions intended for bushi alone; its intent towards courtiers and shugenja was debatable. Despite this, bushido had become the code not only for bushi, but for the whole of the samurai caste.

Kharmic Wheel[]

The idea of rebirth was central to the path of bushido. Because a person received numerous lives, samurai often placed little value on their current incarnation. A samurai need not fear death, for he received another life. By obeying the precepts of bushido, he needed not worry about his reincarnation. [4]


Although the Nezumi didn't follow the ways of Bushido, they pronounced them the seven "Vrr'chus of Bu'ch-do". Two members of the Tattered Ear Tribe had been taught the basics by the monk Sodaisa.[5]

The Lost and Bushido[]

Lost samurai still claimed to honor Bushido, thought their definitions of the seven virtues were different. [6]

  • Gi (Honesty and Justice): A samurai had not be dishonest with his own appetites, as vengeance or anger. Justice was defined by strength, so justice and violence were the same.
  • Yu (Heroic Courage): A samurai had not be a coward, so they were not afraid to gain true immortality by the taint.
  • Jin (Compassion): The Lost were compassionated with the peasants, but it was no compassion for those who failed to acknowledge Jigoku as the pinnacle of the Celestial Order.
  • Rei (Polite Courtesy): Rudeness and disrespect were intolerable, and they expressed this virtue in a wide display of arts, including origami, poetry, Torture or self-mutilation, among others.
  • Meiyo (Honor): The true measurement of worthiness came from within, from their taint. Therefore, all of the blessings from the Taint were honorable.
  • Makoto (Complete Sincerity): Deed and action were the same. The Lost took their vows very seriously.
  • Chugo (Duty and Loyalty): The Lost followed with loyalty the most powerful leader who worshipped Fu Leng.

See Also[]

External Links[]


  1. L5R 4th Edition, p.44
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 L5R 4th Edition, p.45
  3. 3.0 3.1 L5R 4th Edition, p.46
  4. Way of the Phoenix, p. 32
  5. Way of the Ratling, pp. 10-11
  6. Secrets of the Shadowlands, p. 5
  • Way of the Lion, pp. 94-105.

This article is a stub. That means that it has been started, but is incomplete. You can help by adding to the information here.