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The samurai of old is extinct. Bushido, the “way of the warrior,” is no more. It embraced war, selflessness and death. The moral code that shapes us today, based on peace, self-interest and self-preservation, could not be more different. A samurai’s courage was heroic but seems in retrospect scarcely sane in its pursuit of death. It is as though death were our natural state and life a mere obstacle blocking the way to it.

Not just any death. A samurai sought quality death. The virtue of virtues was loyalty. To sacrifice one’s life in the service of one’s lord was to be blessed indeed.

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