Idle Talk In The Dead Of Night Chapter Summary

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An Unexpected Endemic Disease: The Internal Modernity Crisis of Samurai in Modern Japan

If a survey were conducted across the globe that asked participants to describe what they felt was the defining characteristic of Japanese culture, the Japanese samurai would most likely be the top response. In modern Japan, the legacy of the medieval samurai is at the heart of the Japanese culture. Depictions of samurai’s absolute loyalty, high regard for honor, and continual analysis of shame, can be seen scattered all across the globalized world today. From the lighthearted Japanese manga and anime, to the business practices of private industries, to even the government’s policies, the samurai has left its imprints on almost everything Japanese. However, modern Japanese perceptions of their beloved samurai were not always what the samurai were, nor were their core values always the defining vocal point of all Japanese culture.
During the early medieval period, samurai were a unique
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In its opening section, titled “Idle Talk in the Dead of Night”, it describes how the average samurai has been repressed to a mere peasant on the street . The rest of the book, through a series of vignettes, describes how the samurai should truly act. In particular, Hagakure describes what it means to be honorable by articulating what the meaning of life and death is. Death was preferable to life. One particular vignette capitulates Tsunetomo’s vision of the honorable samurai in death when he writes, “The way of the warrior is to be found in dying. If one is faced with two options of life or death simply settle for death” . Tsunetomo’s outlook of Bushido became a permanent addition to the samurai way of life. A century later, a young samurai would expand upon Tsunetomo’s teachings, thus adding the final piece to the modern samurai ideology, as Japan’s isolation was finally

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