View Full Version : Duty to one's country

29th December 2002, 20:04
Could someone please elaborate what "duty to one's country" is? I understand that it's a very important fundamental of martial arts. Does it mean something like support your country's actions, take a government job, or join the army??? Or just something as simple as don't commit treason?

30th December 2002, 23:29
I suppose this has to be put into context. Remember the type of martial culture from which Budo is derived. Duty to one's country meant civil obedience to one's seniors and lords, possible military service, and recognition of the state religion. Not everyone in that culture agreed with such notions, of course, and some had good reason to disagree.

In the United States, the ultimate service to one's country, contrary to popular believe (allegiance to the flag), is to uphold one's constitutional rights and duties. Interestingly enough, this might include rebellion against the government, voting, upholding the laws of the state that do not infringe upon the constitution (that pesky 9th amendment), etc. I would, for one, be much more secure in my spirit to see people waving copies of the Constitution or at least the Bill of Rights, instead of all the US flag bumper stickers I see on all the SUV's in my town these days. During these troubled times, we in The United States must all reflect on what our true duties are as citizens and be ever vigilant.

In Iraq, what is Duty to one's country? Supreme allegiance to Husein would be the only answer at this time. Duty to one's people might present a different answer. In The United States, the people are the country, that is not so in Iraq.

Context makes all the difference in the answering of this question. There is no simple answer. The original meaning of that part of Bushido would sit sourly in the stomach of most people in Japan as well as The United States of America. It was responsible for a lot of senseless death and suffering in a brutal age, but that age has lessons that must be learned, and that is one reason why we study Budo.

Paradox and quandry, oh my...

31st December 2002, 07:54

the Khazar Kid
9th January 2003, 05:31
Amen brother Glenn

Jesse Peters