Zen After The Restoration


After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of Zen

began to wane, and for some thirty years remained in inactivity; but

since the Russo-Japanese War its revival has taken place. And now it

is looked upon as an ideal faith, both for a nation full of hope and

energy, and for a person who has to fight his own way in the strife

of life. Bushido, or the code of chivalry, should be observed not

only by the so
dier in the battle-field, but by every citizen in the

struggle for existence. If a person be a person and not a beast,

then he must be a Samurai-brave, generous, upright, faithful, and

manly, full of self-respect and self-confidence, at the same time

full of the spirit of self-sacrifice. We can find an incarnation of

Bushido in the late General Nogi, the hero of Port Arthur, who, after

the sacrifice of his two sons for the country in the Russo-Japanese

War, gave up his own and his wife's life for the sake of the deceased

Emperor. He died not in vain, as some might think, because his

simplicity, uprightness, loyalty, bravery, self-control, and

self-sacrifice, all combined in his last act, surely inspire the

rising generation with the spirit of the Samurai to give birth to

hundreds of Nogis. Now let us see in the following chapters what Zen

so closely connected with Bushido teaches us.