Honor: Chivalry, Bushido, Omerta

 

I would like to take a moment and talk about “honor”. A concept and a virtue lost upon modern man. Throughout history and various societies we see different codes of honor manifest, but mainly carrying a similar theme. These codes are most notably exemplified in warrior cultures such as the Samurai, Vikings, Spartans, and to a further extent Knighthood during Christendom.

There are two main types of honor; vertical and horizontal.

Horizontal honor pertains to respect between individuals and is usually defined by various codes such as the Samurai code of Bushido, Knight code of Chivalry and even among criminals the code of Omertà. It also requires such groups to adhere to the code.

Vertical honor entails giving respect, esteem or reverence to someone who is above you. In antiquity vertical honor would be that given to a King, because by the virtue of his position it is required. The same kind of Honor is given unto God. “Take heed diligently lest thou forget the Lord, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and shalt serve him only, and thou shalt swear by his name.” -Deuteronomy 6:13. That is what is meant by fear of the Lord.

Let us go into the different codes shall we.

Omerta:

Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool
Or a coward
Whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both
For a wounded man will shall say to his assailant
“If I live, I will kill you. If I die, you are forgiven”
Such is the rule of honor

Omerta is the code of honor developed and employed by various Italian crime families. Yes, even criminals once had honor… if that is any indication of how far post-modern man has fallen. It is a code of silence, that one does not talk to the authorities or sell out member of the family. The penalty of such a violation is death.

Bushido:

  1. Rectitude
    • Morally correct behavior in thought and action. (Righteousness)
  2.  Courage
    • Doing what is right and adhering to correct path, regardless of fear. Quality of character.
  3. Benevolence/Mercy
    • Knowing when to spare a life, or engage in combat within the context of rectitude. The disposition to do good.
  4. Respect
    • the attitude of consideration or high regard.
  5. Honor
    • An objectification of praiseworthiness. Similar to respect
  6. Honesty
    • being truthful
  7. Loyalty
    • allegiance or faithfulness to ones superiors, brothers or sovereign.

As we can see its very similar to the Western Knight concept of Chivalry. The code of Chivalry I have already written about… It can be found Here.

 

Honor has been lost to modern man. I think it is time to cultivate it once more. It is paramount to living a noble and masculine life. But it must be understood in the Christian context. When honor is disordered it can be a sin and become pride. Such as when the Samurai commit Seppuku which is the taking of ones own life when dishonored. That is a mortal sin. I advice you visit the post on Chivalry for more information on the Christian context. However, honor is a virtue when ordered correctly. Exemplify it. Let us remember that Judas is an example of forsaking honor.

 

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2 thoughts on “Honor: Chivalry, Bushido, Omerta

  1. I understand why Seppuku was so important to the Samurai. There was no concept of redemption in Japanese culture, and yet unlike hedonistic cultures they had a very immediate sense of shame and strict social codes which enforced this. Once dishonor had been introduced, there was no way to get rid of it, you were better sending yourself onwards than to remain in shame. This is why repentance is so important to our Occidental culture, as it would prevent or at least limit such practices which often lost Japan fine warriors.

    Liked by 1 person

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