Chivalry & Bushido Quick Comparison

by wota

Posted on 2020-06-02

otaku image by wota Chivalry & Bushido Quick Comparison

I have found some interesting article about Chivalry, European  knights, and Bushido, Samurai of Japan.

It looks like there are so many similarities between those two codes of ethics or ways of life, as well as differences as the basic foundation/mindsets which are still present today in my opinion.

Both are warriors who at the time, one of highest position and important in the society where protects their people such as peasants and other weak.

Similarities come in the rules or code which they follow in order to maintain the society in peace.

Here are the those values.


The Ten Rules of Chivalry

1. Thou shalt follow the dictates of moral conscience.

2. Thou shalt be willing to defend your values.

3. Thou shalt have respect and pity for all weakness and steadfastness in defending them.

4. Thou shalt love thy country.

5. Thou shalt refuse to retreat before the enemy.

6. Thou shalt wage unceasing and merciless war against all that is evil.

7. Thou shalt obey the orders of those appointed above you, as long as those orders do not conflict with what you know to be just.

8. Thou shalt show loyalty to truth and to your pledged word.

9. Thou shalt be generous and giving of ones self.

10.Thou shalt be champion of the right and good at all times, and at all times oppose the forces of evil.

Codes of Chivalry include the following values: duty, honor, honesty, dedication, commitment, fidelity (loyalty), truth, courage, and kindness.

Medieval Knight
Medieval Knight (source:



Seven Virtues of Bushido

An appreciation and respect of life was also imperative, as it added balance to the warrior character of the true Bushido warrior. He was often very stoic with a deep and strong philosophical passion. He could be deadly in combat and yet so gentle and compassionate with children and the weak.

Rectitude (moral righteousness)



Respect / Politeness


Honor, Glory


Others sometimes added are:

Filial piety


Care for the aged

Bushido values in Japanese (source:

Those are the similarities. 

What about the differences??

In short, While European knights work for money and their own interests which include maintaining their social status and perception, Samurais live for total honor, loyalty and truth(love) while protecting the society. Absolute loyalty is everything in the Samurai's way of life if they ever dishonor or fail their leader they will take their own lives. Knights often changed lords for more wealth or status in society betraying their last Lord.

We could see those values as a foundations for both Japanese and Roman Empire background people today. (not applicable to everyone of course, never 100% but majority of tendency)
Also Samurai (Japan) focus on spirits(meditation) to determine what's right whereas the Knights seem to focus on mind to determine what's right based on what Christianity preach.
Those are the big differences.
And today you could still see those values as the fundamental mindsets in both cultures.
In the US, material and how much you make/have is very important factors and almost like the people think all about money, and not care or it's OK to betray friends and families for their own benefit(selfishness).
Japan is quite different. People do stuff to make others happy and take care of friends and families with respect(selflessness). Money is not as important as it seems in the west. Happiness is more important. And that comes from being truthful to oneself and others, as well as the society. 

Chivalry and Bushido are similar in values of how to treat people, but Knights priority is more their self-interest while Samurai's are more interest in honor something that can't be bought.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below!

#bushido  #samurai  #chivalry  #europe  #japan  #code of ethics  #honer  #similarlity  #custom  #culture  #difference  #different mindsets of east and west  #European knights  #roman  
wotakuexchange user avatar mari image | WotakuExchange
mari 2
2020-06-23 It's definitely fascinating to compare them and to ponder the cultural and religious particulars that might have shaped these two different sets of codes. I'd be curious to find how over time these codes might have been abandoned, shifted or adapted, though that is probably difficult to assess without falling into generalization. In particular, I'm thinking of Bushido's code being impacted by the globalization of martial arts and its categorization as a sport. Thanks for posting!
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