Bushido: The Way of The Warrior (Samurai Quotes)

Bushido: The Way of The Warrior (Samurai Quotes)

Bushido, the code of honor followed by the samurai warriors of ancient Japan, isn’t merely a relic of the past. It’s a philosophy that still echoes in the corridors of modern life. Its wisdom, symbolized in the samurai quotes that have survived through centuries, is timeless.

Let’s look at a few of the best Sumarai quotes that can be applied today for discipline and success in business, investing, and life.

Samurai Wisdom Quotes

“I know nothing about surpassing others. I only know how to outdo myself.” – Bushido

Bushido teaches us a valuable lesson about the importance of personal growth. The real competition is with oneself, not others. In business, it’s about improving our skills and productivity rather than trying to best a colleague or a competitor. This approach promotes a healthy work environment and contributes to personal satisfaction.

“Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.” – Miyamoto Musashi

Musashi’s words remind us to always strive for betterment. Investing, for example, is about learning from yesterday’s mistakes, making better decisions today, and paving a path for success tomorrow. The ability to rise above one’s past failures defines a successful investor.

“The undisturbed mind is like the calm body water reflecting the brilliance of the moon. Empty the mind and you will realize the undisturbed mind.” – Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi

Mitsuyoshi invites us to seek clarity of mind. Maintaining a clear and focused mind is critical to making wise decisions in business. Whether negotiating a tricky deal or strategizing for the next quarter, an undisturbed mind often leads to success.

“It is good to face challenges in your youth. He who has never suffered will not sufficiently temper his character.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Tsunetomo reminds us that early-life struggles can shape us into resilient individuals. The challenges we face and overcome in our careers refine our character and make us formidable business leaders.

“The discipline of strength instills resistance without complaint, and also teaches courtesy. It demands that we not ruin the pleasure or serenity of others through the expression of our own sadness or pain.” – Inazo Nitobe

Nitobe’s wisdom suggests that strength is not just about resilience but also about empathy. This holds in any professional setting. As leaders, we are responsible for maintaining a positive environment, even when facing professional or personal hardships.

“It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material possessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Tsunetomo’s quote is a warning against the pitfalls of materialism. Valuing integrity and duty above material gain is essential in business and investing. This approach fosters respect and builds a lasting legacy.

“It is the very mind itself that leads the mind astray – of the mind, do not be mindless.” – Takuan Soho

Soho encourages us to be mindful, suggesting that our minds can be our worst enemies if we let them. This is particularly true in investing, where emotions can lead to hasty decisions. Mindfulness is, therefore, a vital attribute of a successful investor.

“Everyone feels fear. What a samurai or warrior is, is what you do when you feel fear.” – Enson Inoue

Inoue’s words remind us that courage is not the absence of fear but acting despite it. Life and business are about taking calculated risks, even when afraid.

“When you give advice, you should first discern whether or not the other person is willing to accept it.” – Bushido

Bushido code here speaks to the wisdom of understanding your audience before offering advice. In any professional setting, it’s essential to gauge the receptivity of others before giving counsel. This is particularly relevant for managers and leaders, ensuring their advice is impactful and well-received.

“In the heat of battle he remains cool; in the midst of catastrophes he keeps level his mind.” – Inazo Nitobe, Bushido, the Soul of Japan

Nitobe’s quote teaches us the virtue of maintaining composure in stressful situations. In the unpredictable business and investing world, keeping a cool head during crises often leads to better decision-making and eventual success.

Why Samurai Quotes Can Change Your Life

Samurai quotes, rooted in the philosophy of Bushido, are still helpful for modern individuals striving for success because they distill centuries of wisdom about life, struggle, and achievement. They serve as guiding principles that can be applied universally, regardless of era or culture. Here’s why:

  1. Focus on Personal Growth: Samurai quotes often emphasize self-improvement and personal growth over direct competition. This perspective encourages a healthier and more sustainable path to success by focusing on one’s progress rather than getting caught up in comparison with others.
  2. Resilience and Perseverance: Many samurai quotes underscore the importance of resilience, a vital trait in today’s fast-paced and challenging world. Overcoming obstacles and persevering in the face of hardship are vital to achieving long-term success in any field.
  3. Mindfulness and Clarity: The samurai philosophy promotes a clear, focused mind as a tool for wise decision-making. This is particularly relevant in our current era, where distractions are abundant and mental clarity is challenging. Mindfulness aids in making informed decisions, a crucial aspect of any successful venture.
  4. Value of Integrity: Samurai quotes often stress the importance of honor, duty, and integrity. In a world where success is sometimes equated with material wealth, these quotes remind us that true success is inseparable from personal integrity and ethical behavior.
  5. Courage in Action: Samurai quotes inspire courage, not as the absence of fear, but as the determination to act despite fear. This understanding of courage is essential for modern entrepreneurs, leaders, and pioneers who often need to take calculated risks to innovate and achieve their goals.
  6. Calmness Amid Chaos: The samurai ethos teaches the importance of maintaining composure in adversity. This equanimity is valuable in today’s volatile and uncertain world, where circumstances can change rapidly and without warning.

In essence, samurai quotes carry timeless wisdom that transcends cultural and temporal boundaries. They guide core principles—like integrity, resilience, personal growth, and courage—that are universally applicable and eternally relevant, making them valuable resources for anyone seeking success in modern times.

Key Takeaways

  • Personal growth is more important than outperforming others.
  • Learning from past mistakes paves the way for future success.
  • Clarity and focus of mind are crucial in decision-making.
  • Early-life challenges shape character and resilience.
  • Strength includes resilience and empathy.
  • Integrity and duty are more valuable than material wealth.
  • Mindfulness prevents emotions from leading us astray.
  • Courage is about acting despite fear.
  • Practical advice requires understanding the audience.
  • Maintaining composure during crises is the key to success.


Bushido’s wisdom, encapsulated in these samurai quotes, offers invaluable insights into personal growth, decision-making, resilience, integrity, mindfulness, courage, effective communication, and crisis management. While these principles emerged from the lives of ancient warriors, they remain relevant in today’s world, particularly in the realms of business, investing, and personal success. Embracing these principles can guide us toward a more fulfilling and successful life, both professionally and personally.