Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M.

Rotary File for April 18, 2017

 
The speaker was Masa Yamamoto who talked about the Japanese tradition of Bushido, the Samurai belief system.
 
Guests and Visiting Rotarians
 
Wayne Steen-- RC of West Liberty
Merydith Mady-- Rotex, guest of Chris and Vernette Knapp
Deb Cobb-- Guest of Bryan Clemons and Brian Adamec
 
Announcements
 
Jack Cameron is recruiting volunteers to act in Sgt-At-Arms roles and to help at registration for the District Conference.  Sign up on the sheet going around. 
 
Wayne Steen of the RC of West Liberty said volunteers are still needed to serve as RYLA adult chaperones.  The deadline to apply is April 30.
 
Don't forget the May 2 meeting is in the evening at 6:30 pm at the Kirkwood Room for the community grant recipient reception and supper.  Sign up to attend at $25 per person.  Bring refreshments to share. 
 
Mike Messier indicated May 22 would be the date for the Community Foundation Golf Tournament at Brown Deer Golf Club.  As usual, they are counting on AM Club members to volunteer for registration, hole-sitting and other duties starting at 11 am and throughout the day. 
 
Nancy Pacha said that last Saturday all the RYLA and World Affairs students met for orientation.  There will be 6 RYLA attendees sponsored by the AM Club and 3 World Affairs attendees.
 
All senior Interact students will receive a recognition certificate at the regular City and West High award assemblies.  This replaces giving small scholarship awards to two seniors.
 
At least 15 members expressed happy buck moments.
 
Speaker
 
Masa Yamamoto is an international securities enforcement and immigration attorney licensed in New York who got his law degree in Japan.  He grew up learning the unwritten code of the Samurai called Bushido and explained its importance to the Japanese mind-set even in modern Japan. 
 
Bushi means warrior and Do means way, so Bushido is the Way of the Warrior.
 
Even though there are no more Samurai today the concept of Bushido is engrained in Japanese culture.  The Samurai ruled Japan from 1200 to the 1800's.  At that time the Samurai were at the top of the class structure.  Farmers were next most important, followed by Artisans and Merchants on the bottom.  The origins of Bushido come from a combination of Buddhism, Shintoism and Confucian thought.  The ideas involved in Bushido were not written down until the 1900's then Inozo Nitobi invented the term and published a book, "Bushido: The Soul of Japan."  Since it was published in English in the U.S. the concept became popular here.
 
There are 7 values in Bushido: 1.) Justice 2.) Courage and doing what is right 3.) Benevolence or kindness 4.) Respect 5.) Sincerity; don't lie 6.) Honor 7.) Loyalty or a life of serving the master who is also a Samurai.
 
Several concepts go along with Bushido.  Seypkhu or ritual suicide was practiced to restore honor when it had been broken.  There is the concept of "sending salt to your enemy" which is another way of saying fair play is always in order.  The concept of corporate Bushido became very popular in the 1980's when it was expected that employees would devote themselves to hard work, devotion to quality and precision.  In their efforts to be loyal to the company many Japanese workers literally worked themselves to death.  KIaroshi is the term used to describe death from over work.  While the over work syndrome is no longer as likely to happen in Japanese businesses, the sense of importance and honor bestowed in a business card is still very much accepted.  Any person's business card is to be handled and treated with the utmost respect.
 
Martial arts training remains popular in Japan.  This is also a vestige of the Bushido values.