Imperial Rescript to the Military

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The Imperial Rescript to the Military, issued on 4 January 1882 is cited as one of the key documents in transforming notions of bushido, or a warrior code, from being values of a samurai elite into being Japanese values, upheld by all Imperial subjects of all classes, and intimately tied into loyalty to the Emperor and to the nation.

The Rescript includes a statement that the military "should be viewed as the reflection of the whole of the subjects of Japan,"[1] and indicates that soldiers should strive for loyalty, decorum, courage, faith, and frugality.


  • Karl Friday, "Bushidô or Bull? A Medieval Historian's Perspective on the Imperial Army and the Japanese Warrior Tradition," The History Teacher 27:3 (1994), 339-349.
  1. ↑ Friday, 342.
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