Almost two weeks ago, I suddenly ran out of reading material in Japan, and I knew that I had long train and bus rides ahead of me. What better reason to pick up one of the many famous books that cover the cultural background of Japan? I picked Bushido, written by Inazo Nitobe in 1905 (originally published in English, not a translation). Having already read another book from the same time (The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura in 1906), I had high hopes and wasn't disappointed.
Bushido is sometimes translated as "chivalry", but it's much more than that, it's an ethical system that transcents Japan to this day. Nitobe covers the Samurai code, the role of women, Suicide and many other fascinating topics.