Week 5: Cultural Concepts: Bushido, Do, Gambari May 2-8


  • Ch. 5, Pg 41-50 “The Way of the Warrior,” Bushido 武士道
  • Ch. 8, Pg 71-82 “The Do Spirit of Japan,” Do 道
  • Ch. 9, Pg 83-94 “Japanese Patience and Determination,” Gambari 頑張り





Weekly Paper: “Impressions and Points from Your Reading”

  • 1.Discuss how can you see the concepts of Bushido being of benefit to Japanese in accepting and living out the gospel, being a stumbling block, and how could this concept be worked into discipleship.
  • 2. The notions of simplicity, perfection, discipline, and harmony with nature are central to both Zen Buddhism and the aesthetic and martial arts of Japan, as reflected in the spirit of dō. Do you see the concepts being compatible or even beneficial to believers and Christian church culture in Japan? How could these notions be retained and utilized without encouraging syncretism?
  • 3. In the Japanese martial arts, teaching is kept simple, inflexible, and strictly controlled and involves imitating a master rather than providing detailed and analytical verbal explanations: ‘ How prominently do you see this model of discipleship within the Japanese church and Christian community? How much more or less prominent do you think that it should be? Why?
  • 4. With regard to Gambaru, “Japanese tend to think that having free time is wasteful, even shameful, and feel uneasy.” (Amanuma). And sometimes gambari can lead to Kaorishi (death from overwork).” How does the concept of Gambaru in this light potentially impact Japanese believers’ perspectives and expressions of gospel concepts such as: accepting the free gift of God’s salvation, loving our neighbor (even if he hasn’t earned it), salvation by faith vs. works, Christ working through us v. us working from our own skill, and sabbath rest?
  • Optional: Read the discussion questions at the end of the chapter. Are there any that you think highlight a key point that merits further discussion by the class, specifically as it relates to how we think about and approach ministry to the Japanese?
  • Pray:

  • Pray daily for Japan and Japanese, using Operation Japan. Make a note in your blog concerning the information and/or your prayer.

Extra Suggestions: