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WereFox writes...

Hi Greg

I wonder how Goliath would have reacted to some of the other
tennets of Bushido. We saw how the code teaches redemption of honor through acceptance of personal responsibilty for your actions. However, this is pretty much a universal creed.

There were other aspects of the Bushido code, practiced by the Samaraii, that were very alien to western ideals. For instance, an unredeemable failure is seen as such an affront to the Bushido code, that ritual suicide or Seppaku, was often the only way to restore ones honor. The samarai disembowels himself with a curved knife. Then his "second" decapitates him.

Vengeance is a highly valued right among the practicers of bushido, as evidence by the classic story of the 47 Ronin. When a feudal lord was killed due to treachery of another, his 47 samaraii were shunned and disgraced as warriors without a master. There sense of honor demanded that the offender and his family be hunted down and killed, so the 47 Ronin dedicated the remainder of their lives to this task. Upon completion, the surviving Ronin committed Seppaku.

Surrender was also not tolerated by the bushido code. The samarai would fight to the last man, and enemies who did surrender were executed on the spot.

Were the Japanese gargloyes more selective in their practice of Bushido. I think it would have been interesting to see how Goliath would have reacted to ideals practiced by Japanese gargoyles which would have been so at odds with his own sense of what honor demanded. Dedicating ones life to vengeance? Summarily killing a helpless enemy? Failures so great that ritual suicide is a reasoned expectation, rather than an expression of anguish? There have certainly been instances where his anger or grief might have driven Goliath to these actions. Yet, Bushido enshrines such behavior as honorable and necessary.

Greg responds...

All good points. All stuff I had hoped to explore in TimeDancer with Brooklyn and Katana.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001