Bushidō (武士道, Bushidō?), meaning "Way of the Warrior", is a Japanese code of conduct and a way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. It originates from the samurai moral code and stresses frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honor untill death. Born of two main influences, the violent existence of the samurai was tempered by the wisdom and serenity of Confucianism and Buddhism. Bushidō developed between the 9th to 12th centuries and numerous translated documents dating from the 12th to 16th centuries demonstrate its wide influence across the whole of Japan.
According to the Japanese dictionary Shogakukan Kokugo Daijiten, "Bushidō is defined as a unique philosophy (ronri) that spread through the warrior class from the Muromachi (chusei) period." In Bushidō: The Soul of Japan (1904), author Nitobe Inazō wrote: "...Bushidō, then, is the code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe... More frequently it is a code unuttered and unwritten... It was an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career."
Nitobe was not the first person to document Japanese chivalry in this way. In his text Feudal and Modern Japan(1896) Historian Arthur May Knapp wrote: