Raising Troops Essay

1045 words - 5 pages

Raising Troops

Code of the Samurai by Taira Shigesuke and The Methods of the Ssu-Ma (author unknown) both focus a lot on a sort of “code” for warriors during warfare. My question is what is the best way to raise troops? These two readings explain different answers to my question, but to answer it myself I would say the best way to raise troops would be to not focus solely on things such as strength or marksmanship, but to focus also on the mindset of a troop and how to pull through in times of difficulty and how to respect warfare and their unit and how to face fear and overcome obstacles.
Taira Shigesuke writes about how, first and foremost, a warrior should consider it his first ...view middle of the document...

The ordinary principles are principles of knighthood and principles of weaponry, and the emergency principles are army principles and combat principles. These principles really shape the answer to the question, “what is the best way to raise troops?” According to the code of the Samurai, one must wash hands and feet and bath morning and night, keep their body clean, shave and dress your hair every morning, dress formally according to the season and occasion, always keep a fan in your belt and always have a sword on you. Treat guests courteously, avoid useless talk and don’t be slovenly when eating a bowl of rice or drinking a cup of tea. Those are some of the knighthood principles. As for weaponry, the first thing to learn is swordsmanship, then lancing, riding, archery, shooting, and martial arts. The reading states that Samurai are to practice these and master them so they are always ready with them. Those are the ordinary principles. The army principles basically focus on setting aside knightly ways during times of a civil disturbance, and to exchange formal suits for armor. Last are the combat principles. The most the reading explains about the combat principles is this—when enemies and allies clash in battles you must make sure your maneuvers and dispositions work as planned, otherwise you will lost advantage and suffer defeat. The Code of the Samurai goes a lot further in depth as to the best way to raise troops, but there is another reading to discuss as to raising troops, so we’ll move on to that.
The Ssu-Ma focuses a lot on righteousness and benevolence of soldiers and the army as a whole. A quote from the text explains this, “In antiquity they did not pursue a fleeing enemy more than one hundred paces or follow a retreating enemy more than three days, thereby making clear their observance of the forms of proper conduct. They did not exhaust the incapable and had sympathy for the wounded and sick, thereby making evident their benevolence. They awaited the completions...

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