Parallels of conducts among Armenian military, Japanese samurais and European knights

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However, it needs to turn to the review of components of conduct of Armenian military. The above mentioned 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th provisions are noticeably similar to the elements of honorary conducts of medieval European knights and Japanese samurais.
For instance, the famous «Hagakure» writing (literally «Hidden in Leaves») was terminated in 1716. It widely expresses and has carefully been worked out honorary conducts of Japanese samurais (Bushido, literally «Warrior Way»). For warrior, Yamamoto Tsunetomo (born in 1659-died in 1719) also emphasized the necessity of death ignorance. In Hagakure it is said:
Busidon warrior way means death. If there are only two ways for choice-making so the warrior needs to choose the way leading to death. Don’t ponder! Choose the way which has already been preferred and go ahead!
Unconsciously a question appears: «Why I need to die if it is not necessary and useless? Why? Why to die for nonsense». There are usual discourses of selfish people. If a person needs to make choice so don’t let availing ideas to hesitate the mind? All of us prefer to live and not to die. And this preference decides our choice. Think about upcoming dishonor. You will make mistake for trying to have benefit. Think about the miserable fate of the man who hasn’t reached to his goal and still continues to live…
Remember! Death doesn’t dash the dignity. Death doesn’t do a person to be dishonorable.
…To do commitment needs to be pure; the name needs to be unspotted.
…The warrior prefers samurai’s way only the case when he has already been ready to the death.
…Samurai is obliged to give his soul and body to his knight. Besides, he needs to be wise, gracious and courageous.
…No matter where I am in deaf mountains or underground always and everywhere I need to protect my master. This is the duty of all people who are in yoke of Nabeshima. This is the backbone of our religion, unchangeable and immortal… Even after death I will be resurrected for seven times in order to protect my master from disasters.
I swear to do the following 4 commandments:
1. Don’t yield in doing duties
2. Be useful to my master
3. Be respectful to my parents
4. Be merciful
Particularly, in the period of Arshakuni Dynasty, it is remarkable that there is the same request of honorary conducts of Armenian soldiers and Japanese samurais. Here the same when the honor and faithful service to the master is preferably important than the life of a soldier. For this case Pavstos also has some eloquent information about this. One of them refers to the occasion happened in Persia.
It was when Armenian King Arshak entered stud of Persian King. At that time stud-chief of Persian King was sitting there. When he saw Armenian King he didn’t give any honor and greeting. Armenian King was neglected; moreover, King was girded and dishonored, saying: «King of goat Armenians come and sit on grass sheaf».
When Vasak of Mamikonyan Dynasty, a commander and soldier of Great Hayq heard those words so got terribly angry and became resentful. He pulled out his sward from his back and at the same stud he beheaded the stud-chief of Persian King. He couldn’t keep angriness and couldn’t tolerate dishonor to Armenian King. He preferred his inevitable death than any insult and dishonor about his master (emphasis is mine A.A.).
Japanese «Hagakure», author of samurai in order not to have fear to death and to have pure courageous fame. This call is similarly expressed by Manvel commander. It has partly been adverted in above commandment. However, it needs to be more widely cited here…
It was ordered to be obedient and yield to Arshak King; to be honest, hard-working and diligent. «Go war and have personal sacrifice for the sake of Armenian Homeland as your courageous predecessors amicably sacrificed their lives to their Homeland. Moreover, he said-it is very fair work accepted by God, in this way of conduct god will never scorn you.
Have name of courage on the Earth and consecrate justice to the Sky. Don’t afraid of death. Just trust God who has created everything and has given everything. Pull out deceitfulness, obscenity and evil from you. Worship God with pure heart and faithfulness. Courageously die for the sake of God, worship Armenian land. As this is death for, for his churches and pledges, for native owners of Arshakuni Dynasty of this Land».
This part is obviously shows that Armenian commanders how skillfully and faithfully used Christianity as a bellicose ideology almost in all wars for freedom of Armenian Land. «To be killed in wartime for Armenian Land is a sacrifice for God»,-preached Manvel commander. In the 4th century this idea was also preached by another military commanders of Armenian Land (worship of Armenian Land, needs to die courageously as it is death for the sake of God). With this preach they brought harmony to Armenian soldiers. Preach brought harmony to the conduct which was formed in a very old period and hallowed in pure battles (particularly the main ideological provision as to scarify the life for the sake of Homeland). The idea has relatively been attained with Christianity and religious emotions. To be killed for the sake of Homeland is wheedle for God. With this belief Armenian Christian warriors were fighting in all further centuries.
Another commandment of Manvel commander: «Be honest, hard-working and diligent». This commandment also coincides with conducts of samurais. «Hagakure», for example, demands the same…
The warrior trains himself and never thinks about rest.
…There is no limit of person’s training. There are cases when a person feels to be perfect and stops trainings. However, who wants to be perfect so always needs to remember that he is still far from perfection.
…Be honest in military service. Pretended people can never fight honestly.
The knights in Europe (in English «knight», in German «ritter», in Russia « рыцарь») as separated military feudal class were formed at the end of the 8th century. The activities and social importance of this class were more vividly expressed during Crusade invasions in the 11th and 14the centuries. The knight hadn’t a common legal and written conduct.
However, professionals distinguish the following compulsory demands such as faithfulness to the master, valiant courage, disregard to threat and difficulties, protection of Christian churches and their attendants, support to orphaned and disabled members of knightly families, generosity and finally pure life-style in front of God and usual people. Like Armenian Christian military commanders, European knight has believed that due to the fighting it is possible to relieve soul and dying for the sake of fair end. For instance, the aim could be a fight against faithless people or it could be master’s avail or it could be protection of own honor or heritage.
Later the same idea of knightly conduct has beautifully been expressed by French captain who fought against English people. He is Jan de Byuin, the author of moral and preachy book: «We are lowly warriors with the same success and will relieve our souls through fighting than to live thinking about occurrence roots and regulations».
It is not difficult to notice that these moral and mental requests, as Busido, are partly coincide with Armenian military conducts existed in the 4th and the 5th centuries.

the material is taken from http://hayq.org/upload/files/Code_of_Honor_ARM.pdf

translated from Armenian into English by Tatev Harutyunyan