In 18th-century Japan, Tsunetomo Yamamoto created the Hagakure, a document that served as the basis for samurai warrior behaviour. For the next 200 years, the Hagakure was secretly circulated among the 'awakened' samurai -- the samurai elite. In 1906, the book was first made available to the general Japanese public, and until 1945, its guiding principles greatly influenced the Japanese ruling class -- particularly those individuals in military power. However, the spirit of the Hagakure touched a deeper nerve in Japanese society. It was this book that shaped the underlying character of the Japanese psyche, from businessmen to politicians, from students to soldiers. Bushido: The Way of the Samurai is the first English translation of the Hagakure. From its opening line, 'I have found the essence of Bushido: to die!' this work provides a powerful message aimed at the spirit, body, and mind of the samurai warrior. It offers beliefs that are difficult for the Western mind to embrace, yet fascinating in their pursuit of absolute service. By reading this book, one can better put into perspective the historical path that Japan has taken for the last three hundred years, and gain greater insight into the Japan of today.