This chapter examines how the warriors in Japan during the Edo period lost their sense of trust and righteousness, turned toward superficiality, and become obsessed with luxury and greed. It describes the traits of a warrior, paying particular attention to warriors born into daimyo houses and other houses with large fiefs. It also notes the fecklessness of smaller fief holders and their lack of awareness of their proper place in the world and considers warrior “fixers” who preyed on feckless fief holders, along with the causes and consequences of warrior impoverishment. Finally, it discusses the various ways by which warriors went to ruin, from mismanagement of warrior households and the adoption of heirs to frivolity and the decay of warrior customs, weakness toward warrior servants, lack of military preparedness, embezzlement and bribery, and mismanagement of concubines. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the general decay of shogunal laws and warrior norms during the period.
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