Loyalty refers to a great feeling of allegiance and support which can be expressed through faithfulness, fidelity, obedience, and devotion of oneself or group of people to a common goal or leader. Loyalty is an important symbol of order and honor between individuals or towards one`s nation. Today, loyalty oaths are given to leaders and also managers with the aim of encouraging their fealty and devotion towards a country or an organization. Besides, military personnel and the athletes also swore their loyalty pledge to their nation as an avenue of solidifying their devote to the ideals and beliefs of their system. In Japan Loyalty is a significant symbol and practice that is practiced towards the country and different class orders (Cooper, Michael 59).
The people of Japan inculcate loyalty in every generation, and it has been a common practice for centuries. The people of Japan are taught and believe that loyalty is the most important virtue that defines an individual and the community as a whole. The Japanese establish an emphasis on loyalty to the emperor in every child and generation which significantly increased the unchallenged power of the emperor in many generations. The loyalty of the Japanese people to the emperor goes beyond their lives, but in death, they are turned into celestial gods who continue to be respected and venerated by the future generations (Cooper, Michael 24).
The Japanese people show loyalty to their emperor through allegiance, obedience, devotion, adherence, and fealty which is important in the creation of a united Japan that was able to stand up to many enemies. The Japanese did show their loyalty to the emperor by willingly contributing to the armies that waged war to expand the Japanese territory and deter foreigners such as the Chinese dynasties. Further, their loyalty to the emperor has been shown in their delegation of all their voices and freedom to make decisions such as leadership appointment to the emperor who appointed leaders through his authority to award honors to the people he chooses to award (Cooper, Michael 75).
The loyalty of the people of Japan is evident on how they treat and obey their lords by showing high reverence and respect. The lords have the authority over their servants lives and loyalty to their masters is shown through their humility even when their masters unjustly treat them. For instance, in case of lords death. Some servants offer themselves to be killed to accompany him to the afterlife. This loyalty is perceived as payback for receiving favors, and when they die with him, they show loyalty and a sense of reverence towards their masters (Cooper, Michael 58).
In social relations, the people of Japan show high loyalty towards their masters through respect which surpasses official residences to the roads and social gatherings. Loyalty to the social system is a significant avenue that Japan has used to maintain social order. For instance, on the road, when a servant approaches a nobleman one should portray obedience to the established law. In this case, if a servant meets a nobleman while riding a horse they have to dismount the horse as a show of respect to the set social rules. This shows important discipline and loyalty towards the established social order (Cooper, Michael 59).
In conclusion, loyalty is an important factor in everyday activity of the Japanese people. Loyalty is a source of unity in Japan and promotes the maintenance of the established social order.
Cooper, Michael, ed. They came to Japan: an anthology of European reports on Japan, 1543-1640. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965. 20-80
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