Bushido (“the way of the warrior”) is a samurai code, a code of laws, requirements and rules of conduct for the true samurai in society, battle and solitude alike. Real courage is about living when you have to live and dying when you have to die. Loyalty, honesty and courage are the three main qualities of a samurai. Bushido does not focus on outward prowess but on inner strength, emphasising the need to cultivate morality in a person. The image of the tiger was used by Japanese samurai, who believed it could bring good fortune and protect them from evil forces. The fearless beast was seen by warriors as a sign and symbol of valour. The tiger, a beautiful, agile and courageous predator, was often displayed on shields during fierce combat with the enemy.
The image of the tiger in traditional mythology symbolises bravery and courage, brute animal strength, instinct, dark desires, and primordial power. In Japanese mythology, the tiger protected against many illnesses and calamities. Future samurai were raised to be fearless and daring, and to foster the qualities regarded as major virtues among the samurai — qualities that would enable a warrior to surrender his own life for the life of another.