Someone on some uninformed TV show once talked about how the samurai "loved death." This is funny to me because nothing could be farther from the truth. The samurai engaged in bloody battles just as any other nation throughout history has but some how the Japanese got this reputation for death and dying. It must have to do with the practice of seppuku or ritual suicide that exists within the Japanese culture, but who knows for sure.
However, as far as "loving death" is concerned nothing could be farther from the truth. Somehow through their association with Confucianism and Buddhism, the samurai class adopted a way of thinking which enabled them to face the possibility of death in battle.
In the book Kendo by Minoru Kiyota, he states that when confronted with the possibility of death, people usually take one of two paths. The first in Japanese is called seichu musho or "seeing death in the possibility of life." The second is shichu usho or "seeing life in the presence of death."
Either path causes one to act accordingly. Seichu musho might cause us anxiety and lead us to recoil from living where we spend time thinking about the end. Shichu usho might enable us to live life to its fullest as we spend our time in the moment celebrating life in the face of death.
How one lives there life is a choice. Which way do you choose?