Imagine a “road fit for a king.” It probably does not twist and turn. There are probably no short-cuts. The road is probably wide and straight, where the king can walk in a steady, regal manner.
In Confucianism, “Oh-Doh,” literally translated as “king’s road,” is an ideal of how a ruler should rule his domain. “King’s road” is not ruling by the sword to oppress, but rather ruling by humanity and morality, in order to gain the trust and respect of the people.
Eiichi Shibusawa interpreted “Oh-Doh” to mean the basic moral code of conduct of how a person should behave with integrity. Emphasizing too much about “rights” or “duties” leads to unnecessary bursts of emotion, and is not conducive for people to interact with one another in a constructive manner. If you look back to any quarrels or fights that you were involved in, chances are high that you either felt your “rights” were offended or that the other was not fulfilling his “duties.”
Eiichi thought that relying just on the power of the law does not solve every problems we face in society. “Of course laws are important,” Eiichi says. “But, just because the law exists does not mean we should turn to the law so quickly for every answer.” If people were able to behave in accordance to the basic moral code of conduct, or “Oh-Doh,” then Eiichi felt that this condition was “much preferable to a hundred laws, a thousand rules.”
This, obviously, is an ideal, but a very important ideal. We have laws because of the few who unfortunately do not follow the moral code of conduct. In a way, the law or regulation penalizes the mass majority of the people, who for the most part, conduct their lives in a moral order, just because of the few who do not.