The practice of wakashudo in pre-modern Japan was a deeply ingrained aspect of samurai culture. Young men (or Wakashū) were often taken as apprentices or protégés by older and more experienced samurai warriors, who would guide them not only in martial arts, but also in etiquette, poetry, and other cultural pursuits.
These relationships were often romantic and sexual in nature, and were seen as a natural and acceptable part of samurai culture. Same-sex love was celebrated in art, literature, and theater, and was often depicted as a beautiful and noble thing.
One famous example of this is the tale of the 47 Ronin, a story that has been retold in many different forms throughout Japanese culture. In the story, one of the ronin (masterless samurai) is in love with his lord, and is willing to sacrifice everything for him. This love is seen as a deeply noble and honorable thing, and is celebrated throughout the story.
Another example is the many male-male love poems that were written during this time period, which were often full of passionate, emotional language that celebrated the beauty of same-sex love.
While wakashudo was often seen as a way to mentor and guide younger men, it was also a way to form deep emotional bonds that could last a lifetime. Many samurai warriors had life-long partners who they loved and cherished deeply, and these relationships were often celebrated and respected by their peers.
Overall, the practice of wakashudo in pre-modern Japan was a deeply ingrained and celebrated part of samurai culture. Same-sex love was not stigmatized or discriminated against, and was instead seen as a beautiful and noble thing that could form the basis of deep emotional and romantic bonds.