Hagakure the book of the samurai pdf

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The original Hagakure contains the teachings of the samurai-turned-priest Jōchō Yamamoto (), and was for generations preserved as moral and. |Hagakure ("In the Shadow of Leaves"') is a manual for the samurai classes consisting of a series of short anecdotes and reflections that give both insight and . Yamamoto Tsunetomo. Hagakure: Book of the Samurai. Trans. William Scott Wilson. Tokyo: Kōdansha International, MLA Atkins, E. Taylor. "Bushidō.

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Hagakure is the essential book of the Samurai. Written by. Yamamoto Tsunetomo , who was a Samurai in the early s, it is a book that combines the. Acknowledgement Lapo expresses his gratitude for spelling corrections to: Oliver Oppitz. iii Preface Hagakure is the essential book of the Samurai. Written by. for downloading it from there; the download is very cheap Biology Questions and A.

It is, for example, like the blade of a sword, which one should sharpen well and then put in its scabbard, periodically taking it out and knitting one's eyebrows as in an attack, wiping f the blade, and then placing it in its scabbard again. I had a dream on the night of the twenty-eighth day of the 65 twelfth month in the third year of Shotoku. There are other things besides these about which 7 a person should use care and training. His saying "the way of the warrior is death" was a summation of the willingness to sacrifice that bushido codified. University of Kyushu Press, Fukuoka, Japan.

There was a certain person who was a master of the spear. When he was dying, he called his best disciple and spoke his last injunctions: I have passed on to you all the secret techniques of this school, and there is nothing left to say.

If you think of taking on a disciple yourself, then you should practice diligently with the bamboo sword every day. Superiority is not just a matter 25 of secret techniques.

Also, in the instructions of a renga teacher, it was said that the day before the poetry meeting one should calm his mind and look at a collection of poems. This is concentration on one affair. All professions should be done with concentration. Although the Mean is the standard for all things, in military affairs a man must always strive to outstrip others. According to archery instructions the right and left hands are supposed to be level, but the right hand has a tendency to go higher.

They will become level if one will lower the right hand a bit when shooting. In the stories of the elder warriors it is said that on the battlefield if one wills himself to outstrip warriors of accomplishment, and day and night hopes to strike down a powerful enemy, he will grow indefatigable and fierce of heart and will manifest courage.

One should use this principle in everyday affairs too. There is a way of bringing up the child of a samurai.

From the time of infancy one should encourage bravery and avoid triv- ially frightening or teasing the child. If a person is affected by cowardice as a child, it remains a lifetime scar. It is a mistake for parents to thoughtlessly make their children dread lightning, or to have them not go into dark places, or to tell them frightening things in order to stop them from crying. One should not allow bad habits to form. After a bad habit is ingrained, although you admonish the child he will not improve.

As for such things as proper speaking and good manners, grad- ually make the child aware of them. Let him not know avarice. Other than that, if he is of a normal nature, he should develop well by the way he is brought up.

Moreover, the child of parents who have a bad relationship will be unfilial. This is natural. Even the birds and beasts are affected by what they are used to seeing and hearing from the time they are born.

Hagakure The Book of the Samurai

Also, the relationship between father and child may deteriorate because of a mother's foolishness. A mother loves her child above all things, and will be partial to the child that is corrected by his father. If she becomes the child's ally, there will be discord between father and son. Because of the shallowness of her mind, a woman sees the child as her support in old age. You will be tripped up by people when your resolution is lax. Moreover, if at a meeting you are distracted while an- other person is speaking, by your carelessness you may think that he is of your opinion and you will follow along saying, "Of course, of course," even though he is saying something that is contrary to your own feelings, and others will think that you 27 are in agreement with him.

Because of this, you should never be distracted even for an instant when meeting with others. When you are listening to a story or being spoken to, you should be mindful not to be tripped up ; and if there is some- thing that you do not agree with, to speak your mind, to show your opponent his error, and to grapple with the situation. Even in unimportant affairs mistakes come from little things.

One should be mindful of this. Moreover, it is better not to become acquainted with men about whom you have formerly had some doubts.

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No matter what you do, they will be people by whom you will be tripped up or taken in, To be certain of this fact you must have much experience. The saying, "The arts aid the body," is for samurai of other regions. For samurai of the Nabeshima clan the arts bring ruin to the body.

In all cases, the person who practices an art is an artist, not a samurai, and one should have the intention of being called a samurai. When one has the conviction that even the slightest artful ability is harmful to the samurai, all the arts become useful to him.

One should understand this sort of thing. Ordinarily, looking into the mirror and grooming oneself is sufficient for the upkeep of one's personal appearance.

This is very important. Most people's personal appearance is poor 28 because they do not look into the mirror well enough. Training to speak properly can be done by correcting one's speech when at home. Practice in letter writing goes to the extent of taking care in even one-line letters.

It is good if all the above contain a quiet strength. Moreover, according to what the priest Ryozan heard when he was in the Kamgala area, when one is writing a letter, he should think that the recipient will make it into a hanging scroll. It is said that one should not hesitate to correct himself when he has made a mistake.

If he corrects himself without the least bit of delay, his mistakes will quickly disappear. But when he tries to cover up a mistake, it will become all the more unbecoming and painful.

When words that one should not use slip out, if one will speak his mind quickly and clearly, those words will have no effect and he will not be obstructed by worry.

If there is, however, someone who blames a person for such a thing, one should be prepared to say something like, "I have explained the reason for my careless speech. There is nothing else to be done if you will not listen to reason. Since I said it unwittingly, it should be the same as if you didn't hear it. No one can evade blame. Furthermore, one should only speak 29 according to how he judges his listener's feelings. The proper manner of calligraphy is nothing other than not being careless, but in this way one's writing will simply be slug- gish and stiff.

One should go beyond this and depart from the norm. This principle applies to all things. It is said, "When you would see into a person's heart, become ill.

When- ever anyone is in unhappy circumstances, you should above all inquire after them by visiting or sending some gift. And you should never in your whole life be negligent toward someone from whom you have received a favor. By such things the consideration of others can be seen. In this world the people who will rely on others when they are in difficulties and afterwards not give them a thought are many.

You cannot tell whether a person is good or bad by his vicis- situdes in life. Good and bad fortune are matters of fate. Good and bad actions are Man's Way. Retribution of good and evil is taught simply as a moral lesson. Because of some business, Morooka Hikoemon was called upon to swear before the gods concerning the truth of a certain matter.

But he said, "A samurai's word is harder than metal. Since I have impressed this fact upon myself, what more can the 30 gods and Buddhas do? This happened when he was twenty-six. Master lttei said, "Whatever one prays for will be granted. Long ago there were no matsutake mushrooms in our province. Some men who saw them in the Kamigata area prayed that they might grow here, and nowadays they are growing all over Kitagama. In the future I would like to have Japanese cypress grow in our province.

As this is something that everyone desires, I predict it for the future. This being so, everyone should pray for it. Eclipses of the sun and moon, comets, clouds that flutter like flags, snow in the fifth month, lightning in the twelfth month, and so on, are all things that occur every fifty or one hundred years.

They occur according to the evolution of Yin and Yang. The fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west would be a mystery, too, if it were not an everyday occurrence. It is not dissimilar. Furthermore, the fact that something bad always happens in the world when strange phenomena oc- cur is due to people seeing something like fluttering clouds and thinking that something is going to happen.

The mystery is cre- ated in their minds, and by waiting for the disaster, it is from 31 their very minds that it occurs. The occurrence of mysteries is always by word of mouth.

Calculating people are contemptible. The reason for this is that calculation deals with loss and pain, and the loss and gain mind never stops. Death is considered loss and life is considered gain.

Thus, death is something that such a person does not care for, and he is contemptible. Furthermore, scholars and their like are men who with wit and speech hide their own true cowardice and greed. People often misjudge this. Lord Naoshige said, "The Way of the Samurai is in desper- ateness. Ten men or more cannot kill such a man.

Common sense will not accomplish great things. Simply become insane and desperate. One needs neither loyalty nor devotion, but simply to become desperate in the Way.

Loyalty and devotion are of themselves within desperation.

He also said, "When there is a choice of either going or not going, it is better not to go. When meeting difficult situations, one should dash forward bravely and with joy. It is the crossing of a single barrier and is like the saying, "The more the water, the higher the boat. The masters are men. You are also a man. If you think that you will be inferior in doing something, you will be on that road very soon.

Master lttei said, "Confucius was a sage because he had the will to become a scholar when he was fifteen years old. He was not a sage because he studied later on. Above all, if he is not careful in his choice of words he may say things like, "I'm a coward," or "At that time I'd probably run," or "How frightening," or "How painful.

If a person with understanding hears such things, he will see to the bottom of the speaker's heart. This is something that should be carefully 33 thought about beforehand. When one's own attitude on courage is fixed in his heart, and when his resolution is devoid of doubt, then when the time comes he will of necessity be able to choose the right move.

This will be manifested by one's conduct and speech according to the occasion. One's word is especially important. It is not for exposing the depths of one's heart. This is something that people will know by one's everyday affairs. After I took up the attitude of a retainer, I never sat sloppily whether at home or in some other place. Neither did I speak, but if there was something that could not be done properly without words, I made an effort to settle things by putting ten words into one.

Yamazaki Kurando was like this. It is said that even after one's head has been cut off, he can still perform some function. This fact can be known from the examples of Nitta Yoshisada and Ono Doken. How shall one man be inferior to another? Mitani Jokyu said, "Even if a man be sick to death, he can bear up for two or three days. Lord Takanobu said, "If dis- crimination is long, it will spoil. A warrior is a person who does things quickly.

With an intense, fresh and undelaying spirit, one will make his judgments within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break right through to the other side. In admonishing the master, if one is not of the proper rank to do so, it shows great loyalty to have someone who is of that rank speak and have the master correct his mistakes. To be on a footing to do this one must be on cordial terms with everyone. If one does this for his own sake, it is simply flattery.

One does this, rather, in his concern to support the clan on his own. If one will do it, it can be done. Bad relations between retired and present rulers, father and son, and elder and younger brothers develop from selfish mo- tives.

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The proof of this is that there are no such bad rela- tions between master and retainer. It is unthinkable to be disturbed at something like being or- dered to become a ronin. People at the time of Lord Katsushigc used to say, "If one has not been a ronin at least seven times, he will not be a true retainer. Seven times down, eight times up. One should understand that it is something like being a self- righting doll. The master is also apt to give such orders as a test. I was born when my father was seventy-one years old and was hence a rather sickly child.

But because I have had the great desire to be of use even in old age, when the chance came I improved my health and haven't been sick since. And I have abstained from sex and have consistently taken moxa cautery. There are things that I feel have definitely had effect. There is a saying that even though one burns up a mamushi seven times, it will return each time to its original form.

This is my great hope. I have always been obsessed with one idea: Yamamoto Jin'emon once said that it is best for a samurai to have good retainers. Military affairs are not matters for one person alone, regardless of how useful he tries to be. Money is something that one can borrow from people, but a good man cannot suddenly be come by.

One should sustain a man kindly and well from the first. And in having retainers it will not do to nourish oneself alone. If you divide what you have and feed your lower ranks, you will be able to hold good men. A person with a bit of wisdom is one who will criticize the 36 times. This is the basis of disaster. A person who is discreet in speaking will be useful during the good times and will avoid punishment during the bad. Being superior to others is nothing other than having people talk about your affairs and listening to their opinions.

The general run of people settle for their own opinions and thus never excel. Having a discussion with a person is one step in excelling him, A certain person discussed with me the written materials at the clan office.

He is better than someone like me in writing and researching. In seeking correction from others, you excel them. It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a Way. Therefore, it is inconsistent to hear something of the Way of Confucius or the Way of the Buddha, and say that this is the Way of the Samurai.

If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all Ways and be more and more in accord with his own.

For a samurai, a simple word is important no matter where he may be. By just one single word martial valor can be made apparent. In peaceful times words show one's bravery. In trou- bled times, too, one knows that by a single word his strength or cowardice can be seen. This single word is the flower of one's 37 heart. It is not something said simply with one's mouth. A warrior should not say something fainthearted even casu- ally. He should set his mind to this beforehand. Even in trifling matters the depths of one's heart can be seen.

No matter what it is, there is nothing that cannot be done. If one manifests the determination, he can move heaven and earth as he pleases. But because man is pluckless, he cannot set his mind to it.

Moving heaven and earth without putting forth effort is simply a matter of concentration. A person who is said to be proficient at the arts is like a fool. Because of his foolishness in concerning himself with just one thing, he thinks of nothing else and thus becomes proficient.

He is a worthless person. Until the age of forty it is best to gather strength. It is appropriate to have settled down by the age of fifty.

When discussing things with someone, it is best to speak appropriately about whatever the subject may be. No matter how good what you are saying might be, it will dampen the conversation if it is irrelevant.

When someone is giving you his opinion, you should receive it with deep gratitude even though it is worthless. If you don't, he will not tell you the things that he has seen and heard about you again. It is best to both give and receive opinions in a 38 friendly way. There is a saying that great genius matures late. If some- thing is not brought to fruition over a period of twenty to thirty years, it will not be of great merit. When a retainer is of a mind to do his work hurriedly, he will intrude upon the work of others and will be said to be young but able.

He will become over-enthusiastic and will be considered rather rude. He will put on the airs of someone who has done great works, will become a flatterer and insincere, and will be talked about behind his back.

In the pursuit of one's development, if he does not make great effort and is not supported by others in his advancement in the world, he will be of no use. When one is involved in the affairs of a warrior such as being a kaishaku or making an arrest within one's own clan or group, people will notice when the time comes if he has resolved before- hand that no one can take his place.

One should always take the attitude of standing above others in martial valor, always feel that he is inferior to no one, and always cultivate his courage. When on the battlefield, if you try not to let others take the lead and have the sole intention of breaking into the enemy lines, then you will not fall behind others, your mind will become fierce, and you will manifest martial valor.

This fact has been passed down by the elders. Furthermore, if you are slain in 39 battle, you should be resolved to have your corpse facing the enemy. If everyone were in accord and left things to Providence, their hearts would be at ease. If they are not in accord, though they would do acts of righteousness, they lack loyalty. To be at odds with one's companions, to be prone to miss even infrequent meetings, to speak only cantankerous words — all come from a shallow foolishness of mind.

But thinking of the moment of truth, even though it be unpleasant, one should fix it in his mind to meet people cordially at all times and without distraction, and in a way in which one will not seem bored. Moreover, in this world of uncertainties one is not even sure of the present. It would be worthless to die while being thought ill of by people. Lies and insincerity are unbecoming. This is because they are for self-profit.

Though it is not profitable to have others lead the way, or not to be quarrelsome, or not to be lacking in manners, or to be humble, if one will do things for the benefit of others and meet even those whom he has met often before in a first-time manner, he will have no bad relationships. Manners between husband and wife are not different from this.

If one is as discreet in the end as he is in the beginning, there should be no discord. There is a certain priest who is said to be able to get every- 40 thing accomplished by means of his cleverness.

There is not a monk in japan today who can oppose him. This is not the least bit strange. There is simply no one who sees through to the foundation of things. Senility is when one goes about doing only that towards which he is most inclined.

One is able to suppress and hide this while his vigor is still strong, but when he weakens, the essential strong points of his nature appear and are a shame to him. This manifests itself in several forms, but there is not a man who does not get senile by the time he reaches sixty. And when one thinks that he will not be senile, he is already so, It can be thought that Master lttei had a senility of argumentation.

As if to show that he alone could support the House of Nabeshima, he went about with a senile appearance to prominent people's houses and chatted amiably with them. At the time, everybody thought that it was reasonable, but thinking about it now, it was senility. For myself, with that good example and the feeling that dotage was overtaking me, I declined to participate at the temple on the thirteenth anniversary of Lord Mitsushige's death, and I have decided to stay more and more indoors.

One must get a clear view of what lies ahead. If one is but secure at the foundation, he will not be pained by departure from minor details or affairs that are contrary to 41 expectation. But in the end, the details of a matter are im- portant. The right and wrong of one's way of doing things are found in trivial matters. According to a story at the Ryutaiji, there was a master of the Book of Changes in the Kamigata area who said that even if a man is a priest, it is useless to give him rank while he is under the ape of forty.

This is because he will make many mistakes. Confucius was not the only man to become unperplexed after reaching the age of forty. Upon reaching the age of forty, both wise and foolish have gone through an appropriate amount of experience and will no longer be perplexed. Concerning martial valor, merit lies more in dying for one's master than in striking down the enemy. This can be understood from the devotion of Sate Tsugunobu.

When I was young, I kept a "Dairy of Regret" and tried to record my mistakes day by day, but there was never a day when I didn't have twenty or thirty entries.

Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

As there was no end to it, I gave up. Even today, when I think about the day's affairs after going to bed, there is never a day when I do not make some blunder in speaking or in some activity. Living without mistakes is truly impossible. But this is something that people who live by cleverness have no inclination to think about.

When reading something aloud, it is best to read from the 42 belly. Reading from one's mouth, one's voice will not endure. This is Nakano Shikibu's teaching.

During happy times, pride and extravagance are dangerous. If one is not prudent in ordinary times, he will not be able to catch up. A person who advances during good times will falter during the bad. Master lttei said, "In calligraphy it is progress when the pa- per, brush and ink are in harmony. The master took a book from its box.

When he opened it there was the smell of drying clovebuds. What is called generosity is really compassion. In the Shin'ci it is written, "Seen from the eye of compassion, there is no one to be disliked.

One who has sinned is to be pitied all the more. There is room enough for all. That we still worship the sages of the three ancient kingdoms is because their compassion reaches us yet today. Whatever you do should be done for the sake of your master and parents, the people in general, and for posterity. This is great compassion. The wisdom and courage that come from compassion are real wisdom and courage.

When one punishes or strives with the heart of compassion, what he does will be 43 limitless in strength and correctness. Doing something for one's own sake is shallow and mean and turns into evil.

I understood the matters of wisdom and courage some time ago. I am just now beginning to understand the matter of compassion. Lord Ieyasu said, "The foundation for ruling the country in peace is compassion, for when one thinks of the people as be- ing his children, the people will think of him as their parent.

One can understand that Lord Naoshige's phrase, "A fault- finder will come to be punished by others," came from his com- passion.

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His saying, "Principle is beyond reason," should also be considered compassion. He enthusiastically stated that we should taste the inexhaustible.

The priest Tannen said, "A clever retainer will not advance. However, there are no cases of stupid people coming up in the world either. When one is young, he can often bring on shame for a life- time by homosexual acts. To have no understanding of this is dangerous. As there is no one to inform young men of this 44 matter, I can give its general outline.

One should understand that a woman is faithful to only one husband. Our feelings go to one person for one lifetime. If this is not so, it is the same as sodomy or prostitution. This is shame for a warrior. Ihara Saikaku has written a famous line that goes, "An adolescent without an older lover is the same as a woman with no husband.

A young man should test an older man for at least five years, and if he is assured of that person's intentions, then he too should request the relationship. A fickle person will not enter deeply into a relationship and later will abandon his lover.

If they can assist and devote their lives to each other, then their nature can be ascertained. But if one partner is crooked, the other should say that there are hindrances to the relationship and sever it with firmness. If the first should ask what those hindrances are, then one should respond that he will never in his life say. If he should continue to push the matter, one should get angry ; if he continues to push even further, cut him down.

Furthermore, the older man should ascertain the younger's real motives in the aforementioned way. If the younger man can devote himself and pet into the situation for five or six years, then it will not be unsuitable. Above all, one should not divide one's way into two. One 45 should strive in the Way of the Samurai. Hoshino Ryotetsu was the progenitor of homosexuality in our province, and although it can be said that his disciples were many, he instructed each one individually.

Edayoshi Saburoza- emon was a man who understood the foundation of homosex- uality. Once, when accompanying his master to ado, Ryotetsu asked Saburozaemon, "What have you understood of homosex- uality? He replied, "To lay down one's life for another is the basic principle of homosexuality. If it is not so, it becomes a matter of shame. However, then you have nothing left to lay down for your master. It is therefore understood to be something both pleasant and unpleasant. Not enduring is bad without exception.

According to 46 the person and the rank, though a person has passed the age of forty, if he has no vitality, he will pet no response from others. Recently, a certain person on his way to Edo sent home a detailed letter from the first night's inn. Though he was a person who neglected such things when he was busy, he excelled other people in being as attentive as this.

In the judgment of the elders, a samurai's obstinacy should be excessive. A thing done with moderation may later be judged to be insufficient. I have heard that when one thinks he has gone too far, he will not have erred. This sort of rule should not be forgotten.

When one has made a decision to kill a person, even if it will be very difficult to succeed by advancing straight ahead, it will not do to think about going at it in a long roundabout way. One's heart may slacken, he may miss his chance, and by and large there will be no success. The Way of the Samurai is one of immediacy, and it is best to dash in headlong. When a certain man was going to the sutra readings at the Jissoin in Kawakami, one of his pages got drunk on the ferryboat and began to pester one of the sailors.

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When they landed on the other side, as the page had drawn his sword, the sailor took a pole and struck him on the head. At that time the other sailors all ran up together carrying oars and were at the point 47 of striking the page down.

However, as the master passed by with an air of not knowing what was happening, one of the other pages ran back and apologized to the sailors. Then, pacifying his comrade, he accompanied him home. That night the page who had been drunk learned that his sword was being taken away from him.

Now, first of all, it was an insufficiency on the master's part not to have reproved and pacified the drunken page while they were on the boat.

Furthermore, even though his page had acted unreasonably, after he had been struck on the head there was no reason for an apology. The master should have approached the sailor and the drunken page in an apologetic manner and cut them both down.

Certainly he was a spiritless master. The resolution of the men of former times was deep. Those between the ages of thirteen and sixty went to the front lines. For this reason men of advanced years hid their age. For serious affairs that bear directly on oneself, if one does not take care of things by making his own judgment his founda- tion and breaking through headlong, matters will not be brought to a close.

In conferring with people about matters of impor- tance, there may be many cases when your affair is thought lightly of, or when people will not speak of the real circum- stances. At such times one must use his own judgment.

At any 48 rate, it is sufficient to become a fanatic and choose to throw away one's life. At such a time, if one thinks about doing things well, confusion will soon arise and he will blunder. In many cases one's downfall may be brought about by an ally who is trying to do something for one's benefit, or one may be killed by his friend's kindness.

It is the same as when one requests permission to become a monk. Lord Naoshige said, "An ancestor's good or evil can be de- termined by the conduct of his descendants. This is filial piety. It is a wretched thing that one's family lineage be thrown into confusion with an adoption based on money alone. Such a thing- is immoral from the beginning, but it is extreme wickedness to be thus immoral with the excuse that without doing so one will be unable to afford even today's rice.

When Nakano Shogen committed seppuku, the members of his group gathered at Oki Hyobu's place and said various bad things about him. Hyobu said, "One does not speak bad things about a person after his death.

And especially since a person who has received some censure is to be pitied, it is the obligation of a samurai to speak something good of him, no matter how little. There is no doubt that in twenty years Shogen will have 49 the reputation of a faithful retainer. To place one's armor out splendidly is a fine discipline, but it is sufficient if it is simply all accounted for. Fukabori Inosuke 's armor is a good example. Men of high rank and with many retainers will also need such things as money to set aside for campaign use.

Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai (Yamamoto Tsunetomo)

It is said that Okabe Kunai made bags equaling the number of men in his ;group, affixed a name to each, and put in the appropriate amount of money for a campaign. This sort of discipline is profound. As for men of low rank, if they cannot make the proper preparation at the time, they should rely on assistance from their group leader.

To this extent, it is necessary for the group leader to be on intimate terms with his men beforehand. As for men who are under the master's direction, and especially for those who are with him directly, it is better to be without preparation money. At the time of the summer maneuvers at Osaka, a certain person brought along twelve monme of refined silver and went off with Master Taku Zusho.

This, of course, would have been fine if he had simply ridden off early. I think that it is better to dispense with such care. In carefully scrutinizing the affairs of the past, we find that there are many different opinions about them, and that there 50 are some things that are quite unclear. It is better to regard such things as unknowable.

Lord Sanenori once said, "As for the things that we don't understand, there ere ways of under- standing them. Furthermore, there are some things we under- stand just naturally, and again some that we can't understand no matter how hard we try. This is interesting. It is natural that one cannot un- derstand deep and hidden things. Those things that are easily understood are rather shallow. Look at the human condition.

It is unseemly for a per- son to become prideful and extravagant when things are going well. Therefore, it is better to have some unhappiness while one is still young, for if a person does not experience some bitter- ness, his disposition will not settle down.

A person who becomes fatigued when unhappy is useless. Especially with an extremely argumentative person, after yielding considerably one should argue him down with superior logic, but without sounding harsh, and in a fashion that will allow no resentment to be left afterwards.

This is a function of both the heart and words. This was an opinion given by a priest concerning personal encounters. Dreams are truthful manifestations. When I occasionally have dreams of dying in battle or committing seppuku, if I brace myself with courage, my frame of mind within the dream grad- ually changes.

This concerns the dream I had on the night of the twenty- seventh day of the fifth month.

If one were to say in a word what the condition of being a samurai is, its basis lies first in seriously devoting one's body and soul to his master. And if one is asked what to do be- yond this, it would be to fit oneself inwardly with intelligence, humanity and courage. Intelligence is nothing more than discussing things with others.

Limitless wisdom comes from this. Humanity is something done for the sake of others, simply comparing oneself with them and 53 putting them in the fore.

Courage is gritting one' s teeth ; it is simply doing that and pushing ahead, paying no attention to the circumstances. Anything that seems above these three is not necessary to be known. As for outward aspects, there are personal appearance, one's way of speaking and calligraphy. And as all of these are daily matters, they improve by constant practice. Basically, one should perceive their nature to be one of quiet strength.

If one has ac- complished all these things, then he should have a knowledge of our area's history and customs. After that he may study the various arts as recreation. If you think it over, being a retainer is simple. And these days, if you observe people who are even a bit useful, you will see that they have accomplished these three outward aspects. A certain priest said that if one thoughtlessly crosses a river of unknown depths and shallows, he will die in its currents with- out ever reaching the other side or finishing his business.

This is the same as when one is indiscriminately eager in being a re- tainer without understanding the customs of the times or the likes and dislikes of the master and, as a result, is of no use and brings ruin upon himself. To try to enter the good graces of the master is unbecoming. If you attach a number of bags of cloves to your body, you will not be affected by inclemency or colds. Some years ago Nakano Kazuma returned to this province as a messenger by horse in the dead of winter, and though he was an old man, he was not the least bit in pain.

It is said that that was because of his having used cloves. Furthermore, drinking a decoction of the feces from a dappled horse is the way to stop bleeding from an injury received by falling off a horse. A faultless person is one who withdraws from affairs. This must be done with strength.

There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment. Everyone lets the present moment slip by, then looks for it as though he thought it were somewhere else. No one seems to have noticed this fact. But grasping this firmly, one must pile experience upon experience.

And once one has come to this understanding he will be a different person from that point on, though he may not always bear it in mind. When one understands this settling into single-mindedness 55 well, his affairs will thin out. Loyalty is also contained within this single- mindedness. It is said that what is called "the spirit of an ape' ' is seine- thing to which one cannot return.

That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. In the same way, a single year does not have just spring or summer. A single day, too, is the same. For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation.

This is the mistake of people who are attached to past generations. They have no understanding of this point. On the other hand, people who only know the disposition of the present day and dislike the ways of the past are too lax. Be true to the thought of the moment and avoid distraction. Other than continuing to exert yourself, enter into nothing else, but go to the extent of living single thought by single thought.

The brave men of old times were for the most part rowdies. As they were of the disposition to be out running amuck, their vitality was strong and they were brave.

When I had doubts about this and asked, Tsunetomo said, "It is understandable that since their vitality was strong they were generally rough and went about running amuck. These days rowdiness is nonexistent 56 because man's vitality has weakened. Vitality has fallen behind, but man's character has improved. Valor is yet a different thing. Although men have become gentle these days because of the lack of vitality, this does not mean that they are inferior in being crazy to die.

That has nothing to do with vitality. When he was at the point of passing from this world, he said nothing, even when his chief retainers came to see him. Once Lord Ieyasu gamed nothing in a battle, but in a later judgment it was said, "Ieyasu is a general of great courage.

Of his retainers who died in battle, not one of them died with his back turned. They all died facing the enemy lines. As Yasuda Ukyo said about offering up the last wine cup, only the end of things is important. One's whole life should be like this. When guests are leaving, the mood of being re- luctant to say farewell is essential. If this mood is lacking, one will appear bored and the day and evening's conversation will disappear. One should constantly give the impression that he is doing something exceptional.

It is said that this is possible with but a little understanding. Our bodies are given life from the midst of nothingness. Ex- isting where there is nothing is the meaning of the phrase, "Form is emptiness.

Uesugi Kcnshin said, "I never knew about winning from be- ginning to end, but only about not being behind in a situation. A retainer will be dumbfounded if he is be- hind in a situation.

In each and every instance one's function or responsiveness will not be shallow if he is not behind. One should be wary of talking on end about such subjects as learning, morality or folklore in front of elders or people of rank. It is disagreeable to listen to. In the Kamigata area they have a sort of tiered lunch box they use for a single day when flower viewing.

Upon returning, they throw them away, trampling them underfoot. As might be expected, this is one of my recollections of the capital [Kyoto]. The end is important in all things. While walking along the road together, Tsunetomo said, "Is not man like a well-operated puppet?

Will we not be guests at next year's Ben Festival? This world is vanity indeed. People always forget this. For exam- ple, if one were called before the master to explain something right away, he would most likely be perplexed. This is proof that he understands the two to be different. If, however, a per- son makes "right now" and "at that time" one, though he will never be an advisor to the master, still he is a retainer, and in order to be able to say something clearly, whether it be in front of the master, the elders or even the shogun at Edo Castle, it should be practiced beforehand in the corner of one's bedroom.

All things are like this. Accordingly, one should inquire into things carefully. It is the same for martial training as for offi- cial business.

When one attempts to concentrate things in this manner, won't daily negligence and today's lack of resolve be understood? Even though one has made some blunder in governmental work, it can probably be excused by pleading clumsiness or in- experience. But what kind of excuse may be given for the failure 59 of the men who were involved in this recent unexpected event? If one felt that such a failure were a mortification, it would be the least he could do to cut open his stomach, rather than live on in shame with a burning in his breast and the feeling that he had no place to go, and, as his luck as a warrior had run out, he was no longer able to function quickly and had been given a bad name.

But if one regretted losing his life and reasoned that he should live be- cause such a death would be useless, then for the next five, ten or twenty years of his life, he would be pointed at from behind and covered with shame.

After his death his corpse would be smeared with disgrace, his guiltless descendants would receive his dishonor for having been born in his line, his ancestors' name would be dragged down, and all the members of his family would be blemished. Such circumstances are truly regrettable. If one has no earnest daily intention, does not consider what it is to be a warrior even in his dreams, and lives through the day idly, he can be said to be worthy of punishment.

Presumably it can be said that a man who has been cut down was lacking in ability and had run out of luck as a war- rior. The man who cut him down, compelled by unavoidable cir- cumstances and feeling that there was nothing else to be done, 60 also put his life on the line, and thus there should be no evi- dence of cowardice. Being short-tempered is inappropriate, but it cannot be said that two men who face each other are cowards.

In this recent event, however, the men who lived and covered themselves with shame were not true warriors. One should every day think over and make an effort to im- plant in his mind the saying, "At that time is right now. Thus, the Way of the Samurai is, morning after morning, the practice of death, considering whether it will be here or be there, imagining the most slightly way of dying, and putting one's mind firmly in death. Although this may be a most difficult thing, if one will do it, it can be done.

There is nothing that one should suppose cannot be done. Moreover, the influence of words is important in military affairs. It would have been best for stopping the man in this recent event, too. When the situation is too much, one may cither cut the man down, or, if the man is escaping, yell some- thing like, "Don't run I Only cowards run!

There was a certain man who was said to be good at judging men's dispositions and formerly had everyone's 61 attention, and he was able to handle such cases.

This is proof that "right now" is no different from "when the time comes. The things to be deeply considered beforehand are many. If there is someone who has killed a man in the lord's mansion and has managed to escape, as one does not know whether he may still be swinging his sword and advancing toward the room next to the lord's, he should cut the man down. Indeed, one may be blamed later in an investigation as a confederate of the killer, or as someone who had a grudge against him.

But at that time one should think only of cutting the man down and not anticipate later blame. Even if one's head were to be suddenly cut off, he should be able to do one more action with certainty.

The last moments of Nitta Yoshisada are proof of this. Had his spirit been weak, he would have fallen the moment his head was severed. Recently, there is the example of Ono Dokcn. These actions occurred because of simple determination. With martial valor, if one becomes like a revengeful ghost and shows great determination, though his head is cut off, he should not die. Whether people be of high or low birth, rich or poor, old or young, enlightened or confused, they are all alike in that they 62 will one day die.

It is not that we don't know that we are going to die, but we grasp at straws. While knowing that we will die someday, we think that all the others will die before us and that we will be the last to go.

Death seems a long way oft. Is this not shallow thinking? It is worthless and is only a joke within a dream. It will not do to think in such a way and be negligent. Insofar as death is always at one's door, one should make sufficient effort and act quickly. It is good to carry some powdered rouge in one's sleeve. It may happen that when one is sobering up or waking from sleep, his complexion may be poor.

At such a time it is good to take out and apply some powdered rouge. There are times when a person gets carried away and talks on without thinking much. But this can be seen by observers when one's mind is flippant and lacking truth. After such an occasion it is best to come face to face with the truth and express it. The truth will then be arrived at in one's own heart too. Even when greeting someone lightly, one should consider the circumstances and after deliberation speak in a way that will not injure the man's feelings.

Furthermore, if there is a person who is criticizing the Way of the Samurai or one's own province, one should speak with him severely, without the least bit of ceremony. One must be 63 resolved in advance. Although a person who excels in an art regards others as competitors, last year Hyodo Sachu gave up the title of Master of Renga to Yamaguchi Shochin. A praiseworthy act. The priest Tannen used to hang up wind-bells but said, "It's not because I like the sound. I hang them in order to know the wind conditions in the event of fire, for that is the only worry in having a large temple.

Throughout his whole life the fire in his brazier was never out, and he always put a paper lantern and lighter by his pillow. He said, ' 'People are flustered during an emergency, and there is no one to quickly strike a light. There is only the matter of constant awareness. If it were not for men who demonstrate valor on the tatami, one could not find them on the battlefield either. Bravery and cowardice are not things that can be conjec- tured in times of peace.

They are in different categories. Though it may be said that the gods dislike impurity, if one thinks a bit, he will see that he has not been negligent in his daily worship. Thus, one's previous faithfulness has been 64 exactly for the sake of praying for good fortune in such times as when one is barbed in blood and climbing over the dead.

At such a time, if it is a god that turns back when one is defiled, then one should know clearly that praying is ineffective and should worship regardless of defilement.

At times of great trouble or disaster, one word will suffice. Written during a time when there was no officially sanctioned samurai fighting, the book grapples with the dilemma of maintaining a warrior class in the absence of war and reflects the author's nostalgia for a world that had disappeared before he was born.

Hagakure was largely forgotten for two centuries after its composition, but it came to be viewed as the definitive guide of the samurai during the Pacific War. The book records Tsunetomo's views on bushido , the warrior code of the samurai. Hagakure is sometimes said to assert that bushido is really the "Way of Dying " or living as though one was already dead, and that a samurai must be willing to die at any moment in order to be true to his lord.

His saying "the way of the warrior is death" was a summation of the willingness to sacrifice that bushido codified. After the Tokugawa shogunate suppressed the Shimabara Rebellion in , Japan experienced no warfare for about two centuries. Private feuding and dueling between samurai was also suppressed. Yamamoto Tsunetomo was born in , after the end of officially sanctioned samurai fighting.

He had no personal combat experience and when he was employed, he worked as a scribe. By the late s and early s, samurai faced the dilemma of maintaining a warrior class in the absence of war, and Hagakure reflects this uncertainty.

Written late in the author's life, the book also reflects his nostalgia for a world that had disappeared before his birth. Hagakure was largely forgotten for two centuries. The first modern edition appeared in and it did not receive much attention during the first decades of the century. Hagakure came to be viewed as a definitive book of the samurai only during the Pacific War. According to Mark Ravina , "Rather than an account of samurai tradition, this work serves as an example of what the Japanese army thought Japanese soldiers should believe about samurai practice.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Book of the Samurai. Wilson, William Scott trans. Stackpole Books. Ravina Understanding Japan: A Cultural History. The Great Courses.