Some quotes from the Hagakure:
About the Hagakure
- Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate.
Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not
think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational
death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
- There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting
with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road.
But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you
still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be
perplexed, though you still get the same soaking.
- These are the teachings of Yamamoto Jin'emon:
- Singlemindedness is all-powerful.
- Tether even a roasted chicken.
- Continue to spur a running horse.
- A man who will criticize you openly carries no connivance.
- A man exists for a generation, but his name lasts to the end of time.
- Money is a thing that will be there when asked for. A good man is not so easily found.
- Walk with a real man one hundred yards and he'll tell you at least seven lies.
- It is a principle of the art of war that one should simply lay down his life and strike.
If one's opponent also does the same, it is an even match. Defeating one's opponent is then a matter
of faith and destiny.
About the Hagakure
Yamamoto Tsunetomo was a samurai in the early 1700s. Forbidden by law from committing
tsuifuku (suicide of a retainer after his master's death), he retired
to a monestary. Though he never fought in any battles, he nonetheless
felt that the samurai of his time had become soft. A younger samurai that visited Yamamoto
over the years wrote down his words in the Hagakure. It has been translated
many times, including a translation by the famous Japanese author Mishima Yukio.
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Blair Powell / Dept. of Family Medicine & Clinical Epidemiology /
University of Pittsburgh