Hagakure, the samurai’s way

Hagakure, the samurai’s way

Strategy is the craft of the warrior. Commanders must enact the craft, and troopers should know this Way. There is no warrior in the world today who really understands the Way of strategy…. It is said the warrior’s is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways.

Students of the Ichi school Way of strategy should train from the start with the sword and long sword in either hand. This is a truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.

In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased.

If the enemy thinks of the mountains, attack like the sea; and if he thinks of the sea, attack like the mountains.

If we watch men of other schools discussing theory, and concentrating on techniques with the hands, even though they seem skillfull to watch, they have not the slightest true spirit.

Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) A Book of Five Rings (pg. 37, 45, 53, 80, 83)

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 that metal. Since I have impressed this fact upon myself, what more can the gods and Buddhas do?” and the swearing was cancelled.

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.

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.

Tsunetomo Yamamoto (1659-1719) Hagakure (pg. 43, 50, 51)

 

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