Hagakure – The Book of the Samurai – p. 36 – 38

Above all, the Way of the Samurai should be in being aware that you do not know what is going to happen next, and in querying every item day and night. Victory and defeat are matters of the temporary force of circumstances. The way of avoiding shame is different. It is simply in death.

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.


Once there was a certain man who was very clever, but it was his character to always see the negative points of his jobs. In such a way, one will be useless. If one does not get it into his head from the very beginning that the world is full of unseemly situations, for the most part his demeanor will be poor and he will not be believed by others. And if one is not believed by others, no matter how good a person he may be, he will not have the essence of a good person.


It is not good to settle into a set of opinions. It is a mistake to put forth effort and obtain some understanding and then stop at that…Do not rely on following the degree of understanding that you have discovered, but simply think, “This is not enough.”


An affected laugh shows lack of self-respect in a man and lewdness in a woman.Speaking with downcast eyes is carelessness.A samurai will use a toothpick even though he has not eaten. Inside the skin of a dog, outside the hide of a tiger.


How should a person respond when he is asked, “As a human being, what is essential in terms of purpose and discipline?” First, let us say, “It is to become of the mind that is right now pure and lacking complications.” People in general all seem to be dejected. When one has a pure and uncomplicated mind, his expression will be lively. When one is attending to matters, there is one thing that comes forth from his heart. That is, in terms of one’s lord, loyalty; in terms of one’s parents, filial piety; in martial affairs, bravery; and apart from that, something that can be used by all the world.

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