Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

By Yamamoto Tsunetomo

The Hagakure is without doubt one of the so much influential of all eastern texts—written approximately three hundred years in the past by way of Tsunetomo Yamamoto to summarize the very essence of the japanese Samurai bushido ("warrior") spirit. Its effect has been felt during the global and but its life is scarcely recognized to many Westerners. this is often the 1st translation to incorporate the whole first books of the Hagakure and the main trustworthy and genuine passages contained in the 3rd ebook; all different English translations released formerly were super fragmentary and incomplete.

Alex Bennett's thoroughly new and hugely readable translation of this crucial paintings contains huge footnotes that serve to fill in lots of cultural and historic gaps within the past translations. This precise blend of clarity and scholarship provides Bennett's translation a different virtue over all earlier English versions.

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Additional info for Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai

Sample text

Others will view this as repugnant, weak, constricted, or lax. When it is difficult to invoke true wisdom unimpeded by selfish motivations, consult a man with insight. He will be able to offer selfless and candid advice as the matter is of no concern to him personally, and he will thus be able make rational judgments. Such recourse will be viewed by others as being firmly-rooted and prudent. It is akin to an enormous tree with many roots; by contrast, the self-centered wisdom of one man is like a small tree precariously placed in the ground.

2-17) A warrior who can demonstrate such resolve and purity in thought and action is hailed as a kusemono. In modern Japanese parlance, kusemono has negative connotations, indicating an eccentric or 32 H A G A K U R E abnormal person—a quintessential weirdo. The kusemono depicted in Hagakure, however, represents the supreme warrior. Such an ideal man could be relied upon to always be there in a calamity, but remained behind the scenes when not needed. “Exceptional warriors (kusemono) are dependable men.

Possibly instructions from Tsunashige regarding Mitsushige’s belongings. 50 H A G A K U R E the grace it is given, then the remonstrator is resigned to think that little else can be done. Such an attitude is of little use. It is analogous to shaming somebody, or disparagement simply to get something off your own chest. In offering one’s opinion, one must first ascertain whether or not the recipient is in the right frame of mind to receive counsel. Strive to become a trusted colleague, and ensure that he has faith in your words.

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