These 11 volumes of this book is supposed to be burned after you read. There are some people in this book are still alive and this book can make them angry, so make sure this book to be burned. Tsunetomo said this repeatedly.
According to their nature, there are both people who have quick intelligence, and those who must withdraw and take time to think things over.
File:Enso2.png|144px|thumb|right|It is very important to give advice to a man to help him mend his ways. It is a compassionate and important duty. However, it is extremely difficult to comprehend how this advice should be given.
All of man's work is a bloody business. That fact, today, is considered foolish, affairs are finished cleverly with words alone, and jobs that require effort are avoided. I would like young men to have some understanding of this.
Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige's wall there was this one: "Matters of great concern should be treated lightly." Master lttei commented, "Matters of small concern should be treated seriously." Among one's affairs there should not be more than two or three matters of what one could call great concern. If these are deliberated upon during ordinary times, they can be understood. Thinking about things previously and then handling them lightly when the time comes is what this is all about.
, also read Yamamoto Jōchō
(June 11 1659 – November 30, 1719) was a samurai of the Saga Domain
Saga Domain was a han, or feudal domain, in Tokugawa period Japan. Largely contiguous with Hizen Province on Kyūshū, the domain was governed from Saga Castle in the capital city of Saga by the Nabeshima clan of tozama daimyō...
in Hizen Province
was an old province of Japan in the area of Saga and Nagasaki prefectures. It was sometimes called , with Higo Province. Hizen bordered on the provinces of Chikuzen and Chikugo. The province was included in Saikaidō...
under his lord Nabeshima Mitsushige
was a Japanese daimyo of the early Edo period. Famed for his forbidding of junshi, the form of traditional suicide whereby a retainer followed his lord in death. It was because of this dislike for junshi that one of his favorite retainers Yamamoto Tsunetomo would go on after his death to pen the...
. For thirty years Yamamoto devoted his life to the service of his lord and clan. When Nabeshima died in 1700, Yamamoto did not choose to follow his master in death in junshi
, refers to the medieval Japanese act of vassals committing seppuku upon the death of their lord...
because the master had expressed a dislike of the practice in his life. Instead, Yamamoto followed his lord's wishes and refrained from junshi
. After some disagreements with Nabeshima's successor, Yamamoto renounced the world and retired to a hermitage in the mountains. Later in life (between 1709 and 1716), he narrated many of his thoughts to a fellow samurai, Tsuramoto Tashiro
was a young samurai who visited an aging recluse Yamamoto Tsunetomo on March 5, 1710 and remained fascinated by the older samurai of the Saga domain...
. Many of these aphorisms concerned his lord's father and grandfather Naoshige
a retainer of the Ryūzōji clan during the Sengoku period of the 16th century. Naoshige was the son of Nabeshima Kiyosada and was known as Nobumasa throughout half of his career under the Ryūzōji. Naoshige proved himself as being one of the greatest generals under Ryūzōji Takanobu...
and the failing ways of the samurai caste. These commentaries were compiled and published in 1716 under the title of Hagakure
Hagakure , or is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo, former retainer to Nabeshima Mitsushige, the third ruler of what is now the Saga prefecture in Japan...
, a word that can be translated as either In the shadow the Leaves
or hidden leaves
was not widely known during the years following Tsunetomo's death, but by the 1930s it had become one of the most famous representatives of bushido
, meaning "Way of the Warrior-Knight", is a Japanese word which is used to describe a uniquely Japanese code of conduct and a way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. It originates from the samurai moral code and stresses frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and...
taught in Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...
Tsunetomo believed that becoming one with death in one's thoughts, even in life, was the highest attainment of purity and focus. He felt that a resolution to die gives rise to a higher state of life, infused with beauty and grace beyond the reach of those concerned with self-preservation. Some viewed him as a man of immediate action due to some of his quotes, and in the Hagakure
it is believed by some that he criticized the carefully planned Akō vendetta of the Forty-seven Ronin
The revenge of the , also known as the Forty-seven Samurai, the Akō vendetta, or the took place in Japan at the start of the 18th century...
(a major event in his lifetime) for its delayed response.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo is also known as Yamamoto Jōchō
, the name he took after retiring and becoming a monk.