1-37 A certain man said that the physician Mr. Kyoan of Matsugumasaki related to him: In medical science men and women are to be treated distinctively according to their sex.. There was a difference in pulse rates. However, over the last fifty years I have been aware of a change. Male and female pulse rates have become the same! I now find that men’s and women’s eye disease can be treated the similarly. The original means treatment is of no use. Now a mans energy has become weak due to changing times. They have come to resemble women. This is my understanding reached by actual experiences that until now I have kept a secret.

1-38 When a certain man paid a New Years call on his master, the master said, It is time I changed my thinking. I don't think I will drink any more sake as I may well become soaked in our national drink. However if I tell people that I have stopped drinking, they will think I have a drink problem. So, I still have to pour sake into a bowl two or three times. Also I would like to bow humbly until I have a crick in the back when I bend my head. Also I would like not to speak unless spoken to. This man was right-minded. Thinking about the future well in advance is a basic matter that men leading others must keep in mind. Hearing this Tsunetomo Yamamoto said, Behave yourself in such a way that you are saying to yourself you are not what you used to be and you become feeble as if you are ill. First impressions are really important.

1-48 Kichinosuke said, If I am alive or dead my name is not remembered. I'd like to live. He was a man of mettle and jokingly said that young men could not understand his saying. He added, A man who wonders if he should eat or not should not eat. He who wonders if he will live or die had best die. Kichinosuke, is saying that denying human instinct, causes human beings to want to eat and live and tells them jokingly, not to live worthlessly and not to die without purpose.

1-51 When all your judgements are based upon your own wisdom, you tend towards selfishness and fail by straying from the correct path. Your judgements are narrow minded and have no persuasive power of growth for others. It is best to consult a wise person when a fit decision does not occur to you. A wise man is a fair judge from an objective point of view. Because it is not for his own sake that he passing judgement, but for the benefit of others. A judgement passed using ones own wisdom is just like a stick just thrust into the ground.

1-52 When a man gives you advice, you should assent to him thankfully even if his advice is of no use. If you do not he will not help you again. You have to produce an atmosphere which enables you to be receptive to the opinions of others.e reason why retainers fail is because they long to be rich. If they can be satisfied with poverty, they can never fail. A man who is clever but has a habit of finding fault with others will not do well. If he does not recognize from the outset that nothing can be perfect he will become out of favour and other will not get approach him. Another cause of failure is however great a man is he can not carry out his duty if he does not have others who are close to him.

The Third Lord - Nabeshima Tsunashige

1-56 One reason why retainers fail is because they long to be rich. If they can be satisfied with poverty, they can never fail. A man who is clever but has a habit of finding fault with others will not do well. If he does not recognize from the outset that nothing can be perfect he will become out of favour and other will not get approach him. Another cause of failure is however great a man is he can not carry out his duty if he does not have others who are close to him.

1-58 A certain man worked off his bad temper on his son-in-law and scolded him monotonously. He had lost all his patience owing to a long illness. Not being able to endure the situation the son-in-law did not return home. The mother-in-law went to Tsunetomo Yamamoto for advice saying, I am at a loss what to do. I want my husband to control his selfishness. What would you advise him to do? Yamamoto refused her request for help. The woman burst into tears saying, I would do anything if you would help me. Reluctantly Yamamoto agreed to help. However. He said, I am opposed to advising your husband. What’s more, he is ill in bed. Bring me your son-in-law.

1-59 It is not good to think that you have become a master of all things. It is also wrong to think you have always succeeded if you understood a problem and perceive a solution to deal with it. One must get ones training from life itself and work out things more and more. It is absurd to think that only our personal view of things is the best. One must study with a firm spirit of inquiry about how one can be spiritually awakened after a thought. How this was bad, how that was wrong. Naturally this study is to fulfil ones duty.

A monument that commemorates the Oibaru of twenty seven retainers on the death of the first Lord Katsushige.

1-61 When asked, What is the most important thing to train yourself for? What can you answer? First and foremost I would say, you should think about death! Intently. As if it were before your very eyes, every moment. The face of the spirit is the face of the moment when a man considers his death intently. Even if a man’s heart reacts slowly. If he goes about his life with this in mind, he will come to have something firm at the bottom of his heart.

1-65 When you are asked to despatch an important letter or document, you should deliver it personally, handing it over to the recipient as soon as you arrive. Always keep it your hands on the way.

1-68 I have known for a long time that senility appears in my habitual manner. When I am full of energy I can disguise it by bracing up my energies. At weaker times I am ashamed because my senility shows. There are various tendencies. But no man is senile at the age of sixty. When he thinks he is not senile. It is the proof that he is not.

1-81 In China there was a man who loved pictures of Dragons. He decorated his garments and furnishing with dragon designs to the disdain of others. The Dragon God was highly impressed with his deep interest. So, just once only he decided to show himself to the man as a real Dragon. Seeing him the man was shocked and fainted. A man who usually talks big is not as good as his word if faced with a real situation.

1-84 Genzaemon Oki said, Different to Judo I thought I only had to throw someone to win in a competition of Ju-jutsu However recently I found something out. If someone was to hold me down after I had been thrown, I would lose. To win at first is to win to the last!

1-90 There is a saying, Its never too late to mend. Only if you mend your mistakes after you have made them will they disappear. If you try to cover up your faults it would be unbecoming and will suffer for it afterwards. When you make a slip of the tongue during a conversation you should not feel irresponsible. If someone is offended by such a thing, you should be prepared to say something such as I must apologise for my careless speech but what is said is said. Please pretend you didn't hear it.. No one can be blameless. We should never talk about other peoples affairs. Also, when talking to an associate we should take into account their feelings.



1-91 It is most important to write letters properly and nicely with a brush pen, and not with innocence and frankness. What is more is that way of writing that remains determined and has status. There is a reasoning in various kinds of things.

1-92 It is unkind to speak ill of a man who has committed an offence. It is of no help being remiss and calling down a man living a happy life. We should sympathise with a man who has strayed from the path. It is the right way for the Bushi to help him make a comeback some way or other.

1-94 It is said, If you want to see into a sick persons heart, become ill yourself. When a man is sick or in trouble, those who do not keep company with him are cowards, even those who are close to him in daily life. We should visit those that are unhappy and give them gifts. We must not become estranged in life from those who have a sense of gratitude. At such times one can see into a mans heart .In the world there are men who ask of others when they are in great need. However there are men who don’t remember their obligations afterwards.

1-104 Is very important for a leader to turn his eyes in the direction of others. Matsushige Kusonoki drew his eyes to only one letter. This was the letter he handed to his son Masatsura when he went to war against the Minatogawa.


The Fourth Lord - Nabeshima Yoshitsugu


1-105 It is stupid to be alarmed when unusual things happen. These things are a mystery and an omen of something.

1-112 A man with a mercenary spirit is a coward. The reason being he is always thinking about gain or loss. To him dieing is a loss, living is a gain. He becomes a coward because he does not want to die. This type of man is fond of learning and is excellent in intelligence and speech. Therefor he conceals his real character of timidity and greed well. People often fail to recognise this type of man.

1-114 Words of the Lord Naoshige Nabeshima, The way of the Samurai is in desperation. A person who is ready to do anything, regardless of danger cannot be killed, even by dozens of men. Great work can't be done sensibly. Become insane and desperate. In the way of the Samurai it is defeatism to mediate and discriminate in between this and that. It is needless to reason about loyalty and filial duty. You only have to be desperate. Loyalty and filiality are spontaneously included in desperation.

1-115 It is spiritless for you to think that you will be unable to achieve an experts skills when you hear stories about them. They were all men. You are a man too! If you adopt this attitude, you yourself will very soon become adept. Master Ittei said, Confucius was a saint because he decided to become a scholar when he was fifteen years old. He was not a man who achieved sainthood after studying late in life. Buddhists teach that same thing, Man attains higher spiritual enlightenment only when he becomes religious.

1-112 I know that even if a mans head has been cut off, he can still perform some function. Yoshida Nitta and Ono Doken are good examples of this. How can one man be inferior to another. Jokyu Mitani said, Even if a man is dying of a terminal disease, he can stand by sheer force of will for two or three days.

1-123 He who sees reason is quick to act with pride. When it is said that he is somewhat special, he will behave audaciously saying that he was born with no advantages. Such a man will be visited with retribution.

1-125 The most important way of expressing one self is to say nothing. If we wish to go on without speaking it is easy to do so. When we must by all means say something, we should speak reasonably using few words. We are abandoned by others and disgrace ourselves putting our words carelessly.

1-145 Jinuemon used to say, The bones in your back will not break if you bow too much. At the end of a letter it will be impolite if you do not write, Yours most respectfully. Because you write with care does not mean that you will wear your brush out.

1-150 Whilst talking to others, It is best to be accompanied in conversation with an associate. Even If you think what you are saying is good, the word may hold no effectiveness unless an associate is supporting you

1-154 There are many men who give lessons in the world, but few who are glad to take them. There are even fewer that take heed of them. No one over the age of thirty takes to lessons kindly. Therefor such men will become selfish, allowing themselves to be fooled by errors and end their life in vain. You should accept lessons. Being on intimate terms with a person who is well versed in reason.