1-119 We should not speak ill of the dead. It is a special mercy of the Bushi to speak well of each other.

1-163 A story of Ittei Ishida: If one has the desire, everything is sure to come true. A long time ago there were no pine-mushrooms in Nabeshima. Nowadays we have began to grow them on Mt. Hokuzan. From now on, we will be able to grow red pine trees in the nearby mountains. It is my dream and also that of the people of Nabeshima. Therefore one must have big desires and dreams.

Shachi no Mon - The gate to the Nabeshima Castle

1-127 A man who succeeds in life and whilst still young will not last long. Even if he is born rich with ability, no one trusts him because he is not yet matured. It is best to succeed around the age of fifty. It is more effective to be considered by others as to be rising slowly in the world. A man with a fixed purpose will proceed rapidly. But if he fails his house will go to ruin.

1-173 When I was young, I wrote down the mistakes I made. I called it my repentance diary. I wrote down twenty or thirty mistakes everyday. I stopped writing them because they were never ending. Even now, lying on my bed thinking things over, there is no day that goes by without a mistake or mismanagement of some kind. It is impossible for us to envisage that man can live entrusting his self to his own abilities.

1-175 When we are happy we are in danger of conceit and arrogance. In this case you will be sure to fail if you do not take more care than usual. The man than that gets elated with happiness will be even more disheartened when unhappy.

1-179 In the eyes of mercy, no one should have hateful thoughts. Feel pity for the man who is even more at fault.. The area and size of mercy is limitless. It is because mercy is so profound and expansive that the holy men of Tang, India and Japan are still respected to this day.

1-184 As to what to do for the good, simply, we must withstand pain. If we cannot stand pain we are wrong in everything.

1-185 A man under the age of forty does not need to be prudent or sagacious. It is better that he gathers strength. When he turns fifty he can settle down and compete with others according to a man of social position.

1-192 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 sympathize 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.

1-261 Things are at there most dangerous when you are elated, extravagant or arrogant. At these times it is important that you take twice as much care as usual.

The Fifth Lord - Nabeshima Muneshige

From the Second Article

2-7 As for the three virtues, they seem difficult to ordinary people. However they are not so difficult to grasp. We can talk about knowledge, and gain immeasurable wisdom. Humanity is to help others. It is to serve others better than ourselves. Courage is to be diligent with out teeth firmly set. We must go forward with steady steps, without thinking of the past or future. This will be sufficient. Above this we do not need to know about it.

2-18 Time and change wait for no man! It is because the times are out of joint that the world becomes more and more vulgar. Spring and summer do not last all year. No two days are never the same. Therefore, it is impossible to take the present back to the good manners of one hundred years ago. It is important for us to somehow take the right path in the present times. It is in point wrong for a man to look back at the past with nostalgia. This is because he does not want to understand that times are changing. On the other hand a person who hates the old ways, thinking that only the present is good is thoughtless.

2-20 You should think of nothing but your duty. You must not have idle thoughts and become careless. Keep to your thinking. You should lead each moment with care.

2-29 As Mr. Ukyo Yasuda said about offering the last cup, the farewell drink at a banquette is the most important. It is akin to a man’s life. When a visitor is about to leave it is important to feel the sorrow of parting. If this is not so, it is of no use talking to him day and night, seeming to tire of him. When we keep company with a person we should be attentive. This means to say, we should behave on each occasion as if we had not seen him for some time. This situation will change into good or bad according to our thoughtfulness.

2-33 The ultimate love is Secret Love. Koishinan nochi no kemuri ni sore to shire, tsuini morasanu uchi no omoi wa.- Please recognise The secret love In my life. After death is secret love. This poem expresses that: Love is not deep if we declare it whist we live. A secret love in death has profound grace. It is best to die with a secret love. When asked by a lover, Is it possible that you love me? One should say, Such a thing never even entered my head. Love is a round game! The other day I told some men of this. One of them agreed with me. We call it smoke company (Kemuri Nakama).

Wife of the Fifth Lord - Nabeshima Shitsu

2-54 A story of a certain man; I have wondered why a noble man would so often use sensible remarks, but was suddenly aware of the reason. The lower classes have unclean minds, thinking of ignoble things, not to mention self interest. Good sense does not promptly occur to them. Therefore they are not inclined to compose such things as poetry. As ignoble things don't occur to a noble man inherently, he can produce wise sayings with his pure heart.

2-55 One knows that people of position, the low, the old, the awakened and the misguided will eventually pass on. But there is a refuge. One knows that everyone must die, but one thinks that he will be the last one to go. What a miserable thought this is. It is unworthy and is like talking in ones sleep. One must not be negligent but should think that death may come at any moment. Therefore, complete your work as soon as possible by striving desperately.

2-58 When the young of the party yawn, one should say that yawning is dishonorable. We can live our lives without yawning and also sneezing if we decide not to do them. These things happen when we fail to keep attention. When a yawn comes unexpectedly we should cover our mouths with our hands. We can stop sneezing if we press our foreheads. No man can keep perfect manners as there are those that drink sake. Be careful! The banquet belongs to the public world.

2-70 As one becomes merry with amusements, one is likely to talk carelessly. Your heart is flippant and lacks a truth that is seen by others. You later consider whether or not your talk was truthful. If you do so you are able to relate sincerely. Even when you greet others lightly you take it into consideration that they are not offended by your speech, looking into the atmosphere of the whole company.

2-75 Bravery and timidity cannot usually be understood. It is when they occur we can understand them.

2-83 When Tsunetomo Yamamoto was giving a speech at another man’s home, a priest came to visit. He immediately went down to the lowest seat and greeted the man in the accepted fashion. After that he returned to his former table. This was the manner which he had been raised.

2-85 Human life is a short time indeed. You should best life as long as you want to. It is foolish to live in pain by doing things you dislike. I have never told this fact to young people, as it would be harmful to those who would misunderstand it. I like to sleep. So I thing I will pass my time away by staying at home.

2-89 At a glance a man will show his dignity. Prudence, silence of speech, politeness and good manners and sharp eyes are all dignities that we outwardly express. However on this basis we need to brace ourselves up, as these things require deep thought.

The grave of Tashiro Tsuramoto (Motozaemon) at Zuiryu-ji

2-99 A man who tediously speaks of things of small importance may have other things he wants to talk about. He goes over the same thing again and again in order to bring other things to the surface. You will find it unreliable if you listen to things too carefully.

2-164 A man of virtue keeps his mind relaxed and is not in a hurry to do everything. A small minded person is restless and careless.

From the Third Article

3-1 Once Mr. Naoshige Nabeshima said, Nothing is more impressive than justice and charity. Even when my cousin died I could not shed tears. But, when I heard the story of a man who had lived one hundred years ago who bore no relation to me, I would wipe my eyes hearing of justice.

2-116 Nowadays, young men seem to want to become like women. These are kind-hearted and amiable times. Therefore man does not make matters worse and the gentle are idolized. Decisive steps can never be made towards development. Men like this soon fade, because they have a strong feeling of self interest.

2-119 Sometimes a man who has done you a favour, befriended you or has supported you does something evil. In this case you should secretly advise his against getting a bad reputation, setting him at right with the world. If we give such men advice and praise them as an ally, they will mend their faults and grow into good men. If we speak highly of them, they will change their thinking and gradually mend evils. It should be our desire to be good and merciful to others.


2-136 A man cannot do great work if he has a quick temper. He will fail in trying. He can accomplish his purpose sooner if he takes a more patient attitude, working thoroughly for long periods. Time will take his side.


2-125 When a certain priest was proscribed, I whispered secretly in his ear, Please hide yourself where no one can find you for a while. If you come back to Nabeshima after you have gained permission to re-enter , the situation will be much more improved than it is today. If you come back before, people will not accept it. If our Lord makes a decision afterwards it will be fruitless. But the priest stayed at Kodenji temple after he had been exiled. The Lord heard of this. Under his private injunctions I went to the temple and had to tell him, You must leave and never return again. Please reflect on your conduct. We can recognise others faults but are always blind to out own.

Page 5