Last Samurai Quotes

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There is nothing we should be quite so grateful for as the last line of the poem that goes, 'When your own heart asks.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)
The master swordsman isn't interested in killing people. He only wants to perfect his art.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
There is a strange taboo in our society against ending something merely because it is not pleasant-- life, love, a conversation, you name it, the etiquette is that you must begin in ignorance & persevere in the face of knowledge, & though I naturally believe that this is profoundly wrong it's not nice to go around constantly offending people.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
But Mariko knew it was time to do more. Time to be more. She would not die a coward. Mariko was the daughter of a samurai. The sister of the Dragon of Kai. But more than that, she still held power over her decisions. For at least this one last day. She would face her enemy. And die with honor.
Renée Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1))
There are people who think contraception is immoral because the object of copulation is procreation. In a similar way there are people who think the only reason to read a book is to write a book; people should call up books from the dust and the dark and write thousands of words to be sent down to the dust and the dark which can be called up so that other people can send further thousands of words to join them in the dust and the dark. Sometimes a book can be called from the dust and the dark to produce a book which can be bought in shops, and perhaps it is interesting, but the people who buy it and read it because it is interesting are not serious people, if they were serious they would not care about the interest they would be writing thousands of words to consign to the dust and the dark. There are people who think death a fate worse than boredom.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
He only tells the story once but you see it from about 8 points of view, you have to pay attention the whole time to see whether something seems to be true or is just what somebody says is true.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
I thought suddenly Look. If Kambei had stopped recruiting when the first samurai didn’t work out a 205-minute masterpiece of modern cinema would have been over at minute 32.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Here was a man who'd learned to write before he could think, a man who threw out logical fallacies like tacks behind a getaway car, and he always always always got away.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
I once read somewhere that Sean Connery left school at the age of 13 and later went on to read Proust and Finnegans Wake and I keep expecting to meet an enthusiastic school leaver on the train, the type of person who only ever reads something because it is marvellous (and so hated school). Unfortunately the enthusiastic school leavers are all minding their own business.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Musashi wondered how many people there were who on this night could say: “I was right. I did what I should have done. I have no regrets.” For him, each resounding knell evoked a tremor of remorse. He could conjure up nothing but the things he had done wrong during the last year. Nor was it only the last year—the year before, and the year before that, all the years that had gone by had brought regrets. There had not been a single year devoid of them. Indeed, there had hardly been one day.
Eiji Yoshikawa (Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era)
The truth is that banks are the last feudal kingdoms, their rulers omnipotent, divine warlords. Their key lieutenants are 'ronin' (wandering mercenary samurai) who roam financial markets ready to ally themselves to any warlord for a share of plunder. This is not the place to apply the latest management theory.
Satyajit Das (Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives)
I got home and I thought I should stop leading so aimless an existence. It is harder than you might think to stop leading an existence, & if you can't do that the only thing you can do is try to introduce an element of purposefulness....and though I might have to wait another 30 or 40 years for my body to join the non-sentient things in the world at least in the meantime it would be a less absolutely senseless sentience. OK.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
When you play a piece of music there are so many different ways you could play it. You keep asking yourself what if. You try this and you say what if and you try that. When you buy a CD you get one answer to the question. You never get the what if.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
I wish you wouldn't say the first thing that comes into your head, Ludo. There is an obvious difference between someone who works within the technical limitations of his time which are beyond his control and someone who accepts without thinking limitations which are entirely within his own power to set aside.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
My last semester at Vassar, I'd taken to wearing nunchakus in a strap-on holster and carrying around a samurai sword — that should tell you all you need to know.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
If you were at school they would not let you read a book like this, they would keep you from reading it by involving you in sport.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Indolence, interruption, business, and pleasure; all take their turns of retardation….Perhaps no extensive and multifarious performance, said Sib, was ever effected within the term originally fixed in the undertaker’s mind. He that runs against Time, has an antagonist not subject to casualities.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
KEEPER . . . Never gives in easily, and the standards/requirements start the moment you open your mouth. See, she understands her power and wields it like a samurai sword. She commands—not demands—respect, just by the way she carries herself. You can walk up to her and give her your best game, and while she may be impressed by what you say, that’s no guarantee that she’s going to let the conversation go any further, much less give you her phone number and agree to give you some of her valuable time. Men automatically know from the moment she opens her mouth that if they want her, they’ll have to get in line with her standards and requirements, or keep it moving because she’s done with the games and isn’t interested in playing. But she will also send all the signals that she is capable of being loyal to a man and taking good care of him, appreciative of what he’s bringing to the relationship, and ready for love—true, long-lasting love.   Newsflash: it’s not the guy who determines whether you’re a sports fish or a keeper—it’s you. (Don’t hate the player, hate the game.) When a man approaches
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Expanded Edition: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
Yamamoto said he thought you had to be able to hear how something did not work as part of a bigger thing to hear how it did and it was precisely because people couldn't hear that that they were willing to let movements be taken out of pieces.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
On the day of the party I walked down to Covent Garden at lunchtime to buy a dress, and on my way to Boules I thought I would just stop off for a moment at Books etc.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
He liked I expect the idea of effortless excellence, and being unable to combine the two has settled for the one he could be sure of...
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Hey, I got an idea, let’s go to the movies. I wanna go to the movies, I want to take you all to the movies. Let’s go and experience the art of the cinema. Let’s begin with the Scream Of Fear, and we are going to haunt us for the rest of our lives. And then let’s go see The Great Escape, and spend our summer jumping our bikes, just like Steve McQueen over barb wire. And then let’s catch The Seven Samurai for some reason on PBS, and we’ll feel like we speak Japanese because we can read the subtitles and hear the language at the same time. And then let’s lose sleep the night before we see 2001: A Space Odyssey because we have this idea that it’s going to change forever the way we look at films. And then let’s go see it four times in one year. And let’s see Woodstock three times in one year and let’s see Taxi Driver twice in one week. And let’s see Close Encounters of the Third Kind just so we can freeze there in mid-popcorn. And when the kids are old enough, let’s sit them together on the sofa and screen City Lights and Stage Coach and The Best Years of Our Lives and On The Waterfront and Midnight Cowboy and Five Easy Pieces and The Last Picture Show and Raging Bull and Schindler’s List… so that they can understand how the human condition can be captured by this amalgam of light and sound and literature we call the cinema.
Tom Hanks
My mother practiced hours every day, hours as painful to hear as to play. At first everybody thought she would give in. Day followed day, and the terrible stumbling sounds went on for hours on end. She did not know what else to do.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
That was before you guys turned up, the new hoodoo team. I knew this street samurai got a job working for a Special Forces type made the Wig look flat fucking normal. Her and this cowboy they’d scraped up out of Chiba, they were on to something like that. Maybe they found it. Istanbul was the last I saw of ’em. Heard she lived in London, once, a few years ago. Who the fuck knows?
William Gibson (Count Zero (Sprawl, #2))
Miyamoto Musashi’s actual burial ground was in close range. According to legend he had been buried in full samurai regalia clutching his faithful sword. The last line of the translation: He died lonely. The Japanese liked loneliness. It had a different quality than our dreaded isolation. More like one with the void, alone with the Alone, no longer separate from anything. It was the final compliment to describe him this way.
Natalie Goldberg (The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life)
Essentially the film is about the importance of rational thought. We should draw our conclusions from the evidence available rather than from hearsay and try not to be influenced by our preconceptions. We should strive to see what we can see for ourselves rather than what we would like to see.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Sometimes I rode the Circle Line reading a book on organic chemistry and sometimes I read Leave It to Psmith for the 20th or 21st time and sometimes I watched Jeremy Brett's marvellous grotesque Sherlock Holmes or of course Seven Samurai. I sometimes went out for Tennessee Fried Chicken. Day followed day. A year went by.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
This is so bad for him. Hundreds of people saying wonderful marvellous far too young what a genius. It seems to me that it is does not take miraculous intelligence to master the simple fact that ’Οδυσσε‡ς is Odysseus, if you go on to master 5,000 similar simple facts you have only shown that you are a miracle of obstinacy.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
There are people who think death a fate worse than boredom.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Ásgrímr segir: ‘Illa er slíkt mælt, at verða mǫnnum þá sízt at liði, er mest liggr við.’ Asgrim said, ‘These are mean words; you are of least use when the need is greatest.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
I felt ashamed, really ashamed of all the years I’d spent trying to identify the father who happened to be mine, instead of simply claiming the best on offer.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
There is a character in The Count of Monte Cristo who digs through solid rock for years and finally gets somewhere: he finds himself in another cell. It was that kind of moment.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Sometimes my mother did practice but one thing led to another and sometimes she did not. The advice of the homely man was something of a curse. She would not practice at all if she could not practice right so that gradually she played less and less and sometimes not at all. I used to think that things might have been different. Gieseking never played a scale and Glenn Gould hardly practiced at all, they would just look at the score and think and think and think. If the homely man had said to go away and think this would have been every bit as revolutionary a concept for a Konigsberg. Perhaps he even thought that you had to think. But you can't show someone how to think in an hour; you can give someone an exercise to take away.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
For instance, in one play the palace of Lord Hosokawa, in which was preserved the celebrated painting of Dharuma by Sesson, suddenly takes fire through the negligence of the samurai in charge. Resolved at all hazards to rescue the precious painting, he rushes into the burning building and seizes the kakemono, only to find all means of exit cut off by the flames. Thinking only of the picture, he slashes open his body with his sword, wraps his torn sleeve about the Sesson and plunges it into the gaping wound. The fire is at last extinguished. Among the smoking embers is found a half- consumed corpse, within which reposes the treasure uninjured by the fire. Horrible as such tales are, they illustrate the great value that we set upon a masterpiece, as well as the devotion of a trusted samurai.
Kakuzō Okakura (The Book of Tea)
The world refers to this state as resulting from a calm mind. But actually this is not the case. In such otherworldly experiences, it is not that the mind has been calmed or tamed. It is that, for a small fraction of time, the mind has disappeared! This is the state of No-Mind. The Japanese call it Mushin. It was referred to in the Tom Cruise movie, The Last Samurai. No-Mind is the gateway to Atmamun.
Kapil Gupta (Atmamun: The Path To Achieving The Bliss Of The Himalayan Swamis. And The Freedom Of A Living God.)
As late as 1883, when dueling of all kinds had almost been eradicated elsewhere, a rapier duel between a soda-water seller and a catfish dealer lasted eighty-three minutes before either combatant drew blood.
Richard Martin Cohen (By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions (Modern Library Paperbacks))
Those wolves were crueler even than the Japanese devils. They knew that all they had to do was rip open the bellies and let the horses die under their own hooves. I've never seen anything more sinister, more savage in my life. Those wolves embody the spirit of the Japanese samurai. Suicidal attacks don't faze them, and that makes Mongol wolves more fearful than any others. I won't rest till I kill every last one of them!
Jiang Rong (Wolf Totem)
People who generalise about people are dismissed as superficial. It’s only when you’ve known large numbers of people that you can spot the unusual ones—when you look at each one as if you’d never seen one before, they all look alike.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
I see you have no need of a sword.” “Very difficult, these days, to get them through security,” she pointed out without changing expression. “You’re extremely accurate with that weapon.” “With all weapons. My father was an exacting man.” “You’re a very dangerous woman, Azami Yoshiie.” Sam meant it as an admiring compliment. One eyebrow raised. Her mouth curved and she flashed a heart-stopping smile. “You have no idea how dangerous.” She said his own words right back to him and he believed her. “And you’re as adept with a sword as you are with your other weapons?” he asked curiously. “More so,” she admitted with no trace of bragging—simply stating a fact. “I said so, didn’t I?” Sam turned on his heel and strode toward her purposefully. “I’m about to kiss you, Ms. Yoshiie. I’m fully aware I’m breaching every single international law of etiquette there is, and you might, rightfully, stick that knife of yours in my gut, but right at this moment I don’t particularly give a damn.” Her eyes widened, but she didn’t move. He’d known she wouldn’t. She was every bit as courageous as any member of his team. She would stand her ground. Thorn moistened her lips. “It might be your heart,” she warned truthfully. “Still, I have no choice here. I really don’t. So pull the damn thing out and be ready.” She felt her body go liquid with heat, a frightening reaction to a woman of absolute control. “If you’re going to do it, you’d best make it really good, because it very well might be the last thing you ever do. I have no idea how I’ll react. I’ve never actually kissed anyone before.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
His youngest sister, Linda, wanted to be a singer and she had now refused point-blank to go to secretarial college; his father had refused pointblank to let her study music. Linda had gone to the piano and begun to play Chopin’s Prelude No. 24 in D minor, a bitter piece of music which gains in tragic intensity when played 40 times in a row.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
In her excitement at the idea of just walking out the door she had walked out the door without stopping to practice and without even her sheet music, and now she had nothing to play from and nothing prepared. Some people might have been daunted by this setback. The Konigsbergs faced musical catastrophe on a daily basis, & their motto was: Never say die.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
I would see languages with shades of each other, like the colours of Cézanne which often have a green with some red a red with some green, in my mind I saw a glowing still life as if a picture of English with French words French with English words German with French words & English words Japanese with French English & German words—I was just about to leave when I met a man who seemed to know quite a lot about Schoenberg.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
In a less barbarous society children would not be in absolute economic subjection to the irrational beings into whose keeping fate has consigned them: they would be paid a decent hourly wage for attending school. As we don’t live in that enlightened society any adult, and especially a parent, has a terrible power over a child—how could I give that power to a man who—sometimes I thought I could and once I even picked up the phone but when I thought about it I just couldn’t. I
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
We must not confine Self within the poor little person called body. That is the root of the poorest and most miserable egoism. We should expand that egoism into family-egoism, then into nation-egoism, then into race-egoism, then into human-egoism, then into living-being-egoism, and lastly into universe-egoism, which is not egoism at all. Thus we deny the immortality of soul as conceived by common sense, but assume immortality of the Great Soul, which animates, vitalizes, and spiritualizes all sentient beings.
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
Something looked through my grandfather's eyes. It said Being an accountant, it's not the end of the world. Something looked at my Uncle Danny. Something looked at my aunts and it said A secretary, is that so terrible? Linda had seen four before her do something that was not so terrible and already there was something about them, their whole lives ahead of them and the best thing cut off, as if something that might have been a Heifetz had been walled up inside an accountant and left to die. Doom. Doom. Doom.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Stop strokin’ that gun, Kyle,” Gator said. “You’re makin’ me nervous. I’m thinkin’ you’re about to make love to the damn thing.” “She is purty,” Kyle said, giving the gun one last caress, his eye watching the truck ahead. “Slow down a little, and let them get ahead of us, Gator.” “What if they put up a roadblock?” Jonas asked. Ryland opened one eye. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Can the chatter and let me sleep. We’ve got swimming to do and I’m getting too old for this shit.” “Do they have sharks off this coast?” Jonas asked. Sam snickered. “You and those sharks, Jonas.” “I have nightmares, man,” Jonas protested. “I’ll feed you to a damn shark if you don’t let me sleep,” Ryland drawled. Kadan and Nico exchanged amused glances. Ryland opened both eyes. “I heard that. I’m not that old.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
Bob,” she said, “I love you so and want you with me, but you are lying to me, and you are lying to yourself. I can hear it in your voice, and if you don’t get it settled in a way that satisfies you, it will suck the pleasure out of the peace you’ve earned. I know you. You are samurai, dog soldier, marine fool, crazy bastard, marshal of Dodge, commando, the country-western Hector. You are all of those things. They are your nature. The girls and I are just where you park when you’re not warring. You love us, yes you do, but war is your life, it’s your destiny, it’s your identity. My advice, old man, is win your war. Then come home. Or maybe you’ll get killed. That would be a shame and a tragedy, and the girls and I will weep for years. But that is the way of the warrior and we have the curse upon us of loving the last of them.
Stephen Hunter (I, Sniper (Bob Lee Swagger, #6))
Hey, I got an idea, let’s go to the movies. I wanna go to the movies, I want to take you all to the movies. Let’s go and experience the art of the cinema. Let’s begin with the Scream Of Fear, and we're gonna have it haunt us for the rest of our lives. And then let’s go see The Great Escape, and spend our summer jumping our bikes, just like Steve McQueen over barb wire. And then let’s catch The Seven Samurai for some reason on PBS, and we’ll feel like we speak Japanese because we can read the subtitles and hear the language at the same time. And then let’s lose sleep the night before we see 2001: A Space Odyssey because we have this idea that it’s going to change forever the way we look at films. And then let’s go see it four times in one year. And let’s see Woodstock three times in one year and let’s see Taxi Driver twice in one week. And let’s see Close Encounters of the Third Kind just so we can freeze there in mid-popcorn. And when the kids are old enough, let’s sit them together on the sofa and screen City Lights and Stage Coach and The Best Years of Our Lives and On The Waterfront and Midnight Cowboy and Five Easy Pieces and The Last Picture Show and Raging Bull and Schindler’s List… so that they can understand how the human condition can be captured by this amalgam of light and sound and literature we call the cinema.
Tom Hanks
Of course L has not been reading the Odyssey the whole time. The pushchair is also loaded with White Fang, VIKING!, Tar-Kutu: Dog of the Frozen North, Marduk: Dog of the Mongolian Steppes, Pete: Black Dog of the Dakota, THE CARNIVORES, THE PREDATORS, THE BIG CATS and The House at Pooh Corner. For the past few days he has also been reading White Fang for the third time. Sometimes we get off the train and he runs up and down the platform. Sometimes he counts up to 100 or so in one or more languages while eyes glaze up and down the car. Still he has been reading the Odyssey enough for a straw poll of Circle Line opinion on the subject of small children & Greek. Amazing: 7 Far too young: 10 Only pretending to read it: 6 Excellent idea as etymology so helpful for spelling: 19 Excellent idea as inflected languages so helpful for computer programming: 8 Excellent idea as classics indispensable for understanding of English literature: 7 Excellent idea as Greek so helpful for reading New Testament, camel through eye of needle for example mistranslation of very similar word for rope: 3 Terrible idea as study of classical languages embedded in educational system productive of divisive society: 5 Terrible idea as overemphasis on study of dead languages directly responsible for neglect of sciences and industrial decline and uncompetitiveness of Britain: 10 Stupid idea as he should be playing football: 1 Stupid idea as he should be studying Hebrew & learning about his Jewish heritage: 1 Marvellous idea as spelling and grammar not taught in schools: 24 (Respondents: 35; Abstentions: 1,000?) Oh, & almost forgot: Marvellous idea as Homer so marvellous in Greek: 0 Marvellous idea as Greek such as marvellous language: 0 Oh & also: Marvellous idea but how did you teach it to a child that young: 8
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Sorabji's hair was long and matted, as was his beard. He'd spent six months in a tropical sun, and was now dark brown. His clothes had been disgusting after the first week; following local custom he had taken to wearing his shirt as a loincloth. Sorabji always liked to say that the unfortunate consul had travelled hundreds of miles into the interior to rescue a British citizen, only to find Gunga Din. It was true that the loincloth had come from Gieves & Hawkes, but this was not something you'd notice on a casual inspection.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Well, I don't see any other ones around...
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
A brilliant white light beat pitilessly down, like the fierce desert sun at midday on the French Foreign Legion; the glittering floor dazzled the eye with the cruel desert glare. We walked slowly through the cereals.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Poor wretched beasts (said he) Why gave we you t’a mortall king? De dumty dumty dum De dumty dumty dumty dum de dumty dumty dum? De dumty dumty dumty dum de dumty dumty dum? Of all the miserable’st things that breathe and creepe on earth, No one more wretched is then man. And for your deathless birth, Hector must faile to make you prise
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
I thought: Yes, to live the life of the mind is the truest form of happiness.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
The 5 Scientific Truths Behind Excellent Habits Truth #1: World-class willpower isn’t an inborn strength, but a skill developed through relentless practice. Getting up at dawn is perfect self-control training. Truth #2: Personal discipline is a muscle. The more you stretch it, the stronger it grows. Therefore, the samurais of self-regulation actively create conditions of hardship to build their natural power. Truth #3: Like other muscles, willpower weakens when tired. Recovery is, therefore, absolutely necessary for the expression of mastery. And to manage decision fatigue. Truth #4: Installing any great habit successfully follows a distinct four-part pattern for automation of the routine. Follow it explicitly for lasting results. Truth #5: Increasing self-control in one area of your life elevates self-control in all areas of your life. This is why joining The 5 AM Club is the game-changing habit that will lift everything else that you do. The 3 Values of Heroic Habit-Makers Value #1: Victory demands consistency and persistency. Value #2: Following through on what is started determines the size of the personal respect that will be generated. Value #3: The way you practice in private is precisely the way you’ll perform once you’re in public.
Robin S. Sharma (The 5AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.)
A twelfth-century samurai’s main weapon was his bow, but his sword offered a last line of defense if he ran out of arrows or was knocked off his horse. Yet even as a backup weapon the sword carried a symbolic weight that the bow did not. Weapons like bows and spears were also used for hunting. The sword had a singular purpose: to end human life” (Turner & Hinds, 2016, p. 23).
Pamela S. Turner (Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune)
The 5 Scientific Truths Behind Excellent Habits Truth #1: World-class willpower isn’t an inborn strength, but a skill developed through relentless practice. Getting up at dawn is perfect self-control training. Truth #2: Personal discipline is a muscle. The more you stretch it, the stronger it grows. Therefore, the samurais of self-regulation actively create conditions of hardship to build their natural power. Truth #3: Like other muscles, willpower weakens when tired. Recovery is, therefore, absolutely necessary for the expression of mastery. And to manage decision fatigue. Truth #4: Installing any great habit successfully follows a distinct four-part pattern for automation of the routine. Follow it explicitly for lasting results. Truth #5: Increasing self-control in one area of your life elevates self-control in all areas of your life. This is why joining The 5 AM Club is the game-changing habit that will lift everything else that you do.
Robin S. Sharma (The 5AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.)
Besides the Four Alternatives, Zen uses the Five Categories[FN#203] in order to explain the relation between reality and phenomena. The first is 'Relativity in Absolute,' which means that the universe appears to be consisting in relativities, owing to our relative knowledge; but these relativities are based on absolute reality. The second is 'Absolute in Relativity,' which means Absolute Reality does not remain inactive, but manifests itself as relative phenomena. The third is 'Relativity out of Absolute,' which means Absolute Reality is all in all, and relative phenomena come out of it as its secondary and subordinate forms. The fourth is 'Absolute up to Relativity,' which means relative phenomena always play an important part on the stage of the world; it is through these phenomena that Absolute Reality comes to be understood. The fifth is the 'Union of both Absolute and Relativity,' which means Absolute Reality is not fundamental or essential to relative phenomena, nor relative phenomena subordinate or secondary to Absolute Reality—that is to say, they are one and the same cosmic life, Absolute Reality being that life experienced inwardly by intuition, while relative phenomena are the same life outwardly observed by senses. The first four Categories are taught to prepare the student's mind for the acceptance of the last one, which reveals the most profound truth. [FN#203]
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
A poor puppy with an empty can tied to his tail, Thomas Carlyle wittily observes, ran and ran on, frightened by the noise of the can. The more rapidly he ran, the more loudly it rang, and at last he fell exhausted of running. Was it not typical of a so-called great man of the world? Vanity tied an empty can of fame to his tail, the hollow noise of which drives him through life until he falls to rise no more. Miserable! Neither
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
Despite his inauspicious roots and lack of a recognizeable last name, this guy not only excelled at the art of war, but rose to the point where he became the de facto ruler of one of the most powerful industrialized military empires on the planet, the supreme commander of the Japanese army, and one of the most face-melting samurai warriors of all time. That's so completely over-the-top insane that I can't even think of an analogy absurd enough to compare it to.”   -- Badass of the Week: Hideyoshi Toyotomi
Sebastian Marshall (MACHINA)
energy so abundantly that be could talk with a voice sounding as a large bell. Being asked by Wang the secret of longevity, the man replied: "There is no secret in it; I merely kept my mind calm and peaceful." Further, he explained the method of Meditation according to Taoism and Buddhism. Thereupon Wang sat face to face with the old man and began to practise Meditation, utterly forgetful of his bride and nuptial ceremony. The sun began to cast his slanting rays on the wall of the temple, and they sat motionless; twilight came over them, and night wrapped them with her sable shroud, and they sat as still as two marble statues; midnight, dawn, at last the morning sun rose to find them still in their reverie. The father of the bride, who had started a search during the night, found to his surprise the bridegroom absorbed in Meditation on the following day.[FN#265]
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
The nihilistic doctrine is stated not only in the various Prajnya-sutras (the books having Prajnya-paramita in their titles), but also in almost all Mahayana sutras. The above-mentioned three doctrines were preached (by the Buddha) in the three successive periods. But this doctrine was not preached at any particular period; it was intended to destroy at any time the attachment to the phenomenal objects. Therefore Nagarjuna tells us that there are two sorts of Prajnyas, the Common and the Special. The Çravakas (lit., hearers) and the Pratyekabuddhas (lit., singly enlightened ones), or the Hinayanists, could hear and believe in, with the Bodhisattvas or the Mahayanists, the Common Prajnya, as it was intended to destroy their attachment to the external objects. Bodhisattvas alone could understand the Special Prajnya, as it secretly revealed the Buddha nature, or the Absolute. Each of the two great Indian teachers, Çilabhadra and Jnyanaprabha, divided the whole teachings of the Buddha into three periods. (According to Çilabhadra, A.D. 625, teacher of Hiuen Tsang, the Buddha first preached the doctrine of 'existence' to the effect that every living being is unreal, but things are real. All the Hinayana sutras belong to this period. Next the Buddha preached the doctrine of the middle path, in Samdhi-nirmocana-sutra and others, to the effect that all the phenomenal universe is unreal, but that the mental substance is real. According to Jnyanaprabha, the Buddha first preached the doctrine of existence, next that of the existence of mental substance, and lastly that of unreality.) One says the doctrine of unreality was preached before that of Dharma-laksana, while the others say it was preached after. Here I adopt the latters' opinion." If
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
Let me say (a few words) about this doctrine by way of criticism. So many Kalpas we spent never meeting with this true doctrine, and knew not how to trace our life back to its origin. Having been attached to nothing but the unreal outward forms, we willingly acknowledged ourselves to be a common herd of lowly beings. Some regarded themselves as beasts, (while) others as men. But now, tracing life to its origin according to the highest doctrine, we have fully understood that we ourselves were originally Buddhas. Therefore we should act in conformity to Buddha's (action), and keep our mind in harmony with his. Lot us betake ourselves once more to the source of Enlightened Spirit, restoring ourselves to the original Buddhahood. Let us cut off the bond of attachment, and remove the illusion that common people are habitually given to. Illusion being destroyed,[FN#387] the will to destroy it is also removed, and at last there remains nothing to be done (except complete peace and joy). This naturally results in Enlightenment, whose practical uses are as innumerable as the grains of sand in the Ganges. This state is called Buddhahood. We should know that the illusory as well as the Enlightened are originally of one and the same Real Spirit. How great, how excellent, is the doctrine that traces man to such an origin![FN#388]
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
Although all of the above-mentioned five doctrines were preached by the Buddha Himself, yet there are some that belong to the Sudden, while others to the Gradual, Teachings. If there were persons of the middle or the lowest grade of understanding, He first taught the most superficial doctrine, then the less superficial, and "Gradually" led them up to the profound. At the outset of His career as a teacher He preached the first doctrine to enable them to give up evil and abide by good; next He preached the second and the third doctrine that they might remove the Pollution and attain to the Purity; and, lastly, He preached the fourth and the fifth doctrine to destroy their attachment to unreal forms, and to show the Ultimate Reality. (Thus) He reduced (all) the temporary doctrines into the eternal one, and taught them how to practise the Law according to the eternal and attain to Buddhahood. 'If
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
If there is a person of the highest grade of understanding, he may first of all learn the most profound, next the less profound, and, lastly, the most superficial doctrine-that is, he may at the outset come "Suddenly" to the understanding of the One Reality of True Spirit, as it is taught in the fifth doctrine. When the Spiritual Reality is disclosed before his mind's eye, he may naturally see that it originally transcends all appearances which are unreal, and that unrealities appear on account of illusion, their existence depending on Reality. Then he must give up evil, practise good, put away unrealities by the wisdom of Enlightenment, and reduce them to Reality. When unrealities are all gone, and Reality alone remains complete, he is called the Dharma-kaya-Buddha.' CHAPTER
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
the flowers of the morning glory. They bloom and smile every morning, fade and die in a few hours. How fleeting and ephemeral their lives are! But it is that short life itself that makes them frail, delicate, and lovely. They come forth all at once as bright and beautiful as a rainbow or as the Northern light, and disappear like dreams. This is the best condition for them, because, if they last for days together, the morning glory shall no longer be the morning glory. It is so with the cherry-tree that puts forth the loveliest flowers and bears bitter fruits. It is so with the apple-tree, which bears the sweetest of fruits and has ugly blossoms. It is so with animals and men. Each of them is placed in the condition best for his appointed mission. The
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
In the general fiction section Ava discovered a well-thumbed edition of the latest bestseller. One million copies sold! Pah again! She cracked the book open at the spine, knew just where the join was weakest. She laid it open like a sacrificial goat on the carped, hidden between the shelves of books. Then she unleashed her machete, samurai-warrior style, and raising it above her head brought it down, and cleaved the book in twain, splitting it down the middle like a coconut. And that was when, seeing the scimitar rise again, the librarian screamed.
Mark O'Flynn (The Last Days of Ava Langdon)
One of the government edicts passed shortly after the founding of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Japan’s last great shogunate dynasty (1603–1868), made it legal for any shogunate samurai warrior to execute on the spot and without trial, any commoner found breaking a law or behaving in a disrespectful manner toward a samurai. This regulation was known as kirisute gomen (kee-ree-sue-tay go-mane), which means something like “kill and toss in a ‘sorry about that’ comment and walk away.” The samurai warriors of the some 270 clan fiefs that existed during the Tokugawa Period were quick to adopt the same practice.
Boyé Lafayette de Mente (Japan's Cultural Code Words: Key Terms That Explain the Attitudes and Behavior of the Japanese)
Jaylynn has a halo of spikes and thorns over her head, which digs into her forehead, and the blood runs down her shadowy brown wavy wispy hair. Her eyes can glow the color of pink. ‘I call them Olivia Cooper eyes! You know, with the black teardrops!’ and her dark cherry black blood flows from them too, as we talk. I think I saw from time to time a black widow crawling on her, making webs on her body. (So- hair-raising.) Along with the markings of unlucky, thirteen were tattooed on her and chiseled into her chest. Other insignias are cataloging her, she has numbers on her marking her like a beast. She has the cereal barcode numbers of- (J-N-0069699611) on her left butt cheek, which glows lime green in the dark! You are nothing but a number along with your first and last initials when you are a dark angel. She can have fire readily available at her fingertips, sharp retracting claws. Along with withdrawing fangs and horns. She also has a very elaborate samurai-like sword with a curved blade. As well as, yes you guessed it! She can sparkle like many thousands of little reflective broken mirrors in the brilliant full moonlight. I never thought I would speak to a black angel, yet she is my little girl, how could I not? ‘To live is to be haunted, to die is to be unperturbed.’ I remember back when she was on the edge of fifteen, and my life was entertaining, pleasurable, and stimulating. Not at all like now; I remember her first days of high school everything seemed flawless, little did I know, that the tower's children had their children, and their evil spirits were passed down to the next demons in the circle of pain; his clan started torturing my little girl until her end. Just as there, mothers did with me. All my life I have tried to prove this story… but how do I write a story that seems so silly to other people that do not understand?
Marcel Ray Duriez
you relax into a more expansive awareness, your brain will move beyond alpha and into theta, delta, and possibly even gamma-wave states that stimulate profoundly positive, lasting structural changes in your brain.
Richard L. Haight (The Warrior's Meditation: The Best-Kept Secret in Self-Improvement, Cognitive Enhancement, and Emotional Regulation, Taught by a Master of Four Samurai Arts (Total Embodiment Method TEM))
Which do you value more, life or honor? Honor,...because everyone must die, but honor lasts forever.
Dorothy Hoobler (The Sword That Cut the Burning Grass (Samurai Detective, #4))
The fact is that 99 out of 100 adults spare themselves the trouble of rational thought 99% of the time (studies have not shown this, I have just invented the statistics so I should not say The fact is, but I would be surprised if the true figures were very different).
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
With each retelling, Saigo’s composure grew greater, his soliloquy to Beppu longer, and the poignancy of the moment more intense. Because Saigo had come to represent samurai valor, his death had to represent samurai tradition. Physiology notwithstanding, tradition demanded that Saigo sit on a shattered hip and serenely ask Beppu to help him die. Saigo had become a legend, and the Japanese media decided to print the legend, not the man.
Mark J. Ravina (The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori)
Warriors have the good fortune to live in a time of peace; they can eat their fill and wear warm clothing every day. It is as if they have forgotten the depth of their obligation to their country, and that is regrettable.
Charles River Editors (The Battle of Shiroyama: The History and Legacy of the Samurai’s Last Stand in Japan)
He spent the last four years of his life there engaged in practice of Zazen (meditation), painting, and joining tea ceremonies and poetry gatherings with the domain’s elite. Many of Musashi’s famous ink paintings were created during this period of intense personal reflection. By this time, Japan had become politically stable and war was now a distant memory. Musashi, being among the last generations who had personally experienced conflict, sensed that samurai were losing their sense of identity. He resolved to make a pilgrimage to Reigandō Cave43 in 1643 and started writing Gorin-no-sho there, hoping to preserve for posterity his Way, and what he believed to be the very essence of warriorship. A year later he fell ill, and the domain elders encouraged him to return to Kumamoto to be cared for. He continued working on his treatise for five or six months. On the twelfth day of the fifth month of 1645, he passed the not quite finished manuscript to his student Magonojō. He gave away all his worldly possessions, and then wrote Dokkōdō, a brief list of twenty-one precepts that summed up his principles shaped over a lifetime of austere training. He died on the nineteenth day of the fifth month of 1645. It is said that he had taken ill with “dysphagia,” which suggests perhaps that he had terminal stomach cancer. Some say he died of lung cancer. In Bukōden, it is recorded that Musashi was laid in his coffin dressed in full armor and with all his weapons. It evokes a powerful image of a man who had dedicated his whole life to understanding the mind of combat and strategy. As testament once again to the conspiracy theories surrounding Musashi’s life, I am reminded of a bizarre book titled Was Musashi Murdered and Other Questions of Japanese History by Fudo Yamato (Zensho Communications, 1987). In it the author postulates that Musashi’s death was actually assassination through poisoning. The author argues that Musashi and many of his contemporaries such as the priest Takuan, Hosokawa Tadaoki (Tadatoshi’s father) who was suspected of “Christian sympathies,” and even Yagyū Munenori were all viewed with suspicion by the shogunate. He goes so far as to hypothesize that the phrase found at the end of Musashi’s Combat Strategy in 35 Articles “Should there be any entries you are unsure of, please allow me to explain in person…” was actually interpreted by the government as a call for those with anti-shogunate sentiments to gather in order to hatch a seditious plot (p. 20). This is why, Fudo Yamato argues, Musashi and these other notable men of his age all died mysteriously at around the same time.
Alexander Bennett (The Complete Musashi: The Book of Five Rings and Other Works)
Forging Mettle In popular depictions of Musashi’s life, he is portrayed as having played a part in the decisive Battle of Sekigahara on October 21, 1600, which preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. A more likely hypothesis is that he was in Kyushu fighting as an ally of Tokugawa Ieyasu under Kuroda Yoshitaka Jōsui at the Battle of Ishigakibaru on September 13, 1600. Musashi was linked to the Kuroda clan through his biological birth family who were formerly in the service of the Kodera clan before Harima fell to Hideyoshi.27 In the aftermath of Sekigahara, Japan was teeming with unemployed warriors (rōnin). There are estimates that up to 500,000 masterless samurai roamed the countryside. Peace was tenuous and warlords sought out skilled instructors in the arts of war. The fifteen years between Sekigahara and the first siege of Osaka Castle in 161528 was a golden age for musha-shugyō, the samurai warrior’s ascetic walkabout, but was also a perilous time to trek the country roads. Some rōnin found employment as retainers under new masters, some hung up their swords altogether to become farmers, but many continued roving the provinces looking for opportunities to make a name for themselves, which often meant trouble. It was at this point that Musashi embarked on his “warrior pilgrimage” and made his way to Kyoto. Two years after arriving in Kyoto, Musashi challenged the very same Yoshioka family that Munisai had bettered years before. In 1604, he defeated the head of the family, Yoshioka Seijūrō. In a second encounter, he successfully overpowered Seijūrō’s younger brother, Denshichirō. His third and last duel was against Seijūrō’s son, Matashichirō, who was accompanied by followers of the Yoshioka-ryū school. Again, Musashi was victorious, and this is where his legend really starts to escalate. Such exploits against a celebrated house of martial artists did not go unnoticed. Allies of the Yoshioka clan wrote unflattering accounts of how Musashi used guile and deceit to win with dishonorable ploys. Meanwhile, Musashi declared himself Tenka Ichi (“Champion of the Realm”) and must have felt he no longer needed to dwell in the shadow of his father. On the Kokura Monument, Iori wrote that the Yoshioka disciples conspired to ambush Musashi with “several hundred men.” When confronted, Musashi dealt with them with ruthless resolve, one man against many. Although this representation is thought to be relatively accurate, the idea of hundreds of men lying in wait was obviously an exaggeration. Several men, however, would not be hard to believe. Tested and triumphant, Musashi was now confident enough to start his own school. He called it Enmei-ryū. He also wrote, as confirmed by Uozumi, his first treatise, Heidōkyō (1605), to record the techniques and rationale behind them. He included a section in Heidōkyō on fighting single-handedly against “multiple enemies,” so presumably the third duel was a multi-foe affair.
Alexander Bennett (The Complete Musashi: The Book of Five Rings and Other Works)
Musashi, being the second son of Tahara Iesada, was given up for adoption to Miyamoto (Shinmen) Munisai. In this way, one person at least from the Tahara line would retain samurai status, something that was a matter of pride. It was a logical arrangement considering the tangled strands of the Akamatsu bloodline connecting them all in one way or another.24 Thus, Munisai’s background is as obscure as Musashi’s and most information about him also appears in contradictory texts written long after he died. Many still argue over whether he was a Hirata or a Hirao. Nonetheless, it is evident from what can be pieced together that Munisai was an accomplished martial artist known for his courage in battle. He reputedly took the heads of seven enemy warriors in one battle with a jūmonji-yari (crossed pike). As recorded in the Shinmen-kaki, “When Muni advanced with his yari [lance], seven warriors among the enemy sought to strike Muni down with their yari, but he skillfully took hold of their yari, running down as many as three warriors, taking their heads and giving chase to the remainder, thereby defeating the Kusakari forces.”25 He created a style of swordsmanship utilizing two swords in unison, which he named Tōri-ryū.26 Such was Munisai’s renown in battle that he was invited to demonstrate his skill in front of the last Muromachi-era shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru. Pitted against the shogun’s personal instructor, Yoshioka Kenpō, Munisai won two of the three bouts. This impressed the shogun, who then bestowed on Munisai the lofty designation Hinoshita Musō (“Peerless Under the Sun”). It is unknown when Munisai died, but it was most certainly after Musashi’s duel with Kojirō for reasons outlined below. Musashi clearly learned his trade under the wing of a formidable warrior.
Alexander Bennett (The Complete Musashi: The Book of Five Rings and Other Works)
According to a certain person, a number of years ago, the late Matsuguma Kyōan told this story: “In the practice of medicine there is a different treatment according to the Yin and Yang of men and women. There is also a difference in pulse. In the last fifty years, however, men’s pulse has become the same as women’s. Noticing this, in the treatment of eye disease I applied women’s treatment to men and found it suitable. When I observed the application of men’s treatment to men, there was no result. Thus I knew that men’s spirit had weakened and that they had become the same as women, and the end of the world had come. Since I witnessed this with certainty, I kept it a secret." Yamamoto Tsunetomo (William Scott Wilson, trn.), Hagakure – The Book of the Samurai
Yamamoto Tsunetomo;William Scott Wilson
You know, Chris … I have a definition of success, and what success is to me is when an individual finds that thing which fulfills himself, when he finds that thing that completes him and when, in doing it, he finds a way to serve his fellow man. When he finds that he is a successful person. It doesn’t make any difference whether you are a ditch-digger or a librarian or someone who works at the filling station or the President of the United States or whatever, if you’re doing what you want to do and in some way bringing value to the life of others, then you’re a successful human being. It so happens that in my area, which is entertainment, that success brings with it a lot of other things, but all of those other things, the money, the fame, the conveniences, the ability to travel and see the rest of the world, all of those are just icing on the cake and the cake is the same for everybody.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
С каждым пересказом самообладание Сайго становилось всё более полным, его монолог, обращенный к Бэппу, всё более длинным, а напряженность этой сцены всё более интенсивной. ... Невзирая на физиологию, традиция требовала, чтобы Сайго сел на раздробленное бедро и спокойно попросил Бэппу помочь ему умереть. Сайго был легендой, и японские СМИ решили тиражировать легенду, а не реального человека.
Mark J. Ravina (The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori)
He said: What you’ve got to understand is that you simply can’t afford to act as if you were dealing with adults. You’re not dealing with people who want to understand how something actually happens to work. You’re dealing with people who would like you to rekindle a childlike sense of wonder. You’re dealing with people who would like you to eliminate anything tiresome and mathematical because it will impede the rekindling of a— The phone rang. He said: Excuse me just a moment.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Her eyes fell upon her knives, which she had neatly laid on the counter for inventory. There was her boning knife, with a smooth molded handle which fit her hand perfectly; her bread knife, with its fluted edge; her butcher's knife, blade shaped like a scimitar; her versatile Chinese cleaver, which could mince, slice, bone, flatten, chop, even crack through chicken bones and meat joints. Her chef's knife's gently curved triangular blade. Her Japanese knife arched like a samurai sword, her oyster knife with its short pointed blade, and her slicer to cut cold meats into even, thin slices. And last, her filleting knife for boning and skinning fresh fish without damaging the flesh.
Nina Killham (How to Cook a Tart)
You need something to set against it. When you’ve seen that much badness you need something to set against it—some dazzling glorious act of goodness—not to redeem your faith in humanity, whatever that might mean, but just to make you stop feeling sick.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Well, they know what’s happening but it doesn’t do any good. You try to get some people out before it’s too late and you run into a blank wall of officialdom, and nothing does any good. And then it’s not just that you’ve seen stupid thugs with another language and a foreign uniform commit atrocities, but someone pretty much like yourself say I’m sorry there’s nothing I can do. If you’re lucky the person says Well, I’ll write to the Minister.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
The world would be quite a pretty place if the only people tormented by atrocities were those who’d committed them.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
Only the pen of Lord Leighton the writer could do justice to the brush of Lord Leighton the painter, for just so did Lord Leighton (the writer) bring the most agitated emotions to an airless to a hushed to an unhurried while each word took on because there was all the time in the world for each word to take on the bloom which only a great Master can give to a word using his time to allow all unseemly energy to become aware of its nakedness and snatch gratefully at the fig leaf provided until all passion in the airlessness in the hush in the absence of hurry sank decently down in the slow death of motion to perpetual stasis: a character could not look, or step, or speak, without a gorgeous train of sentences swathing his poor stupid thoughts and unfolding in beautiful languor on the still and breathless air.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
He that runs against Time, has an antagonist not subject to casualities.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
There is an obvious difference between someone who works within the technical limitations of his time which are beyond his control and someone who accepts without thinking limitations which are entirely within his own power to set aside.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)
I said I liked Amundsen and Scott and I liked King Solomon’s Mines and I liked everything by Dumas and I liked The Bad Seed and The Hound of the Baskervilles and I liked The Name of the Rose but the Italian was rather difficult.
Helen DeWitt (The Last Samurai)