All Time Famous Yamamoto Tsunetomo Quotes

Yamamoto Tsunetomo Quotes

Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Buddhist monastic name Yamamoto Jōchō, was a samurai of the Saga Domain in Hizen Province under his lord Nabeshima Mitsushige.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo Quotes

1. “A warrior is worthless unless he rises above others and stands strong amid a storm.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

2. “The way of the Samurai is found in death.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

3. “This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai: if by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one can live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. his whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

4. “The end is important in all things.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

5. “There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. There will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

6. “One should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

7. “Nothing is impossible in this world. Firm determination, it is said, can move heaven and earth. Things appear far beyond one’s power, because one cannot set his heart on any arduous project due to want of strong will.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

8. “The Four Oaths: Never be late with respect to the way of the warrior; be useful to the lord; be respectful to your parents; get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of man.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

9. “It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

10. “The deepest love is often hidden.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

11. “Our bodies are given life from the midst of nothingness. Existing where there is nothing is the meaning of the phrase, “Form is emptiness.” That all things are provided for by nothingness is the meaning of the phrase, “Emptiness is form.” One should not think that these are two separate things.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

12. “It is said that one should not hesitate to correct himself when he has made a mistake. If he corrects himself without the least bit of delay, his mistakes will disappear.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

13. “It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all Ways and be more and more in accord with his own.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

14. “A samurai will use a toothpick even though he has not eaten. Inside the skin of a dog, outside the hide of a tiger.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

15. “Light matters should be dealt with seriously. Serious matters should be dealt with lightly.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

16. “Human life is truly a short affair. It is better to live doing the things that you like.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

17. “As everything in this world is but a sham. Death is the only sincerity.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

18. “Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

19. “To give a person an opinion one must first judge well whether that person is of the disposition to receive it or not.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

20. “When one is writing a letter, he should think that the recipient will make it into a hanging scroll.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

21. “Bushido is realized in the presence of death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. There is no other reasoning.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

22. “Be true to the thought of the moment and avoid distraction. Other than continuing to exert yourself, enter into nothing else, but go to the extent of living single thought by single thought.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

23. “In the Kamigata area, they have a sort of tiered lunchbox they use for a single day when flower viewing. Upon returning, they throw them away, trampling them underfoot. The end is important in all things.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

24. “The basic meaning of etiquette is to be quick at both the beginning and end and tranquil in the middle.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

25. “Having only wisdom and talent is the lowest tier of usefulness.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

26. “All abilities come from one mind.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

27. “A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

28. “If you are slain in battle, you should be resolved to have your corpse facing the enemy.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

29. “To desire with one’s very soul every second of every day to accomplish one’s aim.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

30. “It is better to have some unhappiness while one is still young, for if a person does not experience some bitterness, his disposition will not settle down.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

31. “The person who practices an art is an artist, not a samurai, and one should have the intention of being called a samurai.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

32. “By bringing shame to a person, how could one expect to make him a better man?”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

33. “A warrior should not say something fainthearted, even casually. He should set his mind to this beforehand. Even in trifling matters the depths of one’s heart can be seen.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

34. “A person who is discreet in speaking will be useful during the good times and will avoid punishment during the bad.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

35. “There is one transcending level, and this is the most excellent of all. This person is aware of the endlessness of entering deeply into a certain Way and never thinks of himself as having finished.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

36. “Everyone lets the present moment slip by, then looks for it as though he thought it were somewhere else.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

37. “By inconsistency and frivolity we stray from the Way and show ourselves to be beginners. In this we do much harm.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

38. “I have found that the Way of the samurai is death. This means that when you are compelled to choose between life and death, you must quickly choose death.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

39. “When someone is giving you his opinion, you should receive it with deep gratitude even though it is worthless. If you don’t, he will not tell you the things that he has seen and heard about you again.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

40. “If one thinks only of winning, a sordid victory will be worse than a defeat. For the most part, it becomes a squalid defeat.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

41. “Even if one’s head were to be suddenly cut off, he should be able to do one more action with certainty.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

42. “It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material posessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

43. “When confronted with two alternatives, life and death, one is to choose death without hesitation.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

44. “Go ahead and gamble a lie. A person who will not tell you seven lies within a hundred yards is useless as a man.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

45. “Common sense will not accomplish great things. Simply become insane and desperate.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

46. “Covetousness, anger and foolishness are things to sort out well. When bad things happen in the world, if you look at them comparatively, they are not unrelated to these three things.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

47. “Singlemindedness is all-powerful.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

48. “By being impatient, matters are damaged and great works cannot be done.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

49. “The heart of a virtuous person has settled down and he does not rush about at things. A person of little merit is not at peace but walks about making trouble and is in conflict with all.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

50. “If a retainer will just think about what he is to do for the day at hand, he will be able to do anything. If it is a single day’s work, one should be able to put up with it. Tomorrow, too is but a single day.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

51. “Looking comparatively at the good things, you will see that they are not excluded from wisdom, humanity and bravery.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

52. “Continue to spur a running horse.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

53. “Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

54. “Purity is something that cannot be attained except by piling effort upon effort.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

55. “You cannot tell whether a person is good or bad by his vicissitudes in life. Good and bad fortune are matters of fate.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

56. “It is a principle of the art of war that one should simply lay down his life and strike. If one’s opponent also does the same, it is a even match. Defeating one’s opponent is then a matter of faith and destiny.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

57. “It is difficult for a fool’s habits to change to selflessness.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

58. “There are few people who will make mistakes with fire after having once been burned.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

59. “It is better not to become acquainted with men about whom you have formerly had doubts. No matter what you do, they will be people by whom you will be tripped up or taken in.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

60. “An affected laugh shows lack of self-respect in a man and lewdness in a woman. It is carelessness to go about with one’s hands inside the slits in the sides of his hakama.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

61. “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.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

62. “Tether even a roasted chicken.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

63. “It is spiritless to think that you cannot attain to that which you have seen and heard the masters attain. The masters are men. You are also a man. If you think that you will be inferior in doing something, you will be on that road very soon.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

64. “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.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

65. “There is not a man who does not get senile by the time he reaches sixty. And when one thinks that he will not be senile, he is already so.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

66. “The saying ‘the arts aid the body’ is for samurai of other regions. For samurai of the Nabeshima clan the arts bring ruin to the body.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

67. “Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

68. “Do not rely on following the degree of understanding that you have discovered, but simply think, “This is not enough.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

69. “One should be wary of talking on end about such subjects as learning, morality or folklore in front of elders or people of rank. It is disagreeable to listen to.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

70. “Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

71. “When delivering something like an important letter or other written materials, grasp it firmly in your hand as you go and do not release it once, but hand it over directly to the recipient.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

72. “As long as people overlook matters, then inferiors can, without any fear, lead an easy and peaceful life.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

73. “If one is but secure at the foundation, he will not be pained by departure from minor details or affairs that are contrary to expectation. But in the end, the details of a matter are important. The right and wrong of one’s way of doing things are found in trivial matters.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

74. “There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to all things.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

75. “If one does not get it into his head from the very beginning that the world is full of unseemly situations, for the most part his demeanour will be poor and he will not be believed by others.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

76. “Victory and defeat are matters of the temporary force of circumstances. The way of avoiding shame is different. It is simply in death.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

77. “In a 50-50 life or death crisis, choose death.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

78. “At times because of one man’s evil, ten thousand people suffer. So you kill that one man to let the tens of thousands live. Here, truly, the blade that deals death becomes the sword that saves lives.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

79. “Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

80. “Learning is a good thing, but more often it leads to mistakes. It is like the admonition of the priest Konan. It is worthwhile just looking at the deeds of accomplished persons for the purpose of knowing our own insufficiencies. But often this does not happen. For the most part, we admire our own opinions and become fond of arguing.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

81. “In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing .”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

82. “It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a Way. Therefore, it is inconsistent to hear something of the Way of Confucius or the Way of the Buddha, and say that this is the Way of the Samurai. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all Ways and be more and more in accord with his own.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

83. “It is said that what is called “the spirit of an age” is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world’s coming to an end. For this reason, although one would like to change today’s world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

84. “It is not sufficient just to remain calm in the event of catastrophe or emergency. When challenged by adversity, charge onwards with courage and jubilation. This is rising to a higher level. It is like the saying, “The more water there is, the higher the boat rises.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

85. “Imitating another style is simply a sham.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

86. “In offering one’s opinion, one must first ascertain whether or not the recipient is in the right frame of mind to receive counsel.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

87. “If one is secure at the foundation, he will not be pained by departure from minor details or affairs that are contrary to expectation.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

88. “Human life is truly a short affair. It is better to live doing the things that you like. It is foolish to live within this dream of a world seeing unpleasantness and doing only things that you do not like.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

89. “Depending on one’s point of view, Hagakure represents a mystical beauty intrinsic to the Japanese aesthetic experience, and a stoic but profound appreciation of the meaning of life and death.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

90. “The condition of a person is revealed by his dreams. It would be good to make companions of your dreams and to put forth effort.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

91. “If you are unaware that the world is teeming with ineptitude from the beginning, you will develop a bitter countenance, and in turn others will eschew you.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

92. “Personally, I like to sleep. And I intend to appropriately confine myself more and more to my living quarters and pass my life away sleeping.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

93. “If one has no earnest daily intention, does not consider what it is to be a warrior even in his dreams, and lives through the day idly, he can be said to be worthy of punishment.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

94. “It is bad to carry even a good thing too far. Even concerning things such as Buddhism, Buddhist sermons, and moral lessons, talking too much will bring harm.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

95. “Living without mistakes is truly impossible. But this is something that people who live by cleverness have no inclination to think about.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

96. “No matter if the enemy has thousands of men, there is fulfillment in simply standing them off and being determined to cut them all down, starting from one end.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

97. “To think that being righteous is the best one can do and to do one’s utmost to be righteous will, on the contrary, bring many mistakes. The Way is in a higher place than righteousness. This is very difficult to discover, but it is the highest wisdom. When seen from this standpoint, things like righteousness are rather shallow. If one does not understand this on his own, it cannot be known.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

98. “Feeling deeply the difference between oneself and others, bearing ill will, and falling out with people – these things come from a heart that lacks compassion. If one wraps up everything with a heart of compasion, there will be no coming into conflict with people.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

99. “Although this may be a most difficult thing, if one will do it, it can be done. There is nothing that one should suppose cannot be done.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

100. “La negligencia es algo extremo.”
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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