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Hagakure Kikigaki (葉隠聞書)

Hagakure (Kyūjitai: 葉隱; Shinjitai: 葉隠; meaning In the shadow the Leaves or hidden leaves, or Hagakure Kikigaki (葉隠聞書) is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo, former retainer to Nabeshima Mitsushige, the third ruler of what is now the Saga prefecture in Japan.

Tsuramoto Tashiro compiled these commentaries from his conversations with Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716; however, it was not published until many years afterwards. Hagakure is also known as the The Book of the Samurai, Analects of Nabeshima or the Hagakure Analects.

I need to move, however slowly, like a worm, but I must always move only forward. Train yourself, never think of rest. You can do anything when you work with ardor. Any opponent, that you take on, you must treat being as strong as ten men. Even when you are the last man standing, hold your position. Immediately , another will appear, together you will form a front, you will be two. In valour and in fearlessness be that second man to fill the empty space at your sides.

If you want to be wise, ask other for advice, if you want to be courageous, throw yourself on the enemy and snatch victory away from him. Only the worthy understand this.

If it turns out that vengeance is required, act without wasting time, even if it will cost you your life. You can loose your life, but your honor - never. If you linger, in order to consider the best way to get revenge, you may never get another suitable opportunity to do so. Sometimes it takes only one word to prove one mettle. True courage consists of living when it is time to live, and dying when it s time to die.

You should carefully weigh every word and constantly question yourself as to whether what you are about to say is true or not. Respect the rule of "trunks and branches". To forget it - means never being able to grasp virtues, and a man scorning the virtue of honor towards his elders is not a man.

A man who gains a reputation due to a technical perfection in martial arts is an idiot. Out of his foolishness he focuses all his force on one thing and in order to succeed at it forgets to think about anything else. Such a man is not properly prepared.

A man's training is endless. Sometimes, you start to feel that you have reached perfection at something, so you stop doing what you were doing. Whereas, he who wishes to reach perfection must always remember that he is very far from it. Only he who is not satisfied with just being an achiever and always striving for new achievement can consider himself to be a great man.

He who desperately hangs on to his life, dies, and he who is not afraid to die, lives. Everything depends on a man's soul. Comprehend your soul, get control of it, and you will understand that within you there is something higher than life and death. The way to this summit is majestic and magnificent. It leads us to heaven. But, after all, shouldn't we be trying to get closer to paradise, little by little, day after day?

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