SAMURAI NO KOKOROE

Precepts of the Samurai


Precepts of the Samurai (samurai no kokoroe), a modern variation* on a historical philosophy:

  1. Know yourself.
    (Jikoo o shiru koto)

  2. Always follow through on commitments.
    (Jibun no kimeta koto wa saigo made kikko suru koto)

  3. Respect everyone.
    (Ikanaru hito demo sonke suru koto)

  4. Hold strong convictions that cannot be altered by your circumstances. (Kankyo ni sayu sarenai tsuyoi shinnen o motsu koto)

  5. Don't make an enemy of yourself.
    (Mizu kara teki o tsukuranai koto)

  6. Live without regrets.
    (Koto ni oite kokaisezu)

  7. Be certain to make a good first impression.
    (Hito to no deai o taisetsu ni suru koto)

  8. Don't cling to the past.
    (Miren o motanai koto)

  9. Never break a promise.
    (Yakusoku o yaburanai koto)

  10. Don't depend on other people.
    (Hito ni tayoranai koto)


  11. Don't speak ill of others.
    (Hito o onshitsu shinai koto)


  12. Don't be afraid of anything.
    (Ikanaku koto ni oite mo osorenai koto)


  13. Respect the opinions of others.
    (Hito no iken o soncho suru koto)


  14. Have compassion and understanding for everyone.
    (Hito ni taishite omoiyari o motsu koto)


  15. Don't be impetuous (rash, passionately impulsive).
    (karuhazumi ni koto o okosanai koto)


  16. Even little things must be attended to.
    (Chiisa na koto demo taisetsu ni suru koto)

  17. Never forget to be appreciative.
    (Kansha no kimochi o wasurenai koto)


  18. Make a desperate effort.
    (Issho kenmei monogoto o suru koto)


  19. Have a plan for your life.
    (Jinsei no mokuhyo o sadameru koto)


  20. Never lose your "Beginner's Spirit".
    (Shoshin o wasurubekarazaru koto)

 

*The above taken from "Flahing Steel; Mastering Eishin-Ryuu Swordmanship," by Shimabukuro and Pellman.
Compare this also to the advice of Miyamoto Mushashi:

If you practise day and night in the above Ichi school strategy, your spirit will naturally broaden. This is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy:

  • Do not think dishonestly.
  • The Way is in training.
  • Become aquainted with every art.
  • Know the Ways of all professions.
  • Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
  • Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.
  • Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
  • Pay attention even to trifles.
  • Do nothing which is of no use.

For more on Samurai culture, see The Last Warrior: Samurai Culture.

 

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