Hagakure (In the Shadow of Leaves) is a Samurai book of guidance, written in the 18th century. An anthology of sayings from this book is published here in two parts.


First Part


* What things a person should be able to accomplish if he had no haughtiness concerning his place in society! It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material possessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect.


* 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.


* According to the situation, there are times when you must rely on a person for something or other. If this is done repeatedly, it becomes a matter of importuning that person and can be rather rude. If there is something that must be done, it is better not to rely on others.


* There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to pet 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 everything.


* All professions should be done with concentration.


* When one has the conviction that even the slightest artful ability is harmful to the samurai, all the arts become useful to him. One should understand this sort of thing.


* When one is writing a letter, he should think that the recipient will make it into a hanging scroll.