HOJO SOUN

From the Soun-ji Dono Nijuichi Kajo Ca. 1495

 

  • Don't think your swords and clothes should be as good as those of other people. Be content as long as they don't look awful. Once you start acquiring what you don't have and become even poorer, you'll become a laughingstock.

  • Whenever you have a little bit of time for yourself, read a book. Always carry something with characters written on it with you and look at it when no one's looking. Unless you accustom yourself to them, asleep or awake, you'll forget them. The same is true of writing.

  • There's they saying, "Do everything with others, and you'll have no trouble." Rely on others in everything.

  • When you have to walk past the elders lined up in the corridor for the master's audience, you must bend at the hips and lower your hands. It's absolutely out of the question not to show deference or humility but to stomp past. All samurai must behave humbly, deferentially.

  • Anyone without any knowledge of tanka composition must be said to be untalented and shallow. Study it.

  • Always work at reading, writing, martial skills, archery, and horse riding. There is no need to detail this. Hold literary skills in your left hand, martial skills in your right. This is the law from ancient times. Never neglect it.