You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
With your spirit calm, attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last. The spirit is to win in the depths of the enemy.
A doll floats downstream; carrying with it prayers; spring has come at last.
When you take up a sword, you must feel intent on cutting up the enemy. As you cut an enemy you must not change your grip, and your hands must not cower.
A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.
When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realised the wisdom of strategy.
A little piece of gold may be highly valued, but if it gets in one’s eye, the result will be darkness.
When the enemy starts to collapse you must pursue him without the chance of letting go. If you fail to take advantage of your enemies collapse, they may recover.
A man whose profession is the use of arms should think and then act upon not only his fame, but also that of his descendants. He should not scandalise his name forever by holding his one and only life too dear.
When one would make a surprise attack on the enemy, he should avoid the major roads and seek out the lesser ones. Then attack.
A samurai will use a toothpick even though he has not eaten. Inside the skin of a dog, outside the hide of a tiger.
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.
A soul ship finds me; crystal waters call my name; I am dragged below.
When a flower is composed, it does not bloom all at once although the spring has come. Otherwise, yesterday’s friend will become today’s enemy, as yesterday’s flower will become today’s dust.
All warfare is based on deception.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
Although I greet death; I do not fear its icy grip; my soul is at peace.
Twice I awaken; once at the first burst of spring; once in wintertime.
As everything in this world is but a sham. Death is the only sincerity.
To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
As if with the nut and flower, the nut has become less than the flower…both those teaching and those learning are concerned with colouring and showing off their technique, trying to hasten the bloom of the flower.
To cut and slash are two different things. Cutting, whatever form of cutting it is, is decisive, with a resolute spirit. Slashing is nothing more than touching the enemy.
Autumn trees shed leaves; skinning the tree one by one; until it is bare.
Through the autumn fields; his steed, swift as typhoon winds; the arrow, fleeter.
Beginning is easy — Continuing is hard.
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.
By bringing shame to a person, how could one expect to make him a better man?
The way of the warrior is death. This means choosing death whenever there is a choice between life and death. It means nothing else.
Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.
The void is nothingness. By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void.
Cunning tanuki; he preys upon my humble soul; I have no defence.
The stake that sticks out gets hammered down.
Dishonour is like a scar on a tree, which time, instead of effacing, only helps to enlarge.
The skilful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man.
Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment.
The person who practices an art is an artist, not a samurai, and one should have the intention of being called a samurai.
Dripping morning dew; mimics the blood from a blade; it does not wake me.
The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.
The new year begins; my eyes hunger for the sight; of my last sunrise.
Everything grows cold; stillness like a frozen lake; there will be no thaw.
The gaze should be large and broad. This is the twofold gaze ‘Perception and Sight’. Perception is strong and sight weak.
Fourthly, the way of the artisan. The way of the carpenter is to become proficient in the use of his tools, first to lay his plans with true measure and then perform his work according to plan. Thus he passes through life.
The expert in battle seeks his victory from strategic advantage and does not demand it from his men.
Give my dream back raven! The moon you woke me to is misted over.
The depths of winter; the wolf stalks his prey by night; red blood on white snow.
He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
The dark tiger stalks; my soul quivers in the air; just for a moment.
Heat haze of summer; obscures a man’s path ahead; an unclear future.
The colour of the mountains is Buddha’s body; the sound of running water is his great speech.
I fall on my blade; crimson blossoms seed the earth; the spring buds drink deep.
The best use of the companion sword is in a confined space, or when you are engaged closely with an opponent. The long sword can be used effectively in all situations.
If a man does not investigate into the matter of bushido daily, it will be difficult for him to die a brave and manly death.
The arts of peace and the arts of war are like two wheels of a cart which, lacking one, will have difficulty in standing.
If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.
Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
If there is a Way involving the spirit of not being defeated, to help oneself and gain honour, it is the Way of Strategy.
Summer insects buzz; over new fragrant flowers; and fallen soldiers.
If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.
Snowflakes in the air; a cold wind carries them on; to my sacred home.
In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased.
Second is the way of the merchant. The wine maker obtains his ingredients and puts them to use to make his living. The way of the merchant is always to live by taking profit.
In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the way has existence, spirit is nothingness.
Raindrops on the lake; a universe of ripples; centre touching all.
It is a wretched thing that the young men 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.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
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.
One should not be envious of someone who has prospered by unjust deeds. Nor should he disdain someone who has fallen while adhering to the path of righteousness.
It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to conduct espionage against you and to bribe them to serve you. Give them instructions and care for them. Thus double agents are recruited and used.
One should have insight into this world of dreams that passes in the twinkling of an eye.
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.
One kind word can warm three winter months.
Laying in the shade; dappled sunlight warms my face; a welcome farewell.
My wake leaves little; but as ripples reach the sea; they become great waves.
Many men feel that they should act according to the time or the moment they are facing, and thus are in confusion when something goes beyond this and some difficulty arises.
My acts mark the land; time makes ghosts of every deed; as snow hides footprints.
Men with discrimination will be viewed as schemers; second, men with deep far-sightedness will be seen as cowards; and third, men with rough behaviour will be mistaken for real warriors.
Melting icicles; once proud soldiers, lose all form; returning to streams.
My eyes grow heavy; as blackened storm clouds grow near; engulfing the sun.
Learning is to a man as the leaves and branches are to a tree, and it can be said that he should simply not be without it.
Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
It is said that the inferior seek to emulate the superior. Thus, if a general slackens only a little, those beneath him will be greatly negligent.
One must never be perfidious to his master. In the Lun Yu it says: «One should act according to the way even in times of haste. One should act according to the way even in times of danger. It says further: ‘When one is serving his master, he should exert himself.»
It is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for the purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results.
One should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths.
It is carelessness to go about with one’s hands inside the slits in the sides of his hakama.
One should not turn his back on reproof. In the words of the ancients: «Good medicine is bitter to the mouth, but has an effect on the disease. Faithful words hurt one’s ears, but have value for one’s conduct.
It is also said that: «The man who hunts a deer does not gaze at the mountains.
People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
In the Wu Tzu it says: «He who would save his life shall lose it, and he who would give up his life shall save it.»
Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.
In the ponds cool depths; the happy frog plays in spring; his life, a slow game.
Sheltering cherry; my last breath stirs your blossom; my soul ascends. Meh.
If you know your enemy and know yourself, you will not be imperilled by a hundred battles. If you do not know the others but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one. If you do not know the enemy and do not know yourselves you will be in danger in every battle.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
If you are slain in battle, you should be resolved to have your corpse facing the enemy.
Sunset seduces; each step brings me no closer; the horizon flees.
If the enemy thinks of the mountains, attack like the sea; and if he thinks of the sea, attack like the mountains.
Take care of yourself so you can serve your master.
If one thinks only of winning, a sordid victory will be worse than a defeat. For the most part, it becomes a squalid defeat.
The basic meaning of etiquette is to be quick at both the beginning and end and tranquil in the middle.
I grow old and hunch; as gnarled branches turn downwards; returning to roots.
The clever hawk hides its claws.
I do not strive for my salvation with weapons but with patience and humility, in accordance with the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
The crane soars higher; its wings brush cherry blossom; my soul flies with it.
He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
The death of blossoms; is not something to grieve on; but the way of things.
He who is prudent, and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.
The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution.
From inside fortifications, the gun has no equal among weapons. It is the supreme weapon on the field before the ranks clash, but once swords are crossed the gun becomes useless.
The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.
Fish break the surface; and a reflection shatters; momentarily.
The halberd is inferior to the spear on the battlefield. With the spear you can take the initiative, the halberd is defensive.
Even if one has learned all the sayings of the sages and saints, he should not insist on them obstinately.
The old carp is wise; he whispers his dark secrets; only the wind hears.
Encourage and listen well to the words of your subordinates. It is well known that gold lies hidden underground.
The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, short swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other types of arms.
Dreaded shikome! The winter of life revealed; my soul is now free.
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.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
The spirit of defeating a man is the same for ten million men. The strategist makes small things into big things, like building a great Buddha from a one foot model.
Death refuses to wait for the space of a breath; life is more evanescent than a mayfly or a lightning flash.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
Crossing the river; takes me from the familiar; to new adventures.
The warmth of summer; an arrow floats on the breeze; bringing with it death.
By inconsistency and frivolity we stray from the Way and show ourselves to be beginners. In this we do much harm.
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.
Blossom on the breeze; settles on the face of a corpse; beauty masking death.
This life is inconsequential; I am merely concerned about your facing the evil paths in the next one.
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.
To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.
Autumn maple leaves; their colours, like the harvest; remind me of home.
To die by the sword; no finer honour exists; winter’s grip awaits.
As for the decorum at the time of a campaign, one must be mindful that he is a samurai. A person who loves beautification where it is unnecessary is fit for punishment.
To perceive victory when it is known to all is not really skilful… It does not take much strength to lift a hair, it does not take sharp eyes to see the sun and moon, it does not take sharp ears to hear the thunderclap.
An affected laugh shows lack of self-respect in a man and lewdness in a woman.
Up into the sky; I kiss the falling snowflakes; as they pass me by.
Also by training you will be able to freely control your own body, conquer men with your body, and with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten men with your spirit. When you have reached this point, will it not mean that you are invincible?
What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.
A tree’s skeleton; exposed by autumn season; ready for new life.
When all your judgements are based on your own wisdom, you tend towards selfishness and fail by straying from the right path.
A samurai with no group and no horse is not a samurai at all.
When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.
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.
When something out of the ordinary happens, it is ridiculous to say that it is a mystery or a portent of something to come….the mystery is created in (their) minds, and by waiting for disaster, it is from their very minds that it occurs.
A man must not live under the same sky as one who has injured his lord or father.
When torrential water tosses boulders, it is because of its momentum. When the strike of a hawk breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing.
A general of great merit should be said to be a man who has met with at least one great defeat.
When you decide to attack, keep calm and dash in quickly, forestalling the enemy. Or you can advance seemingly strongly but with a reserved spirit, forestalling him in advance.
A flash of lightning; illuminates man’s journey; then darkness returns.
Willows slowly stoop; preparing to meet the ground; as autumn arrives.
A cold, low whistle; accompanies my last breath; wind in sympathy.
You should not have a favourite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well.
Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defence whose opponent does not know what to attack.