The Normal Way

A government cannot escape times of order and then times of anarchy. A nation will most certainly have times of prosperity and then times of decline. Declining and then prospering; Falling into anarchy and then restoring order: This is the normal way of things.
The First Year of Ansei, Winter. “A Record of Imprisonment.”

24日物の常
一治一乱は政の免かれざる所、一盛一衰は国の必ずある所にして、衰極まりて復た盛んに、乱極まりて又治まるは則ち物を常なり。
安政元年冬「幽囚録」

Rural Bumpkin Without Finesse

Generally, the speech of people full of highbrow language is hard to trust. His is that of a rural bumpkin without finesse, and that is the reason I trust him.
The Sixth Year of Ansei, The Second of January. “Given to Shien.”

23日無丁の野漢
大抵文辞ある人は言語信じ難し。無丁の野漢、是れ僕の此の人を取る所以なり。
安政六年正月二日「子遠に与ふ」

The Nature of People

It is the nature of people to exert themselves when things are difficult, but to slack off when things go well.
The Fourth Year of Ansei, The 25th of March. “Presented to NAKAMURA Risaburou.”

22日人情は
人情は困しめば即ち振るひ、得れば即ち怠る。
安政四年三月二十五日「中村理三郎に贈る」

What is Important When Studying

Basically, what is important with studying is that you do it for your own sake. Gentlemen study for their own sake. Small men study for the sake of others.
The Second Year of Ansei, The Seventh of September. “Lecture Notes.”

21日学をなすの要は
凡そ学をなすの要は己が為めにするにあり。己が為めにするは君子の学なり。人の為めにするは小人の学なり。
安政二年九月七月「講孟劄記」

Due to the People

Mountains are verdant due to their trees. Countries are prosperous due to their people.
The Second Year of Ansei, The 13th of September. “Letter in return to Yanosuke”

20日人を以て
山は樹を以て茂り、国は人を以て盛なりと。
安政二年九月十三日「矢之介に復する書」

Begin at Home and With Yourself

There is no profit in becoming indignant in vain. Furthermore, matters under Heaven begin at home and with yourself.
The Fifth Year of Ansei, A Lucky Day of the New Year. “Appended to the notice by Lord Akinari of Mito”

19日天下の事は身家より始まる
徒らに憤るも益なし、且つ天下の事は身家より始まると。
安政五年正月吉日「水戸斉昭卿の壁書に跋す」

ie: First live righteously yourself, and put your own house in order, then you can worry about the rest of the world.

The Eccentric But Great

Usually, when a knightly gentleman undertakes something, (people think) only about how much enthusiasm he possesses. But he should firm his resolve by mingling with eccentric, but extraordinary people. And awake his motivation by wandering amoung the famed mountains and great rivers.
The Fifth Year of Ansei, The 23rd of the First Month. “Letter send to Kodama Shijou on his trip to Kyuushuu and Shikoku”.

18日奇傑非常の士に交はる
大凡士君子の事を成すは、志気何如に在るのみ。志を立つるは奇傑非常の士に交はるに在り、気を養ふは名山大川を跋渉するに在り。
安政五年正月二十三日「児玉士常の九国・四国に遊ぶを送る敍」

Retainers Today

Retainers today know how to speak carefully to their lord, but know not how to befriend him. They know how to respect their lord, but know not how to love him.
The Fifth Year of Ansei, the Sixth of the New Year. “Words of a Lunatic.”

17日今の大臣は
今の大臣が君を厳ることを知りて君に親しむことを知らず、君を敬することを知りて君を愛することを知らず。
安政五年正月六日「狂夫の言」

Cause of Extravagance and Laziness

Nothing causes the decay of literary and martial skills more than extravagance and laziness. Nothing causes extravagance and laziness more than such a home.
The Fifth Year of Ansei, the Sixth of the New Year. “Words of a Lunatic.”

16日奢怠の原は
文武の荒は奢怠に如くものなし。奢怠の原は居所に如くものなし。
安政五年正月六日「狂夫の言」

Personal Leadership

Complex formalities cannot compare to personal leadership. If there is a benevolent and moral lord, then there must be benevolence and morality.
The Fifth Year of Ansei, the Sixth of the New Year. “Words of a Lunatic.”

15日躬化に如かず
繁文縟礼は躬化に如かず。君仁君義なれば、仁義ならざるなし。
安政五年正月六日「狂夫の言」

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