Gentlemen, Even When Thirsty…

Gentlemen, even when thirsty, do not drink of the Spring of Tousen. Patriots, even when hard pressed, do not forget the ditch.
The Fourth Year of Ansei, August. “A Explanation for Kouzaburo.”

25日君子は渇すとも
君子は渇すとも盗泉を飲まず、志士は窮すとも溝壑を忘れず。
安政四年八月「溝三郎の説」

*Tousen: a Spring in China reputed for evilness.
*Ditch: A shishi is prepared to give his life for the correct cause, even if it means his corpse will remain unburied in a dirty ditch.

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Your Individual Resolve

Your personal and individual resolve will be rewarded with great gratitude from our Imperial country, and it is your duty as knight of a military family. This resolve cannot be altered, even in death.
The Third Year of Ansei, After August. “Lecture Notes on the Complete Book of Military Science.”

16日独り自ら志す所は
独り自ら志す所は皇国の大恩に報い、武門武士の職分を勤むるにあり。此の志は死すと雖も吾れ敢へて変ぜず。
安政三年八月以降「武教全書講録」

Never Give Up Until Death

“Shi Shite Nochi Yamu (never give up until death)” are short words, but have a very far meaning. “Ken Nin Ka Ketsu (persevere and act resolutely)”: You must stand steadfast. There is no other method but this.
The Second Year of Ansei, March. “7 Standard Rules of Gentlemen.”

13日死して後已むの四字は
死して(而)後已むの四字は言簡にして義広し。堅忍果決、確乎として抜くべからざるものは、是を舎きて術なきなり。
安政二年三月「士規七則」

What Is Called Studying

The Way of Learning is usually pursued until the day you die. If you halt half way through before your death, then you throw away everything you worked for before. If you do not continually advance your learning, you will most certainly fall back. As the sun rises and then the moon, to avoid regrets the day you die, that should be called studying.
The Third Year of Ansei, The 23rd of May. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

25日学と云ふものは
凡そ学問の道死して後已む。若し未だ死せずして半途にして先づ廃すれば、前功皆棄つるものなり。学と云ふものは進まざれば必ず退く。故に日に進み、月に漸み、遂に死すとも悔ゆることなくして、始めて学と云ふべし。
安政三年五月二十三日「講孟箚記」

When I did so

When I did it
I knew what would happen
Yet though I knew this
My Japanese Spirit
said it must be done.
The Fourth of Ansei, the 24th of April. “Letter from Prison Lifted Up to My Brother Hakukyou.”

This is a waka poem, the original in romanji is:
Kaku sureba
Kaku naru mono to
Shiri nagara
Yamu ni yamarenu
Yamato-Damashii

24日かくすれば
かくすればかくなるものとしりながら、
やむにやまれぬやまとだしひ
安政元年四月二十四日「獄中より家兄伯教に上る書」

A Samurai

Being a samurai is not begrudging even your life if it is for the sake of the country. It is not having skill in archery, equitation, fencing, spears, artillery, and firearms. As long as you do not begrudge even your life for the sake of the country, even without any of those skills, you are a samurai.
The Third Year of Ansei, The Third of April. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

9日武士たる所は
武士たる所は国の為めに命を惜しまぬことなり。弓馬刀槍銃礟の技芸に非ず。国の為めに命さへ惜しまねば、技芸なしと云へども武士なり。
安政三年四月三日「講猛箚記」

How Precious a Thing Your Own Existence

People need to recognize how precious a thing their own existence is.
The Third Year of Ansei, The 28th of March. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

8日貴き物の己れに存在するを
人々貴き物の己れに存在するを認めんことを要す。
安政三年三月二十八日「講猛箚記」

There Should Be a Deep Sadness

There should be a deep sadness at the lack of correctness in people’s hearts. If there were any correctness in people’s hearts at all, they would die a hundred deaths if it would protect their country. In that time whether there is victory or defeat, success or failure, this country will not yet quickly be lost.
The Second Year of Ansei, the 26th of August. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

28日深憂とすべきは
深憂とすべきは人心の正しからざるなり。苟も人心だに正しけらば、百死以て国を守る、其の間勝敗利鈍ありと云へども、未だ遽かに国家を失ふに至らず。
安政二年八月二十六日「講孟箚記」

Four Natural Stages ②

Those who die at the age of 10, naturally have four stages in those 10 years. Those of 20 naturally have four stages in 20 years. Those of 30, have four stages in 30 years. Those of 50 or 100, have four stages in 50 or 100 years. With only a short 10 years, the cicada wishes to be the camellia tree. With a long 100 years, the camellia tree wishes to be cicada. Equally, they must not reach for fate.
The Sixth Year of Ansei, the 15th Day of October. “Record of the Halting of Spirit.”

9日自ら四時あり②
十歳にして死する者は十歳中自ら四時あり。二十は自ら二十の四時あり。三十は自ら三十の四時あり。五十、百は自ら五十、百の四時あり。十歳を以て短しとするは蟪蛄をして霊椿たらしめんと欲するなり。百歳を以長しとするは霊椿をして蟪蛄たらしめんと欲するなり。斉しく命に達せずとす。
安政六年十月十五日「留魂録」

Four Natural Stages ①

My life is now over at the age of thirty. Dying without completing a single thing, like grain which has not ripened, it seems lamentable. However, if I consider my own duties, this is the time to harvest, not entirely a sad event. The reason is a human’s fate is not established. It is not like grain, which goes through four stages without fail.

8日自ら四時あり①
吾れ行年三十、一事成ることなくして死して禾稼の未だ秀でず実らざるに似たれば 惜しむべきに似たり。然れども義卿の身を以て云へば、是れ亦秀実の時なり、何ぞ必ずしも哀しません。何となれば人寿は定まりなし、禾稼の必ず四時を経る如きに非ず。