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」

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 Foundation of All Under Heaven

Generally, the foundation of all under Heaven is the nation and the home.
The Fourth Year of Ansei, The 28th of October. “Return Letter to Kuchiba Tokusuke”

2日天下の本は
抑々天下の本は国と家とに在り。
安政四年十月二十八日「口羽徳祐に復する書」

Main Point of Government

A main point of governing is to be inspired to encourage people so that they can each personally fulfill their potenial… Furthermore, this method has both rewards or punishments.
The Third Year of Ansei, the First of June. “Fortune Hall Policy.”

16日政を為すの要は
政を為すの要は、人々をして鼓舞作興して、各々自ら淬励せしむるにあり、(中略)而して其の術・賞罰の二柄にあり。
安政三年六月朔日「福堂策」

Those Who Chat About Serious Issues

Those who just chat about serious issues of the heart, body, house, and nation have no worth.
The Second Year of Ansei, The 22nd of June. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer”

17日事務を以て世上話となす者
心身家国切実の事務を以て世上話となす者、取るに足るものあることなし。
安政二年六月二十二日「講孟箚記」

Don’t Seek for a Single Person

Don’t look for a single person in possession (all talents)… It is said in ancient times, “Finding a common, modest gentleman is easy. Finding an exceedingly excellent gentleman is difficult.” …If one is unable to find men of ability, no matter how good of government or system there is, it will be of no use.
The Second Year of Kaei, the Fourth Day of June. “The Complete Book of Teachings for Warriors: The Duty of Gentlemen”

30日備はらんことを一人に求むるなかれ
備はらんことを一人に求むるなかれ。(中略)古語にも、「庸謹の士を得るは易く、奇傑の士を得るは難し」と云えり。少過を以て人を棄てては、大才は決して得べからず。(中略)如何なる善政良法も、賢才の人あつて是れを行はざれば、行はるるものに非ず。
嘉永二年六月四日「武教全書 用士」