Those Born as Knights

Those born into this world as knights must each form a resolve, utilizing the abilities they have and the learning they’ve acquired. Just running into misfortune, giving into despair is merely something by which to be saddened.
The Fourth Year of Ansei, The 17th of August. “Letter to Kihara Shinsai”

29日士此の世に生れては
士此の世に生れては、才の高下と学の深浅とに随ひて、各々志す所なくんばあらず、但だ事変に遭逢して、自ら暴棄に安んずるは、是れ悲しむべきのみ。
安政四年八月十七日「木原慎斎に与ふる書」

The Waning of Bushido

Having received a command from his lord, a knight should, even at this very moment, take up his lance, mount his horse, and rush into hell or high water. Desiring food and drink or fine company, yielding to sickness, falling into idleness, or failing in willpower is the waning of bushido.
The Third Year of Ansei, After August. “The Complete Book of Teachings for Warriors.”

11日武士道が闕くる
武士たる者は只今にても君命あらんには、槍を提げ馬に打乗り、水火に駆け込むべき身分なれば、飲食男女の欲を縦にし、疾病を生じ、懶惰に陥り、気根を弱くしては、武士道が闕くるなり。
安政三年八月以降「武教全書講録」

Way of the Warrior

The Way of the Warrior is not seen in those knights inclined to rudeness, lawlessness, violence, and immorality. It is not seen in that learning inclined to mindless recitation and frivolous, soft philosophy. True knights study true learning, cultivate their bodies, straighten their hearts, govern their country, and works towards peace under Heaven. That is the Way of the Warrior.
The Third Year of Ansei, After August. “The Complete Book of Teachings for Warriors.”

30日士道と云ふは
士道と云ふは、無礼無法、粗暴狂悖の偏武にても済まず、記誦詞章、浮華文柔の偏文にても済まず、真武真文を学び、身を修め心を正しうして、国を治め天下を平かにすること、是れ士道なり。
安政三年八月以降「武教全書講録」

On Their Own Iniatative

Those who wait for King Wen before raising themselves are mediocre people. Those similar to heroic knights, even without King Wen, still raise themselves up. You should clearly understand the separation between mediocre people and heroes. Heroes take action about things on their own initiative. They certainly do not follow in the rut of others.
The Third Year of Ansei, The Seventeenth of May. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

28日万事自ら
文王を待ちて而る後に興る者は凡民なり。夫の豪傑の士の若きは文王なしと雖も猶ほ興る。凡民と豪傑の分を明かに知るべし。豪傑とは万事自ら創して敢へて人に轍跡を践まぬことなり。
安政三年五月十七日「講孟箚記」

I Should Be a Knight

Most certainly, I personally should exist as a scholar. Being a scholar is not reading books and writing poems. It is nothing but devoting myself to my work and giving something to the world. Furthermore, most certainly I should be a knight (bushi). Being a knight is not being violent. It is nothing but serving my prince without holding my own life dear.
The Fourth Year of Kouka. “A Record of Unselfishness”

23日武士を以てすべし
吾れの自ら処るは当に学者を以てすべし。謂ふ所の学なるものは書を読み詩を作るの謂非ず。身の職を尽して世用に供するのみ。又当に武士を以てすべし。謂ふ所の武ばるものは麤暴の謂に非ず、君に事へて生を懐はざるのみ。
功化四年「寡欲録」