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」

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Finishing Seems Easy

Starting, although seeming difficult, is easy. Finishing, although seeming easy, is difficult.

10日守成は易きに似て
創業は難きに似て易く、守成は易きに似て難し。
嘉永四年六月「曹参論」

Those with Resolve

If it cannot be done in a month, then we should try to accomplish it in two months. If it cannot be done in two months, we should try to accomplish it in 100 days. If it cannot be done no matter how long we try, we musn’t give up until it is accomplished.
The Fourth Year of Ansei, The Third of Intercalendary May. “Notes for Students.”

21日輟めざるなり
一月にして能くせずんば、即ち両月にして之れを為さん。両月にして能くせずんば、即ち百日にして之れを為さん。之れを為して成らずんば輟めざるなり。
安政四年閏五月三日「諸生に示す」

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」

Never Cease

People never cease ceasing things that shouldn’t be ceased.
The Third Year of Ansei, The 29th of May. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

1日已まざる所なし
已むべからざるに於て已む者は、已まざる所なし。
安政三年五月二十九日「講孟箚記」

No Place for Resenting Heaven and Blaming Others

Even if you are poor and lowly, even if you face severe hardship, be calm in managing yourself. There is no place for resenting Heaven or blaming others.
The Second Year of Ansei, The Ninth of August. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

21日天を怨み人を尤むる所なし
己れを処するは貧賤の極り、艱難の甚しきと云へども、雍々是れに処り、一も天を怨み人を尤むる所なし。
安政二年八月六日「講孟箚記」

One Who Easily Lets it Go

It is difficult to obtain, so it is time to be one who easily lets it go.
The Second Year of Ansei, The 22nd Day of August. “Letter for sending Kosuke to Study in Edo.”

22日失い易き者は
得がたくして失い易き者は時なり。
安政二年八月二十二日「古助の江戸に遊学するを送る

Everything Going Your Way

However things are in the world, making everything go your way is extremely difficult, something that happens once in a lifetime, it should be said.
The Second Year of Kaei, August. “Letter given to Morinaga Yaemon.”

21日十分の得意
天下の事何に依らず、十分の得意は甚だ難き事にて、千載一遇と申すべく候。
嘉永二年八月ヵ「守永弥右門衛に与ふる書」