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」

Mustn’t Be Content with Small Success

The way you live and study is all true. However, you musn’t be content with small success lest heedless actions cause you to stray.
The Fourth Year of Ansei, the 27th of June. “Reply to Fukubara Seisuke.”

26日小成に安んずることなかれ
老兄の為す所学ぶ所、事々皆実なり、但だ軽用妄挙して以て小成に安んずることなかれ
安政四年六月二十七日「福原清介に復す」

10 Years of Utmost Zeal

In general, we should work hard at studying year round for 30 years, from about the age of 10 to the age 40. And during this time, we should spend 10 of those years exerting the utmost personal zeal.
The Third Year of Ansei, After August. “The Complete Book of Teachings for Warriors.”

2日自ら励むことは中十年にある
大凡十歳前後より四十歳比迄,三十余年中学問を勤む。而して其の最も自ら励むことは中十年にあるなり。
安政三年八月以降「武教全書講録」

What is Mastery?

The Four Classics and the Five Scriptures studied in modern times are the teachings of all the saints. However, if you do not do good with that good, you lack the word “mastery”. “Mastery” is reading with the mouth. Having thoroughly read, consider it with the heart. Having thoroughly considered it, take action. Having taken action, again consider it. Having considered it, again read. Truely, if you do this, there will be no doubt about the good you’ve done.
The Third Year of Ansei, The 28th of March. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

12日熟とは
今の学ぶ所の四書五経は、皆聖人の学なり。然るに善の善に至らざるは、熟の一字を闕くなり。熟とは口にて読み、読みて熟せざれば心にて思ひ、思ひて熟せざれば行ふ。行うて又思ひ、思ひて又読む。誠に然らばの善たること疑ひなし。
安政三年三月二十八日「講孟箚記」

Existing in this World for a Single Day

As a person for a single day exists in this world, he eats a day’s worth of food, he wears a day’s worth of clothing, and he uses a day’s worth of shelter. Why, then, does he lack the motivation to pursue a day’s worth of wisdom, a day’s worth of right action?
The Third Year of Ansei, The Fourteeth of May. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

13日一日此の世にあれば
一人一日此の世にあれば一日の食を食らひ、一日の衣を着、一日の家に居る。何ぞ一日の学問、一日の事業を励まざるべけんや。
安政三年五月十四日「講孟箚記」

The Difference Between Man and Beast

There is no other need than to know the difference between being a human and being a beast on the path of learning.
The Second Year of Ansei, The Fourteenth of November. “Minutes From the Head Lecturer.”

2日禽獣に異る所以
学問の道、人の禽獣に異る所以を知るより要なるはなし。
安政二年十一月十四日「講孟箚記」

Original Intentions

The original intention of a person is important… Those who study have various original intentions. Above all, seeking the way of sincereity is a superior intention. Wanting fame is an inferior intention. Thus it is that when those who began their studies for the sake of fame advance, it is displayed in their degree of progress. They embellish their work with many allusions and fancy prose, but in the end they cannot conceal it. During important challenges, they lose support for their actions, lack fidelity in principles, and give in to profit or power. The shamefulness of this sight cannot be concealed.
The Second Year of Ansei, The 26th of August. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

24日初一念
人は初一念が大切なるものにて、(中略)学問を為す者の初一念も種々あり。就中誠心道を求むるは上なり。名利の為にするは下なり。故に初一念名利の為めに初めたる学問は、進めば進む程其の弊著はれ、博学宏詞を以て是れを粉飾すと云へども、遂に是れを掩ふこと能はず。大事に臨み進退拠を失ひ、節義を缺勢利に屈し、醜態云ふに忍びざるに至る。
安政二年八月二十六日「講孟箚記」

Study to Make Yourself Correct

Make yourself correct. Thereafter when you teach other people, there will not be those who fail to follow… You musn’t neglect diligence in studying to make yourself correct.
The Second Year of Kaei, March. “Vol. 3 of Lectures.”

12日己れを正すの学
己れを正して而る後に人に教へば、亦孰れか敢へて従はざらんや。(中略)己れを正すの学、勤めずんばるべからず。
嘉永二年五月「講義存稿三篇」

The Need to Study

Before one says something like I will seek out a teacher and before you seek a teacher, first establish a true heart upon which stands an concrete intention. Only then should you seek a teacher. Generally, everyone here has the need to study. We have things to consider, but have not yet been able to comprehend them; things to do, but have not yet been able to accomplish them. Resenting this, we resolve to study and thus seek out a teacher. This should be called a true thing.
The Third Year of Ansei, the 26th of May. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

13日学を為すの要
学者師を求むるを以て云はんに、師を求めざるの前に先づ実心定まり実事立ちす然る後往きて師を求むべし。凡そ学を為すの要、皆爰にあり。思ふことありて未だ達せず、為すことありて未だ成らず。是に於いて憤悲して学に志し、而して師を求む。是れ実事ありと云ふべし。
安政三年五月二十六日「講孟箚記」