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About a poem from 14th century; Poetry - 12-19-2016, 11:26 AM

Hello everybody. Recently I was reading the book THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF JAPAN by E. J. Harrison. At the 8th chapter of this book there is the following poem:

“I have no parents; I make the heavens and the earth my parents.
I have no home; I make saika tanden my home.
I have no divine power; I make honesty my divine power.
I have no means; I make docility my means.
I have no magic power; I make personality my magic power.
I have neither life nor death; I make a um my life and death.
I have no body; I make stoicism my body.
I have no eyes; I make the flash of lightning my eyes.
I have no ears; I make sensibility my ears.
I have no limbs; I make promptitude my limbs.
I have no laws; I make self-protection my laws.
I have no strategy; I make sakkatsu jizai (literally “free to kill and free to restore to life”) my strategy.
I have no designs; I make kisan (taking opportunity by the forelock) my designs.
I have no miracles; I make righteous laws my miracles.
I have no principles; I make adaptability to all circumstances (rinkiohen) my principles.
I have no tactics; I make kyojitsu (emptiness and fulness) my tactics.
I have no talent; I make toi sokumyo (ready wit) my talent.
I have no friends; I make my mind my friend.
I have no enemy; I make incautiousness my enemy.
I have no armour; I make jin-gi (benevolence and righteousness) my armour.
I have no castle; I make fudoshin (immovable mind) my castle.
I have no sword; I make mushin (absence of mind) my sword.”

The writer of the book does not explain the source. As referance (i am not sure) has a book by a Japanese writer Kumashiro Hikotaro. On web, this poem seems that belongs to a 14th century anonymous samuray. I could not find where these verses are at Hikotaro's book.

Does anyone know the excact resource of therse verses?

Help would be great.

The links for the books of Harrison and Hikotaro are the followings:

The Fighting Spirit of Japan

国立国会図書館デジタルコレクション - 気合術 : 殺活自在


Thank you all my friends.
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12-20-2016, 01:48 PM

I can not find the author of that poem. What the poem says is not so unusual in Japan. Whoever in 14th century can say that.

熊代彦太郎:KUMASHIRO, HIKOTARO is said as the first person who named "合気道:AIKI-DO".

I'm wondering what you are interested in. If you are interested in "気:KI;mind activity to support body and life", I could help you to some degree.


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12-20-2016, 05:06 PM

It's a beautiful poem indeed. To be honest it reminds me something connected to Miyamoto Musashi. (The book of the five rings ) but I'm not too sure.


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12-20-2016, 08:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioKid View Post
I can not find the author of that poem. What the poem says is not so unusual in Japan. Whoever in 14th century can say that.

熊代彦太郎:KUMASHIRO, HIKOTARO is said as the first person who named "合気道:AIKI-DO".

I'm wondering what you are interested in. If you are interested in "気:KI;mind activity to support body and life", I could help you to some degree.
Thank you for your fast response. I would be intrested to know more about KI. Are there any books you can suggest? Also, this is a poem that appears so oftenly on web and at many books too. But nobody knows anything about its origin. And I could not find anything about the author of these fabulous verses. It would be great if we knew something more about this poem.
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12-21-2016, 12:57 PM

Honestly speaking, I also remembered MIYAMOTO, MUSASHI and found he lived 16 to 17 century.

Also, these 22 line of poem remind me of "ZEN".


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12-21-2016, 02:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioKid View Post
Honestly speaking, I also remembered MIYAMOTO, MUSASHI and found he lived 16 to 17 century.

Also, these 22 line of poem remind me of "ZEN".
Mmmmm well I've just checked the book... Yes you are absolutely true Radiokid , in fact he was born on 1584. Yes this poem is from the Muromachi period and not from the Momoyama/Edo period.
My mistake sorry.
Gomen gomen


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12-22-2016, 11:58 PM

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Originally Posted by NiaSama View Post
My mistake sorry.
Gomen gomen
No problem, don't mind.

It is surprising for me to know "MIYAMOTO, MUSASHI" is known to foreign people.

Also, do you have "The book of five rings"? I have never read it.


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12-23-2016, 07:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioKid View Post
No problem, don't mind.

It is surprising for me to know "MIYAMOTO, MUSASHI" is known to foreign people.

Also, do you have "The book of five rings"? I have never read it.
ah ah so you thought that my japanese culture was only about manga and anime ? I' m a surprising girl right? Well becoming serious again I was joking now ; ).
Yes I bought the book last year and well Miyamoto Musashi is quite know here but mainly from the ppl with a passion for Japan as me. I'm still reading it is very interesting you should read it too if you want.
Another book that I read and I l iked so much was 'Shiosai ' by Yukio Mishima (translated in my mothertongue) I absolutely love the environmental descriptions: the waves the isle. ...
And obviously the romantic story between Shinji kun and Hatsue San.Oh, so nice.


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12-23-2016, 11:29 AM

I'm sorry. "恐れ入りました:OSORE IRI MASHITA(I surrender)". I have never read MISHIMA's novel. Instead, I read some works of Nobel award winner "KAWABATA, YASUNARI". I graduated the same high school as he did.


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Last edited by RadioKid : 12-23-2016 at 01:33 PM.
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12-24-2016, 09:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioKid View Post
I'm sorry. "恐れ入りました:OSORE IRI MASHITA(I surrender)". I have never read MISHIMA's novel. Instead, I read some works of Nobel award winner "KAWABATA, YASUNARI". I graduated the same high school as he did.
You don' t need to say sorry it's all right ... probably I didn' t read many books from many author of my country.
I admit didn' t know Yasunari. (shame on me).
Really? You graduated in the same school? That's cool.


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