The Way I Go By Myself
- I never act contrary to traditional morality.
- I have no partiality for anyone or anything.
- I never try to snatch a moment of ease.
- I think little of myself but much of the public.
- I am entirely free of acquisitiveness throughout my life.
- I never regret what I have done.
- I never envy others for their good luck, or on account of my ill luck.
- I never grieve at parting from anyone or anything at whatever time.
- I never reproach either myself or others; never complain about myself or others.
- I never dream of falling in love with a woman.
- Likes and dislikes, I have none.
- Whatever my dwelling house may be, I take no objection to it.
- I never desire dainty food for myself.
- I never have antique objects or curios in my possession.
- I never perform purification or observe abstinence to protect myself against evils.
- I have no taste for implements of any kind, excepting swords and other arms.
- I would never grudge my life in the cause of righteousness.
- I never wish to have any estate that would make my old age comfortable.
- I worship Gods and Buddhas, but never think of depending on them.
- I would sooner lay down my life than disgrace my good name.
- Never for a moment does my heart and soul stray from the way of swordsmanship.
The 12th day of the 5th month, the 2nd year of Shoho (May 12, 1645) Shinmen Musashi
This translation appeared in a Japanese Sword Society/US newsletter. The translation was made in 1965 by Professor Giichiro Ikeda.
I wrote about Miyamoto Musashi as an aside to my post yesterday about Tokyo Sky Tree.
There are a lot of superficial internet sites about martial arts. And a very few good ones. I found one cool budo site http://www.kampaibudokai.org/ while I was looking for a quick way to convert Japanese measurements for swords – shaku and sun – into centimetres. There’s a lot of good information about the Japanese sword on it. Some good book reviews too including books about aikido.
One page was about Miyamoto Musashi and on it there was The Dokkodo, the above list of his personal precepts.
Very cool. I have no taste for implements of any kind, excepting swords and other arms.
photo: Miyamoto Musashi by Szabolcs Arany