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Half Mat, One Mat, a Fistful of Rice
Self-Portrait 3
From the 1st Chapter:

"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one's aim is to die a dog's death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one's aim.

"We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin and dangerous line. To die without gaming one's aim is a dog's death, and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, and so he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling."

From the 2nd Chapter:

"Even if one's head were to be suddenly cut off, he should be able to do one more action with certainty. The last moments of Nitta Yoshisada are proof of this . Had his spirit been weak, he would have fallen the moment his head was severed. Recently, there is the example of Ono Doken. These actions occurred because of simple determination. With martial valor, if one becomes like a revengeful ghost and shows great determination, though his head is cut off, he should not die."

"At times of great trouble or disaster, one word will suffice. At times of happiness, too, one word will be enough. And when meeting or talking with others, one word will do. One should think well and then speak. This is clear and firm, and one should learn it with no doubts. It is a matter of putting forth one's whole effort and having the correct attitude previously. This is very difficult to explain but is something that everyone should work on in his heart. If a person has not learned this in his heart, it is not likely that he will understand it."

Again, from the 1st Chapter:

"There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But in doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything."

From Hagakure, the Book of the Samurai, by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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Fucking awesome book, ain't it?

Damn straight. I have a copy that I keep in my backpack, which is to say I keep it with me at nearly all times. I've been reading it more often than normal lately as a supplement to my reading of Lone Wolf and Cub, which if you haven't read, you should. It's excellent.

My remarks have little to do with the topic of your discussion. You recommended a book, and I thought I'd tell you about one that you might enjoy, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I first read it when I wa sixteen and try to make an annual project out of rereading it every spring. All your warrior talk reminded me of some of the characters in that book and their situations.

Cool. I'll have to read that at some point in the future, after I finish the stack of books that are currently on my "to be read" list. I'll have to catch up with you at some point when you get back and borrow it from you. And by the way, I have a feeling that finding you and borrowing stuff won't be too difficult ;)

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