Men who did well at the time of their death were men of real bravery. There are many examples of such. But people who talk in an accomplished fashion every day yet are agitated at the time of their death can be known not to have true bravery.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo


The essentials of speaking are in not speaking at all. If you think that you can finish something without speaking, finish it without saying a single word. If there is something that cannot be accomplished without speaking, one should speak with few words, in a way that will accord well with reason.

To open one’s mouth indiscriminately brings shame, and there are many times when people will turn their backs on such a person.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo


People who have an intelligent appearance will not be outstanding even if they do something good, and if they do something normal, people will think them lacking. But if a person who is thought of as having a gentle disposition does even a slightly good thing, he will be praised by people.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo


A helmet is usually thought to be very heavy, but when one is attacking a castle or something similar, and arrows, bullets, large rocks, great piece of wood and the like are coming down, it will not seem the least bit so.

Yamomoto Tsunetomo

Speaking & teaching

If there is something to be said, it is better if it is said right away. If it is said later, it will sound like an excuse. Moreover, it is occasionally good to really overwhelm your opponent. Also, in addition to having spoken sufficiently it is the highest sort of victory to teach your opponent something that will be to his benefit. This is in accordance with the Way.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Continual teaching

To put forth great effort in correcting a person’s bad habits is the way it should be done. One should be like the digger wasp. It is said that even with an adopted child, if you teach him continually so that he will resemble you, he surely will.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo