ZenPundit
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
 
RULES OF A MASTER STRATEGIST

1. Think of what is right and true.

2. Practice and cultivate the science.

3. Become acquainted with the arts.

4. Know the principles of the crafts.

5. Understand the harm and benefit in everything.

6. Learn to see everything accurately.

7. Become aware of what is not obvious.

8. Be careful even in small matters.

9. Do not do anything useless.

Miyamoto Musashi
 
Comments:
Thanks for the opportunity to become a little more familiar with a Samurai.

I found a similar quote on Wikipedia for Miyamoto Musashi. It makes me wonder about how significant the difference in interpretations/translations is.

This is the way for men who wish to learn my strategy:

Do not think dishonestly.
The Way is in training.
Become acquainted with every art.
Know the Ways of all professions.
Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.
Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
Pay attention even to trifles.
Do nothing which is of no use.
 
Hi Stuart,

Jonathan Dresner, a historian of Japanese politics and culture who blogs at Cliopatria is likely to have that answer.

My limited familiarity with transliterated texts is with Russian ( I don't speak that either but I've read enough English versions of some of the same book to notice when someone really knows what they are doing).
 
I wasn't thinking about the literal accuracy but the nuance. Both translations are probably accurate but the interpretations reflect the understanding of each translator.

This is the same issue in works like the Hebrew bible. The Hebrew language is very compact and poetic a wide range of translations may be accurate. (But not always - a commandment is not to murder, 'kill' was never accurate.)

I like to consider the differences in the two translations between:
Practice the Science & training (more military)
The arts & every art (culture vs. diversity)
Accuracy & intuition (shades of Blink)

This from a man with a military background who seems to be advocating horizontal thinking... remind you of someone?
 
Good observation.

One aspect not to be overlooked in reading Miyamoto is that Zen precepts permeated the understanding of " intuitive judgment" and " The Way ". He most likely meant the seamless,aware in the moment, union of person and practice. (A state of mind probably not all that unlike Csikszentmihalyi's " flow")
 
Thanks Mark.

I have little exposure to Zen thinking so your comments are enlightening. I don't pretend to know the context of Musashi's statements other than him being a Sumurai warrior of the 17th century.
 
There's a good quick read on the topic - it also has a short bio on Miyamoto Musashi - called Zen & the Way of the Sword which discusses the relationship between the Samurai class Bushido code and Zen. An English prof is the author.
 
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