Samurai Spirit Misunderstood By The World – PART 1

廃墟の中の鳥居

A remark of Matthew Calbraith Perry, an American naval commander who came to Japan on a black warship in 1853 to open the country, on the Samurais he met for the first time is deeply moving to Japanese people in the modern age. He said, “The Japanese are a sophisticated and reasonable people. In no other country in the world have I seen such a friendly people who has both elegance and dignity.”

  • remark 発言
  • naval 海軍
  • commander 司令官
  • for the first time 初めて
  • the modern age 現代
  • sohsicticated 洗練された
  • reasonable 道理をわきまえた
  • elegance 優美さ
  • dignity 威厳

When people hear the word of “Samurai,” they are likely to think of swords, harakiri, top knots, killing themselves, or laying down their lives etc. But do these symbolize Samurai spirit? To make foreigners feel elegance and dignity, it is no use pretending to be violent and rough like the above. It’s just a funny pierrot.

  • top knots ちょんまげ
  • lay down A Aを捨てる
  • symbolize  象徴する
  • it is no use ~ing 〜してみても無駄だ
  • pretend ふりをする
  • violent 乱暴な

I sometimes see men and women with Samurai spirit even in the modern Japan―patients who have been given a notice that they have cancer and know the time of their death undergoing terminal care. They must have been perplexed full of disparity when they were told about the time of their death at first, but day by day→give up resisting→realize the preciousness of “now”→find out they have been kept alive→come to have a mind filled with decisiveness and a sense of security.

  • patient 患者
  • notice 告知
  • undergo 受ける
  • terminal care 末期医療
  • perplex 戸惑わせる
  • disparity 絶望
  • resist 抵抗する
  • preciousness 貴重さ
  • deciciveness 潔さ
  • a sense of security 安心感

We are apt to forget the fact in everyday lives that we are all doomed to die. We are under the illusion that we will live forever and are likely to have an obsession with things or other people and try to get as much money or many things as possible. We sometimes hurt others without care to do that.

  • be apt to~ 〜しがちである
  • be doomed to~ 〜する運命にある
  • illusion 幻想
  • be likely to~ 〜しそうである
  • hurt 傷つける

Well, if you were informed that you’re going to die next month, would you try to get much money and many things and increase them from now on? Could you vie with others for them? When human beings forget death, they will cling to things and have the illusion that they are living on their own.

  • inform 知らせる
  • increase 増やす
  • vie 争う
  • cling しがみつく
  • on one’s own 自分で

The true Samurai spirit is, so as not to regret when they have to die,

● to live to the full every moment

● not to cling to things and to keep a refreshed mind

● to feel the value of life by realizing with gratitude that we’re being kept alive

and so on.

  • so as not to~ 〜しないように
  • regret 後悔する
  • to the full 存分に
  • refreshed 清々しい
  • value 価値
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • and so on など

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I KA SHI TE I TA DA I TE    A RI GA TO U GO ZA I MA SU

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

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