When You’re in Trouble, You’ve Got the Chance to Get Rid of Your Negative Karma

天津 神様

In a book I read in the past, there was a scene of a renowned zen priest and a samurai exchanging questions and answers. I can’t remember the details, but the scene was like the following:

  • renowned 高名な
  • priest 僧
  • detail 詳細

A zen priest was looking over the garden of his house covered with beatutiflu snow, when a samurai appeared from nowhere with his feet wet with snow and said to him “I have killed a lot of people by orders from my lord. Killing people brought about any benefit for me, but I had no choice. If I die, who will take on the responsibility?”

  • look over A Aを眺める
  • from nowhere どこからともなく
  • bring about A Aをもたらす
  • take on A   Aを引き受ける
  • responsibility 責任

Having listened to him, the zen priest told him to stand under a tree nearby and shake a branch over his head. When he did it as he was told, the snow on the branch fell on his head and he got his body covered with snow. The zen priest said “I ordered you to shake the branch, but I’m sitting on this tatami mat in the safe and warm room. You’ve covered with cold snow, not me.”  The story was something like that.

  • tell A to~ Aに〜するよう言う
  • branch 枝
  • order A to~ Aに〜するよう命令する

It is a parable illustrating that a man executing an order takes on the responsibility, but in terms of spiritual karma, the man executing the order is not the only one to blame. Conscience(=Inner God) of a man giving an order knows that he made another man commit the sin and in effect he killed the man. The energy of mortification the victim and the executioner emitted is sure to return to the man giving the order. The consequence may not happen to him while he’s alive, but he has to pay for it sooner or later.

  • parable 比喩
  • execute 実行する
  • in terms of A Aの観点からは
  • conscience(良心)
  • mortification 無念
  • emit 放つ

It’s important for you to live with the thought that whatever you do, good or bad, will be returned to you sooner or later. The point is someone has to end this chain of negative karma, or it never ends. However hard your present situation, it’s no good to involve your family or people around you and make them unhappy. If you’re in trouble, all you have to do is accept such a situation with gratitude, thinking that this is a chance to get rid of your bad karma. If someone says to you “I can do it for you if you give me money,” just say “No way! Don’t hinder my chance!”

  • the point it … 大事なことは…
  • end 終わらせる
  • present situation 現状
  • involve 巻き込む
  • get rid of A Aをなくす
  • hinder 邪魔をする

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.

Samurai Spirit Misunderstood By The World – Part 2

廃墟の中の鳥居

I remember a TV program, in which a Japanese war veteran was interviewed who joined Kamikaze corps at the end of the World War Ⅱ and miraculously survived it.

  • war veteran 退役軍人
  • Kamikaze corps 神風特攻隊
  • survive 生き残る

The front of airplanes is the smallest in the whole body. So when a zero fighter airplane tries to make a suicidal attack on an American battleship concentrating fire upon the airplane, it has to fly in the direction of the battleship at the same angle as shells aiming at it. Otherwise the possibility of being shot would be increased. He said that unless the airplane assaults the battleship in such a way that it rushes at the shells, the chance of being shot down increases and that if he had tried to escape or run away from the shells at all, he would have been shot down because of the widened area to be shot.

  • suicidal 自殺的な
  • attack 攻撃
  • battleship 戦艦
  • angle 角度
  • shell 砲弾
  • otherwise さもないと
  • unless S+V SがVしない限り
  • escape 逃れる

And he said that when he was flying into the enemy ship in the face of shells aiming at him, the word he was shouting was “Moooom!” and that the other deceased fighters would have said the same thing. As Susano(スサノオ)cried so hard as heaven and earth rumbled in search of his mother who left for Yominokuni(黄泉の国), human beings cry for their mothers instinctively in the face of death.

  • deceased 亡くなった
  • in search of A  Aを探し求めて
  • instinctively 本能的に

In the TV program, an eight-millimeter film was showing a situation that Kamikaze fighters were exchanging cups of sake with each other before they fly their last flight. They were smiling silently with no grave look on their faces. They just looked like true samurais. Both soldiers and samurais didn’t kill people because they liked to do it. In the war years, they had no choice but to live such lives. In the modern affluent society where people enjoy freedom, on the other hand, more people commit suicide every year than kamikaze fighters.

  • situation 状況
  • silently 静かに
  • grave 深刻な
  • have no choice but to~ 〜せざるをえない
  • affluent 豊かな
  • commit suicide 自殺する

The word “Moooom” the kamikaze fighter cried at the last moment reveals that what had supported Kamikaze fighters who acted bravely like fierce gods was the love that they wanted to protect their families and the gratitude for them. I feel that what lies behind samurai spirit is the courage to think about things from the point of view of life and death in order to keep others and themselves alive.

  • bravely 勇敢に
  • fierce god 鬼神
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • courage 勇気
  • in terms of A Aの観点から
  • alive 生きている

In the perspective of life and death, most troubles in everyday lives are trifle things and will disappear in time and so will obsession with things. This perspective would make you notice little things to be thankful for hidden in your everyday lives.

  • perspective 観点
  • disappear 消える
  • obsession 執着
  • realize 気がつく
  • hide 隠す

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.

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.