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External Focused Morality

I read "The Samurai Ethic and Modern Japan" by Yukio Mishima recently. Fascinating book - it's an analysis and review of Hagakure, a 17th century book of samurai ethics.

Lots of interesting ideas. Many I disagree with. But none more fascinating than this one - Mishima writes about externally-focused morality.

Page 60:

In Hagakure it says, "A samurai must never seem to flag or lose heart."

This remark suggests that it is a defect to seem to flag, to seem disheartened. The most important thing is that a samurai not manifest externally his disappointment or fatigue.

The Samurai Ethic and Modern Japan

I read this book by Yukio Mishima a bit back, it's an analysis of the main themes of "Hagakure," a 1700's book of samurai philosophy.

Lots of thought provoking stuff in there. Not everything I agree with, but here's a few that I found interesting -

Page 22, Love is higher when undeclared:

The art romantic love as practiced in America involves declaring oneself, pressing one's suit, and making the catch. The energy genereated by love is never allowed to build up within but is constantly radiated outward. But paradoxically, the voltage of love is dissipated the instant it is transmitted. Contemporary youth are richly blessed with opportunities for romantic and sexual adventure that former generations never would have dreamed of. But at the same time, what lurks in the hearts of modern youth is the demise of what we know as romantic love.

Page 23, I don't agree this at all but it's a fascinating insight into prewar Japan:

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