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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:

Want to Learn Japanese History? Start with Sengoku

On The Best of Sett

Hi Sebastian

Happy new year!

I am hoping you would share your resources for your reading on Japanese history. Book titles and/or urls would be very helpful.


I got that a week ago, and I kind of sat there staring at the email. Japanese history is some of the most confusing to start to learn, because different elements of Japanese history and culture all play on and influence each other. I could run you through the military history of Japan from The Battle of Okehazama to Sekigahara to the Boshin War, from there into Dai Nippon Tekoku Era, from there into defeat and the Occupation under McArthur, and then we could do a little post-war history.

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