Yamamoto Tsunetomo Quotes
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Yamamoto Tsunetomo, he narrated many of his thoughts to a fellow samurai, Tashiro Tsuramoto. Many of these aphorisms concerned his lord's father and grandfather Naoshige and the failing ways of the samurai caste. These commentaries were compiled and published in 1716 under the title of Hagakure, a word that can be translated as either In the Shadow of Leaves or Hidden Leaves.
The Hagakure was not widely known during the years following Tsunetomo's death, but by the 1930s it had become one of the most famous representatives of bushido taught in Japan. In 2011 a manga/comic book version was published Hagakure: The Manga Edition, translated by William Scott Wilson, adapted by Sean Michael Wilson and Chie Kutsuwada.
Tsunetomo believed that becoming one with death in one's thoughts, even in life, was the highest attainment of purity and focus. He felt that a resolution to die gives rise to a higher state of life, infused with beauty and grace beyond the reach of those concerned with self-preservation. Some viewed him as a man of immediate action due to some of his quotes, and in the Hagakure he criticized the carefully planned Akō vendetta of the Forty-seven rōnin for its delayed response.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo is also known as Yamamoto Jōchō, the name he took after retiring and becoming a monk.