Quotes by Yoshida Shoin

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If a general and his men fear death and are apprehensive over possible defeat, then they will unavoidably suffer defeat and death. But if they make up their minds, from the general down to the last footsoldier, not to think of living but only of standing in one place and facing death together, then, though they may have no other thought than meeting death, they will instead hold on to life and gain victory. more...

To consider oneself different from ordinary men is wrong, but it is right to hope that one will not remain like ordinary men. more...

One who aspires to greatness should read and study, pursuing the True Way with such a firm resolve that he is perfectly straightforward and open, rises above the superficialities of conventional behavior, and refuses to be satisfied with the petty or commonplace. more...

Once a man's will is set, he need no longer rely on others or expect anything from the world. His vision encompasses Heaven and earth, past and present, and the tranquility of his heart is undisturbed. more...

As things stand now the feudal lords are content to look on while the shogunate carries on in a highhanded manner. Neither the lords nor the shogun can be depended upon, and so our only hope lies in grass-roots heroes. more...

Life and death, union and separation, follow hard upon one another. Nothing is steadfast but the will, nothing endures but one's achieve-ments. These alone count in life. more...

Once the will is resolved, one's spirit is strengthened. Even a peasant's will is hard to deny, but a samurai of resolute will can sway ten thou-sand men. more...

It seems hopeless, hopeless. Those who eat meat [at public expense] are a mean, selfish lot, and so the country is doomed. Our only hope lies in the grass-roots folk who eat our traditional food. more...

What is important in a leader is a resolute will and determination. A man may be versatile and learned, but if he lacks resoluteness and determination, of what use will he be? more...

If the body dies, it does no harm to the mind, but if the mind dies, one can no longer act as a man even though the body survives. more...

When I consider the state of things in our fief, I find that those who hold positions and receive official stipends are incapable of the utmost in loyalty and patriotic service. Loyalty of the usual sort-perhaps, but if it is true loyalty and service you seek, then you must abandon this fief and plan a grass-roots uprising. more...

It seems hopeless, hopeless. Those who eat meat are a mean, selfish lot, and so the country is doomed. Our only hope lies in the grass-roots folk who eat our traditional food. more...

If Heaven does not completely abandon this land of the Gods, there must be an uprising of grass-roots heroes. more...


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