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Old 05-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #18
Tannhauser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonViolence View Post

Did anyone take the time to read "The Hagakure"?

Its available free online and is only about 50 pages long...
I did check it out. I'm currently on p5 and unlikely to go any further. I'm used to reading all sorts of arcane and esoteric material, but I'm finding it unreadable. The problem for me is that it doesn't advance a coherent argument -it's simply a collection of assertions. For example, right on p2 we have:


Quote:
It is bad taste to yawn in front of people. When one unexpectedly has to yawn, if he rubs his forehead in an upward direction , the sensation will stop . If that does not work, he can lick his lips while keeping his mouth closed, or simply hide it with his hand or his sleeve in such a way that no one will know what he is doing. It is the same with sneezing. One will appear foolish. There are other things besides these about which a person should use care and training.
Is it a metaphor, or simply a bit of etiquette? Who knows, because the next sentence reads:

Quote:
When a certain person was saying that present matters of economy should be detailed, someone replied that this is not good at all.
Maybe it's lost in translation?

Also, it seems a kind of charter for enforcers of the feudal system. So we have:

Quote:
A man is a good retainer to the extent that he earnestly places importance in his master. This is the highest sort of retainer. If one is born into a prominent family that goes back for generations, it is sufficient to deeply consider the matter of obligation to one's ancestors, to lay down one's body and mind, and to earnestly esteem one's master.
It rests on a notion of a fixed societal order, in which position and power are dictated by ancestry and divine right. Which is a silly, inefficient and fundamentally unfair way of organising a society - one that rests upon a monumental con.

I can't find much merit in it apart from quote-mining. However, I may be missing the point completely as I'm only looking at it in a very superficial way, and I've only read a smalll proportion of it.
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