By Shuichi Kato
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Additional info for A History of Japanese Literature: Volume 2 The Years of Isolation
Confucianism was originally, in the Analects attributed to Confucius, directed towards rulers, and explained the art of govemment. The Confucian concept of the good ruler was inseparable from the good man and this meant that the art of govemment involved both political and ethical 16 A HISTORY OF JAPANESE LITERATURE aspects. The fundamental ethical value was filial piety with its related rituals. About a century later in the Mencius there appeared a systematization of the original, relatively fragmentary Confucian teachings into a rational, politico-ethical doctrine which extended and codified the moral values expounded by Confucius, notably the five moral principles which govern the relationships between ruler and subject, father and son, elder and younger brother, man and wife, and older and younger friend.
In his later years, from 1640, he lived in Shisendö, the villa on Ky öto's Mt . Higashiyama, in peaceful retirement, gazing at 'the evening smoke of Kyöto' and was said never to have crossed the Kamo River to the city. He was a meticulous gardener and a skilful calligrapher in the antique reisho style, and he wrote two collections of poems, Fushöshü and Shinpen jushöshü . In these there are poems on falling leaves and dripping eaves such as: Parting from the branches Leaves tap on door and window Mingling with the sound Of drops falling from high eaves.
The way of tactics . . ' The central concern of the work, however, is not philosophical but is the solution of a specific technical problem - how to kill the opponent. As Musashi says, ,After all, you should take up your sword with thoughts of killing' . ' He distinguishes between 'seeing with the spirit' (that is, perception) and seeing with the eye, stressing the need to 'see distant things ras if] near and near things ras if] distant, [rnake] the sight of intuition strong and the sight of the eye weak'.
A History of Japanese Literature: Volume 2 The Years of Isolation by Shuichi Kato