Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Be Not Defeated by the Rain

Be Not Defeated by the Rain, Ame ni no Makezu, is a famous poem by Kenji Miyazawa. It was discovered posthumously in an old notebook.

 Be not defeated by the rain,
Nor let the wind prove your better.
Succumb not to the snows of winter.
Nor be bested by the heat of summer.
Be strong in body.
Unfettered by desire.
Not enticed to anger.
Cultivate a quiet joy.
Count yourself last in everything.
Put others before you.
Watch well and listen closely.
Hold the learned lessons dear.
A thatch-roof house, in a meadow, nestled in a pine grove's shade.
A handful of rice, some miso, and a few vegetables to suffice for the day.
If, to the East, a child lies sick: Go forth and nurse him to health.
If, to the West, an old lady stands exhausted: Go forth, and relieve her of burden.
If, to the South, a man lies dying: Go forth with words of courage to dispel his fear.
If, to the North, an argument or fight ensues:
Go forth and beg them stop such a waste of effort and of spirit.
In times of drought, shed tears of sympathy.
In summers cold, walk in concern and empathy.
Stand aloof of the unknowing masses:
Better dismissed as useless than flattered as a "Great Man".
This is my goal, the person I strive to become.




Chris Hellman said...

Alas, my students here (in Japan) are often defeated by the rain – in spirit, at least.
A good reminder that there are goals to aspire to other than material ones.
Also the title of a great blog that seems to have gone quiet of late.

Rick Matz said...

Thanks for visiting, Chris!