Hagakure — The Book of the Samuari

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Nearly twenty years ago I came in contact with the Hagakure — The Book of the Samurai by Yamaotto Tsunetomo. It is rich with wisdom and worth digesting. 

The cultures of Samurai and distance running share some similar sentiments. Among them, the concept of resolve. To prepare to become a competitive distance runner or Samurai is no small undertaking. It is a decision to a certain lifestyle. In these fields, there is an instant sense of brotherhood/sisterhood with others who have made the same choice because of what was forfeited. The serious Samurai and distance runner give up many contemporary comforts and luxuries in pursuit of a different experience arrived at only by strenuous effort and discipline. It is an uncommon path few will ever travel or fully understand, but completely worth it to those who walk it.

Below is my favorite passage from the Hagakure. When I first read it, I stopped and read it again. And again. And again. To me it spoke truth. And maybe it will prompt thought in you. Enjoy.

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything. 


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus