The Principles behind the Characters reading "Strategy"


Masters of the long sword are traditionally known as heihosha [strategists]. As for the other military arts, those who master the bow are called archers, those who master the spear are called spearmen, those who master the gun are called marksmen, and those who master the halberd are called halberdiers. But we do not call masters of the long sword "long swordsmen", nor do we speak of "short swordsmen". Bows, guns, spears and halberds are all tools of the warriors and each should be a way to master strategy.

Nevertheless, the sword alone is associated with mastery of strategy. There is a reason for this. To master the virtue of the long sword is to govern the world and oneself, thus the long sword is the basis of strategy [this observation is based on ancient Japanese sword worship]. The principle is "strategy by means of the long sword". If he attains the virtue of the long sword, one man can beat ten men. Just as one man can beat ten, so a hundred men can beat a thousand, and a thousand can beat ten thousand. In my strategy, things are no different for one man or for ten thousand. This strategy is the complete warrior's craft.

The Way of the warrior does not include other Ways, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, tea, artistic accomplishments and dancing. But even though these are not part of your Way, if you know the Way broadly you will see it in everything. It is essential for each of us as human beings to polish our individual Way.
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