The Way of Walking Alone (repost)

One of the great things about being me (of which there are many) is that I have the honor and privilege of reading some fairly stellar writing before anyone else does. This week I’m doing just that. Which is why I’ve been a little absent around the interwebs as of late. It’s also cut into my writing time, so I’m serving up leftovers today. If you’re new here, I hope you enjoy a little glimpse into my family history. I hope to be back to my regularly scheduled programming very soon.

Kazuko Hosokawa Dishman (aka - my mom)

I am proud to call myself an American first and foremost. My ancestors on my father’s side arrived and settled in what is now the Commonwealth of Virginia in the 1600’s. But that’s only half my ancestry.

My father met and married my mother in Japan. She was born Kazuko Hosokawa. The Hosokawas were one of the ruling samurai clans of Japan for many generations, and the family coat of arms (my mother was happy to report after a recent visit) is proudly displayed in the Tokyo National Museum.

So, while I am VERY much American, I am also very proud of my rich (albeit somewhat savage) Japanese heritage, and I wanted to share a little of it with you today.

Miyamoto Musashi

In the second month of 1641, Miyamoto Musashi (considered to be the greatest samurai who ever lived) wrote a work called the Hyoho Sanju Go (Thirty-five Instructions on Strategy) for Hosokawa Tadatoshi. This work overlapped and formed the basis for Go Rin No Sho, more famously known as The Book of Five Rings.

The Way of Walking Alone
(or The Way of Self-Reliance)

Do not turn your back on the various Ways of this world.

Do not scheme for physical pleasure.

Do not intend to rely on anything.

Consider yourself lightly; consider the world deeply.

Do not ever think in acquisitive terms.

Do not regret things about your own personal life.

Do not envy another’s good or evil.

Do not lament parting on any road whatsoever.

Do not complain or feel bitterly about yourself or others.

Have no heart for approaching the path of love.

Do not have preferences.

Do not harbor hopes for your own personal home.

Do not have a liking for delicious food for yourself.

Do not carry antiques handed down from generation to generation.

Do not fast so that it affects you physically.

Do not be fond of material things.

Do not begrudge death.

Do not be intent on possessing valuables or a fief in old age.

Respect the gods and Buddhas, but do not depend on them.

Though you give up your life, do not give up your honor.

Never depart from the Way of martial arts.

Second Day of the Fifth Month, Second Year of Shoho (1645)
Miyamoto Musashi

“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as either a blessing or a curse.” – Don Juan

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14 Responses to “The Way of Walking Alone (repost)”

  1. Maureen March 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    I remember reading this, thinking what an extraordinary background you have, and also how striking your mother is.

  2. Shelley March 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    Wow, that is quite the rich heritage you have! How awesome!

  3. seekingpastor March 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Really interesting. A lot of good points in that list. Sadly, I departed from the Way of martial arts.

  4. Louise March 10, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    I remember reading it too and what’s extraordinary is as I was driving to work this morning I was thinking about my heritage and the opening thought was… I am proud to be Canadian and then I went aroudn the world describing my parents heritage!

    Very cool post.

  5. Louise March 10, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    PS — it must be that beautiful blend of far east exotic and American roots that makes you so beautiful.

  6. Amy Nabors March 10, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Okay that is just cool. What an amazing heritage

  7. Kathleen March 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm #


  8. Helen March 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Your mom is beautiful. She must have been so pleased to see the coat of arms at the museum!

  9. Candy March 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I remember this well – at the time I had no clue of your amazing heritage. Your mother is a very beautiful woman. A ‘starred’ post. Love it.

  10. Hazel Moon March 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Such a lovely post, and the list of “Self Reliance” causes much pondering of thought! The quotes are good also!

  11. nancy March 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    you look lovely, as your mother.

  12. Tony Alicea March 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I love these kinds of posts. I have a fascination with Japanese culture. I lived there for 3 years when I was young. My father was in the Air Force. I went to culture classes in school and learned a lot about Japanese culture. It always stayed with me and I still have a heart for that country today.

  13. Sandra Heska King March 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    I remember this. You have your mom’s beautiful genes.

  14. Berniece Richards March 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Kathy, I certainly see you in Kay’s picture! Beautiful!

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