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Saigo Takamori's Testament


Article 1
Entering the government, becoming a cabinet member, and governing national affairs is something that follows the path of heaven and earth. Therefore, no matter what happens, it is God's will to keep one's heart fair, take the right path, choose broad and wise people, and let those who can faithfully carry out their duties run the government. So if someone really thinks they are wise and qualified, they should be ready to give up their position. Therefore, no matter how much achievement the country has, it is the first thing that is not good to have a person who is unsuitable for the job appointed to a government post. The old man Nanzhou said that government posts should be bestowed on those who are well selected, and that those who have made outstanding achievements should be rewarded with a large salary. In the decree issued by the imperial court, Zhongqi (Minister of King Yin-no-Yu (1600 B.C.)) states, ``Those who are highly virtuous should be given official ranks, and those who have made many achievements should be rewarded. When I asked him what this meant, he was very pleased and answered that it was exactly the case.

Article 2
If good politicians are not able to bring together many government officials into one system, even if they use good people, open a forum where they can speak out, and incorporate the opinions of many people. However, there is no fixed policy as to what to take and what to throw away, and the work will be sloppy and unsuccessful. The order that was issued yesterday will be changed again today, because everyone is scattered and not unified, and there is no single direction to conduct politics.

Article 3 
The three fundamentals of politics are to improve and enhance the education of the people, to reorganize and strengthen the armaments for national self-defense, and to encourage agriculture for food self-sufficiency and stability. Various other projects are all means to help these three policies. Of these three things, depending on the passage of time, the order of which should be prioritized and which should be prioritized. Never should be.

Article 4
Those who are in charge of the people (political and administrative officials) should always be considerate of their own hearts, behave in the right way, do not behave arrogantly, try to be extravagant and frugal, and work hard. If you don't become a model for the general public, and the general public doesn't feel sorry for your work and lifestyle, the government ordinance will not be implemented smoothly. However, even though it is the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, if all we are doing is building a splendid house, wearing splendid clothes, having a beautiful mistress, and increasing our wealth, we will not be able to fulfill the true purpose of the Restoration. would not be possible. Looking back now, the Boshin (Meiji Restoration) fight for justice turned out to be nothing more than self-interest. .

Article 5 
At one point, he said, ``After experiencing hardships and suffering over and over again, aspirations become firmly established for the first time. A true man with aspirations will turn into a ball and crumble, but you should be ashamed of abandoning your aspirations and becoming like roof tiles and living a long life. I have a lesson that I should leave at home, but do people know it? It means not buying good rice fields for their descendants, that is, not leaving property behind. Saigo was shown a seven-word Chinese poem, and was told that if there was anything wrong with these words, Saigo could give up saying that saying and doing are opposites.


ArticlArticle 6 

When recruiting human resources, if the distinction between those who can do well (gentlemen) and those who are ordinary (dwarfs) is too strict, it will actually cause problems. The reason for this is that since the beginning of the world, seven or eight out of ten people in the world have been dwarfs. It is important to make full use of your skills. Mr. Toko Fujita (a feudal retainer of the Mito clan and an advocate of reverence for the king and the expulsion of foreigners) said, ``Dwarfs have talents and skills and are convenient to use, so we must use them to do their jobs. If a person is appointed to a higher position and assigned to an important job, it will inevitably lead to the overthrow of the country, so he should never be able to serve the higher ranks.”

ArticlArticle 7

No matter how big or small, always follow the right path, be sincere, and never use temporary tricks. In many cases, when people encounter difficult things, they use some kind of strategy to try to make things work out, but the tricks come at a cost, and they always fail. Taking the right path may seem like a detour in front of you, but the earlier you go, the sooner you will succeed.

ArticlArticle 8
If we want to broadly adopt the systems of other countries and push ahead with civilization and enlightenment, we should first understand the main body of our country, correct the customs and culture, and then slowly adopt the strengths of other countries. Instead, if we simply imitate other countries and emulate them, the national polity will be weakened, the customs and morals will be disturbed, the situation will be irreparable, and finally we will be controlled by foreign countries. 


Article 9 
Loyalty and filial piety (serving your country well and taking care of your parents), benevolence (benevolence towards others, cherishing your heart), and edification (teaching and guiding in the good direction) are the basics of politics. It is an important road that is indispensable to the world. Since the road is a natural thing in heaven and earth, it is the same even in the West, and there is absolutely no distinction.

ArticArticle 10  

The development of human wisdom, that is, the fundamental purpose of education is to have a heart of patriotism and loyalty and filial piety. If the human reason to serve the country and work for the family is clear, all business will progress. In an attempt to develop fields that can be heard and seen, telegraphs are built, railroads are laid, steam machines are built, and people's eyes and ears are amazed. Don't pay attention to whether the railway is indispensable or indispensable, don't envy the big things in foreign countries, don't argue about interests, profits and losses, and start from the construction of your house. If we imitate foreign countries one by one, including children's toys, and waste our property by spending extravagance unbefitting of our status, the power of the country will decline, people's hearts will be carelessly swept away, and in the end Japan will go bankrupt.   


Article 11 
Civilization is a word that praises the fact that things are widely done based on morals and morals, and it does not mean that the palace is large and splendid, or the kimono that one wears is beautiful, or the appearance is gorgeous. When I listen to what people say, I don't understand at all what is civilization and what is savagery. I once had an argument with someone. When he says the West is barbaric, he argues that the West is civilized. No, no, when I said that it was barbaric, I insisted on why it was called so barbaric. Basically, it should be explained and persuaded well and lead to civilization enlightenment, but instead, it is cruel to the developing country, and it is only for their own profit. When I said that it was clearly barbaric, the person laughed and told me that he couldn't answer as expected.

Article 12  
Western criminal law is solely aimed at avoiding cruelty and leading people to goodness, as a fundamental spirit, to prevent the repetition of sins, so even criminals in prison are treated gently. , books that serve as lessons are given, and in some cases relatives and friends are allowed to visit. Originally, the sages of old set up punishments because they felt pity for lonely people out of a heart of loyalty and benevolence, and were deeply concerned that such people would fall into sin. I can't find anything in the book about whether or not they paid attention to I feel strongly that such a point of the West is truly civilization.

Article 13 
Reducing taxes and making people's lives richer will increase national power. Therefore, even if the country has many projects and suffers from a lack of finance, it must adhere to the established system, and even if the government and upper-class people lose money, the lower-class people should not suffer. Look at the history of old. In a world where reason is not clearly implemented, when we suffer from financial shortages, we always use a small official with a ridiculous idea, and recognize those who make a stopgap as a good official who understands finances well, and such a small official. By any means necessary, the government will forcefully collect taxes from the people, and people will suffer. And, in the end, isn't the country split and crumbling?

Article 13 
Reducing taxes and making people's lives richer will increase national power. Therefore, even if the country has many projects and suffers from a lack of finance, it must adhere to the established system, and even if the government and upper-class people lose money, the lower-class people should not suffer. Look at the history of old. In a world where reason is not clearly implemented, when we suffer from financial shortages, we always use a small official with a ridiculous idea, and recognize those who make a stopgap as a good official who understands finances well, and such a small official. By any means necessary, the government will forcefully collect taxes from the people, and people will suffer. And, in the end, isn't the country split and crumbling?

Article 15 

The number of standing troops should also be dealt with in the fiscal budget, never endlessly increasing the armaments and then boasting. If you muster up the strength of your soldiers and build up a good army, even if you have a small number of soldiers, you will not be underestimated in dealing with foreign countries.

Article 14 

Accounting (money deposits and withdrawals) is the basis of all systems, all businesses are based on it, and it is the most important thing in creating an orderly nation, so we must be careful. As for the method, there is no other way than to hold down expenses within the scope of income. Business is restricted within the scope of all income, and the general manager of accounting must protect this system with all his might and must not exceed the established budget. Instead, if we let the times prevail, loosen restrictions, give priority to expenditure, and calculate income accordingly, we will end up with no choice but to collect heavy taxes from the people. If that happens, even if the business seems to be progressing temporarily, the national power will be exhausted, and in the end it will be irreparable.

Article 16 

If we keep morality and lose the sense of shame, we will never be able to maintain the nation. It is the same in all Western countries. When the superior seeks only profit from the subordinate and forgets the right way, the subordinate also learns from this, and all people's hearts are greedy and mean and stingy. Day by day, more and more people have lost their sense of morality and shame, and even parent and child siblings are fighting over property and are hostile to each other. If this is the case, what can we do to maintain our country? The Tokugawa clan ruled the world by suppressing the courageous spirit of their soldiers, but today, unless the samurai of the old Warring States period must summon up their bravery, they will not be able to face all the nations of the world. be. During the Franco-Prussian War, the reason France surrendered despite having 300,000 soldiers and three months of food was laughed at because it was too familiar with financial accounts.

Article 17 ​

If you don't follow the right path, bet your country, and have the spirit to fight even if you fall, you will not be able to complete your relationship with foreign countries. If you are timid by the power of a foreign country, and if you focus only on paying your respects amicably, to the extent that you bend your country's true intentions and follow what the foreign country says, you will be treated with contempt. will come under foreign control.

Article 18 

When the discussion turned to national affairs, he lamented deeply and said, "If the country is humiliated by a foreign country, even if the country falls, we must follow the right path and do our best." is a government effort. But when he usually hears him discuss money, grain, and finances, he seems to think what a heroic hero he is. It's just plotting for the sake of what's in front of you. If there is a fear of war and the government's duties are compromised, it should be said that it is a commercial law office and not the government.

Aticle 19 

Since ancient times, there has never been a time when a lord and his vassals both believed themselves to be perfect in their politics. Start by thinking that you are still lacking, and listen to what others have to say. When people think they are perfect, they get angry when someone corrects their faults. .

rticle 20 
No matter how much you discuss the system or method, if the person who carries it out is not a good person, it will not go well. Various methods can only be carried out when there are good people.

Article 21 
Since the way is the way of nature and nature, the purpose of the way of learning is to "respect the heavens and love people", and you must keep in mind that you can improve yourself and overcome yourself. The true purpose of overcoming oneself is to never be selfish. Don't force yourself. don't stick around. impervious to me That's what it means. In general, people succeed by mastering themselves and fail by loving themselves (thinking selfishly). It is good to look at historical figures from long ago. People who start businesses usually do well up to 70 to 80% of the business, but few people can complete the remaining 20 to 30%. become successful and famous. However, as he became more successful and famous, before he knew it, he began to love himself. You start doing bad things, and you end up failing. These are all self-inflicted results. That is why it is important to always overcome yourself and to be sober and admonishing yourself, even when no one is watching or listening.

Article 22 
Overcoming oneself does not go very well because one tries to overcome the so-called circumstances of the situation at that time. You have to raise your spirits and train yourself to overcome yourself.

Article 23 

Those who aspire to study must expand their scale and ideals. However, if you focus only on this matter, you will neglect your self-cultivation. Try to overcome yourself by enlarging the scale and ideals. The boy was told that he needed to be tolerant enough to swallow people into his heart, and that he should not be swallowed by people.

When I asked him what it means to expect the ancients, he told me to study with Yao and Shun (both great emperors of ancient China) as models, and Confucius (China's foremost sage) as a teacher. was taken.

Article 24 
The Tao is a thing of nature, and the purpose of human beings is to respect Heaven. Heaven loves people and me equally, so I love people with a heart that loves me.

Article 25 
Don't deal with people, deal with heaven. Show your sincerity in the face of Heaven, do not criticize others, and reflect on your lack of sincerity.  

Article 26 
Loving yourself (that is, as long as you are happy with yourself) is the worst thing to do. The inability to train, the inability to succeed in business, the inability to correct mistakes, the pride in one's achievements, and the arrogance all come from loving oneself, never only oneself. Do not love.
Article 27 
​To correct a mistake, if you can think of it yourself, that's fine. Just throw it away and move forward immediately. Feeling frustrated and worrying about making up for a mistake is the same as breaking a bowl, collecting the pieces, and looking at them together, which is of no use.


Article 28 
In practicing the Way, there is no distinction between honorable status and lowly status. In short, in ancient China, Yao and Shun (both great emperors of ancient China) ruled the country as kings, but their occupation was originally a teacher. Confucius (China's foremost sage) was not used as a politician by any country, including the state of Lu. All of his children, who are said to number 1,000, followed his teachings.

Article 29 
Those who try to follow the right path are bound to encounter difficulties, so no matter how difficult a situation they find themselves in, whether they will succeed or fail, and whether they will live or die. should not be obsessed with. There are good and bad things to do, and depending on the thing, there are people who can do it well and people who can't do it well. Because it is nothing, there is no one who is good or bad at treading the road, and there is no one who cannot do it.
Therefore, if you want to do your best and enjoy the path, and if you are going to overcome difficulties, you have to reach a state where you can finally do the path and enjoy the path. Ever since I was young, I have faced hardships and hardships, so no matter what I encounter now, I won't be shaken. That's really lucky.

Article 30 

People who don't need lives, who don't need names, who don't need official ranks, and who don't need money, are troublesome to deal with. If you are not a person who is troubled by such a situation, you will not be able to share the difficulties and complete the great work of the nation together. However, it is said that such a person cannot be seen through by the eyes of ordinary people. Standing in the right position and following the right path in the world. If he has a will and is used, he will follow the path with the general public;
No amount of wealth or status can offend such a person, nor can poverty and meanness be discouraged by it. I asked him if he was saying that he was the kind of person he just said, and he was right. Otherwise, he replied, such a spirit would be hard to come by.

Article 31 

Those who lead a righteous life will never complain even if the people of the country gather around them and criticize them. If you are not satisfied with yourself, it is because you believe deeply in yourself.
The way to become such a person is to read Han Wen Gong (Han Tai Zhi, Tang literary writer)'s Song of Bo Yi You should read it carefully and keep it.

Article 32 

Those who try to do what is right do not honor great undertakings. Sima Wen Gong, a scholar of the Northern Song Dynasty of China, was said to have spoken secretly with his wife in his bedroom, and that there was nothing he could not tell others. You will see what it really means to refrain from being alone. It's still immature to do something that surprises people and likes to feel good for a short time, and you should reflect on it.

Article 33 

When a person who has never followed morals encounters something, he panics and doesn't know what to do. For example, if there is a fire in the neighborhood, a well-prepared person can deal with it without any disturbance. However, people who have not been prepared for a long time are just confused, do not know what to do, and cannot deal with it accurately. In the same way, if you are not a person who has always followed morals, when you encounter a certain situation, you cannot take a good countermeasure. One day when I went into battle last year, I told my soldiers to see if their defenses were sufficient. It was said that he preached that it was the first defense.

Article 34 

Tricks should not normally be used. If you do something by trickery, you can see clearly that it is not good if you look at the result. Only in the case of war there must be a ruse. However, if you've been doing tactics for a long time, when it comes to fighting, you'll never be able to come up with a good tactic. Zhuge Liang, the prime minister of ancient China, had never played tricks, so when it came down to it, he was able to pull off such an unthinkable trick. When I withdrew from Tokyo, I said to his younger brother (Judo), ``I have never done anything to conspire, so even after I withdraw, there will be no traces left. It will never get muddy. Just take a good look at it.”

Article 35 
Those who deceive others and sneak up behind their backs, even if they are successful at doing so, will soon find out that they are ugly when they see them. Always treat people with fairness and sincerity. You can't win a hero's heart if you're not fair.

Article 36 

If you don't have the desire to become a saint or sage, and if you look at the historical facts that the people of the past did and feel that you can't imitate them, it's even more cowardly than facing a battle and running away. . Zhu Zi (an old scholar of the Southern Song dynasty in China) was told that there was nothing he could do to escape after seeing the drawn sword. I have read the books of the sages and sages with sincerity, and did not practice to experience the spirit cultivated over a lifetime in my body and mind. Just knowing is of no use. Now, when I listen to what people say, no matter how plausible they may be, if their actions do not reach their hearts, and if they are just lip service, I am not at all impressed. When I see a person who can really do that, I feel that they are truly splendid. If you read only the surface of the Book of Saints and Sages, it's the same as watching someone else's swordsmanship from the side, and you won't learn anything about it. If you don't take care of yourself, you'll have no choice but to run away if you're told to 'attend with a sword'.


Article 37 

Only one sincerity can believe in and obey from the bottom of one's heart for eternity. There have been countless people who have avenged their father's death from long ago, but only one of them, the Soga brothers, stands out among many people as being so famous that even women and children do not know them, even to this day. It is because he is sincere. Being praised by the world without sincerity is just a coincidence of luck. If you have a deep sincerity, even if you don't know anyone at the time, you will definitely make friends in the future.

Article 38 

Opportunities that people talk about often refer to accidental happiness. But the real chances are when you act rationally and move with the momentum of the moment. A successful business that does not always care about the country and the world, and just rides on the momentum of time, will never last long.

Article 39 

People nowadays think that they can do whatever business they want as long as they have talent and knowledge. Only with good content can things be done well. A splendid person like Mr. Nagaoka of Higo (Nagaoka Kenmotsu, Kumamoto clan chief retainer, loyal to the imperial family) was lamented that he could no longer see it, and was given the old words in writing.

"You can't change the world unless you are sincere. Unless you have talent and insight, you can't rule. If you withdraw sincerely, the movement will be fast. When wisdom is pervasive, it has a wide area to rule over. When wisdom and sincerity come together, everything will be fine.”

Article 40 

Following the old man Nanshu, he led his dog to chase rabbits, spent all day hunting in the mountains and valleys, and bathed in a rural inn. I believe that a gentleman's heart will always be as refreshing as this.'

Article 41 

A person who trains himself, corrects his mind, prepares his mind and body to be a gentleman, but cannot deal with the situation is just like a doll made of wood. For example, if dozens of guests suddenly show up, no matter how hard you try to entertain them, if the tableware and utensils aren't ready, you'll just worry about it, and there's no way to entertain them. If you always have the tools ready, no matter how many people, you can entertain them according to the number. That's why he wrote the old words that everyday preparation is the most important thing.


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