titlebar of About Hagakure

About 300 years ago, when TOKYO was still called EDO, MITSUSHIGE NABESHIMA, 2nd Feudal Lord of the SAGA Clan (the current SAGA Prefecture) at the time, passed away. His feudatory, "TSUNETOMO YAMAMOTO" who had devoted himself to serving MITSUSHIGE, cut off his topknot, triggered by his master's death. And he shaved off his hair and became a priest, who changed his name to "JOUCHOU KYOKUZAN", to dedicate the rest of his life to praying for the soul of the deceased lord, staying at the foot of KINRYU-ZAN(Mt. KINRYU) in SAGA.

10 years later, "TSURAMOTO TASHIRO", a samurai of the same NABESHIMA Clan, visited the hermitage of JOUCHOU, starting the historic and destined encounter.

Then, the young samurai continued to visit the former "SAMURAI of THE SAMURAI" and took 7 years to compile "Hagakure Kikigaki" in 1716, in which 1,343 episodes were divided into 11 volumes. Those episodes were on "the principles of samurai" and the military prowess of Feudal Lord NABESHIMA and other feudal lords in the Warring State Period, recounted by JOUCHOU, the life master for TSURAMOTO.

Primarily, these books would have never been loaned out into the world. But maybe due to the support from God and Buddha, as the one to be kept for the future generations, the stories have been inevitably living and continued to be told with the mission.

Even today, more than 300 years later, the books have strongly retained the teachings of Buddhism (ZEN Buddhism) and also taught us how to live, which is relevant to everything, "society, education and child rearing".

We, "HAGAKURE 1716", encountered Hagakure, and were impressed with one passage from The Four Oaths of the Hagakure, "To manifest great compassion, and to act for the sake of Man". We will continue to take action with a theme that we should contemplate again what the Japanese should be by nature, which the modern Japanese begin to forget, and share love of benevolence and happiness with the whole world and nurture the joy of living together.