Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Anonymous: "Samurai Song, 14th Century"

[Curator's Note: This poem, or song, is sometimes called "The Warrior's Creed." It's found widely on the Internet, in various forms, without indication of source. Whether the poem is actually what its title suggests, I can't say. If you have any information concerning its origins, please share.]

I have no parents:
I make the heaven and earth my parents.

I have no home:
I make awareness my home.

I have no life and death:
I make the tides of breathing my life and death.

I have no divine powers:
I make honesty my divine power.

I have no means:
I make understanding my means.

I have no secrets:
I make my character my secret.

I have no body:
I make endurance my body.

I have no eyes:
I make the flash of lightning my eyes.

I have no ears:
I make sensibility my ears.

I have no limbs:
I make promptness my limbs.

I have no miracles:
I make right action my miracle.

I have no principles:
I make adaptability to all circumstances my principle.

I have no tactics:
I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.

I have no talent:
I make ready wit my talent.

I have no friends:
I make my mind my friend.

I have no enemy:
I make carelessness my enemy.

I have no armor:
I make benevolence and righteousness my armor.

I have no castle:
I make immovable mind my castle.

I have no sword:
I make absence of self my sword.

"Samurai Song, 14th Century" by Anonymous.

Image credit: Sketch by Shamsul Bahari (originally black and white).



  1. I believe it was a poem by an anonimous samuri.

  2. I came across it in the '70s when I was living in California. I have carried it with me all these years; every place I have lived it hangs on a wall of my room.

  3. It's from the Kiai-jutsu Sakkatsu Jizai, by Kumashiro Hikotarō, published in 1911.


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