Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hagakure: The Spirit of an Age

While watching a silent movie from around 100 years ago, I was thinking how odd it is that my business raises pigs that would have been popular then.

I was reminded of this:
It is said that what is called 'the spirit of an age' is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world's coming to an end. In the same way, a single year does not have just spring or summer. A single day, too, is the same. For this reason, although one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. This is the mistake of people who are attached to past generations; they have no understanding of this point. On the other hand, people who only know the disposition of the present day and dislike the ways of the past are too lax.
-Yamamoto Tsunemoto, "Hagakure: The Book of the Samuari"

Running this business requires combining practices of the past with modern technology so as to serve the current generation. It doesn't help to be attached to the past in a dogmatic way.

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