About Yamamoto Tsunetomo
Yamamoto Tsunetomo was a warrior of the Saga Domain in the Haizen Province, working under his lord Nabeshima Mitsushige.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo dedicated his entire life to his lord and provided 30 years of service to him. He is also known by another name, Yamamoto Jocho, a name he took after becoming a monk at Nabeshima.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo was always a little different than the others. When Tsunetamo's master died, he did not practice the tradition of 'Junshi' because his master did not like that practice very much. On the other hand, he decided to opt for a 'Non-Junshi' tradition. Tsunetomo faced many restrictions from the Nabeshima clan and Nabeshima's successor, but after a few debates, he renounced worldly life and settled in a hermitage in the mountains.
In the old days, Tsunetomo told his story to another samurai, Tsuramoto Tashiro. His epigram mainly included his lord, father, and grandfather and their ways that led to the failure of the samurai caste. Tsynetomo's father's name was Yamamoto Jin'emon. All his concerns and sayings were compiled and published in 1716 as 'Hagakure'. The word 'Hagakure' loosely translates to 'In The Shadow Of Leaves.'
However, this book was unsuccessful until the '30s, when it became a vivid representative of the 'Bushido' of Japanese tradition. In 2012, Hagakure's comic version was released, known as 'The Manga Edition' and translated by William Scott. Yamamoto Jōchō had only two thoughts throughout his life: purity and focus. Some people do not agree with Tsunetomo's ideas as they implied they were reckless and consider him a person of immediate action due to some of his sayings. Similarly, people did not appreciate the part where Yamamoto Tsunetomo shared his thoughts against 47 Ronin and his disapproval of this carefully planned vendetta.
Childhood And Education
In 1659, in Kyushu, in the southern part of the Japanese islands, Yamamoto Tsunetomo was born into a samurai family. His father's name was Yamamoto Jin'emon, and he was a loyal servant and warrior of the Nabeshima Katsushige. Katsushige passed away two years before Tsunetomo's birth.
When Tsunetomo was young, his skinny physique rewarded him as a sick child who wasn't supposed to live long. However, Teunemtno crossed 60, which was regarded as a pretty good day in those days.
Young Tsenemoto followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Nabdeshima Clan. His first official position was as a page to Mitsushige. When he turned 20, he was selected as a retainer. At that time, he studied under the Zen Buddhist Priest Tannen and Scholar Ishdua Ittei. These two people highly influenced Tsenemoto's way of living and philosophy.
With the help of his nephew, Yamamoto Jocho was able to secure a position as a scribe in the capital. However, due to an unfortunate fire incident, his nephew (older than Yamamoto) resigned and took responsibility for the fire, automatically resulting in Tsunetomo's job loss.
Later, Yamamoto was appointed as the daimyo's librarian. Unlike other world traditions, Japan's samurai clan used to fulfill administrative and military roles. After serving for 30 years, in 1700, Yamamoto's lord, Nabeshima Mitsushige, died. After his lord's death, Yamamoto tried to perform 'Junshi(ritual suicide) in respect of his lord but was unable to do it because Mirsushige was against this tradition. Because of that, Tsunetomo decided to become a Buddhist priest, and his wife decided to be a part of this reign by becoming a nun.
After Yamamoto Tsunetomo became a monk, he changed his name to Yamamoto Jōchō, sometimes referred to as Jocho only. He returned to live in a hermitage in the woods despite opposition from Nabeshima's successor. He offered the world his incredible masterpiece, 'Hagakure', which means 'Hidden Among The Shadow Of Leaves'. However, Yamamoto did not write this book, which was written by one of his disciples and another samurai, Tsuramoto. In this book, Tsunetomo expressed his thoughts against 47 Ronin, a vividly planned vendetta.
In 2011, Hagakure's 'Manga edition' in a comic version was translated by William Scott and gained broad appreciation globally.
Family and Relationship
Who was Yamamoto Tsunetomo partner?
Tsunetomo was born into a warrior family in Japan. His father was a prominent member of the Japanese samurai reign. By the time he became a teenager, he was already working as a page for Mitsushige. He had a wife who followed in his footsteps and became a nun when he decided to be a monk and settle in a hermitage in the woods.
However, there is no information about Yamamoto Tsunetomo's mother or children. According to the reports, he did not have any children. And after Tsunetomo became a monk, he lived his life alone in a hermitage in the mountains.
Career And Professional Highlights
Best Known For…
Yamamoto Tsunetomo is best known as a samurai, writer, and philosopher. In modern Japan, his book 'Hagakure' is widely appreciated. His book's 'Manga edition', translated by William Scott Even though Yamamoto was a warrior, he was not a part of a single battle in his life. He dedicated his entire life to purity, hope, and focus.
Yamamoto served his lord for 30 years. After his lord, Mitsushige's death, he decided to follow his master in his death. He came to know that his master and shogunate were named the entire practice. His book, 'Hagakure', is not a structured thesis of a warrior. On the other hand, it reflects Yamamoto's emotions and recalls the views of his lord and others.
'Hagakure' is a unique set of emotions that offers a code of conduct for a samurai but is also connected to the civil war periods. According to Tsunetomo's thoughts, a samurai is primarily a warrior and must keep their appearance. Tsunetomo highly emphasizes outward grooming as evidence of inner resolve. As a samurai, if you are not appropriately dressed, there is a high chance that you may appear as a weak opponent to your enemy.
According to Yamamoto's views, he does not insist or emphasize that a samurai should seek health. On the other hand, he makes them understand that they must overcome the fear of death if they wish to survive respectfully in the world.
After Yamamoto's death, 'Hagakure' appearance was stretched from a minimum to never. Even so, the Nabeshima clan used 'Hagakure' as a reference; his work was not published. There is no doubt behind the disappearance of a controversial book by the central government when its originator is dead.
This remained the same until the Meijo restoration in 1868. 'Hagakure' was officially published in the early 20th century when it was almost the end of the Meiji period. In the '30s, some changes were made in the book, and loyalty to DAIMYO was replaced by loyalty to EMPEROR.
After Japan and America's occupation defeat, 'Hagakure' was avoided. According to some readers, the book led Japan to commence the Pacific war. But Hiroaka Kimitake highlighted another fact that said the book also had something to say about post-war Japan.
In 1967, Mishima Yukio, aka Hiroaka Kimitake, published a short version of 'Hagakure' in which he carefully extracted the sentences to avoid further controversy.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo dedicated his entire life to peace. Even though he was a samurai, Tsunetomo had not been a part of a single battle in his life. His work, 'Hagakure', comprised all the points that led to a victorious samurai.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hobbies And Interests
Tsunetomo received regular samurai training as he grew up. His main interests were calligraphy, swordsmanship, and poetry composition.
Teunetomo loved calligraphy and did many works during his teenage age. Also, his interests were mainly in philosophy, and he decided to become a priest after his master's death. Once he went to live in the woods, he dedicated his entire life to it. Tsunetomo always wanted to do a little work for Japan's samurai culture. Therefore, with the help of another samurai, his book 'Hagakure' came to life, where he demonstrated how a samurai should behave in public and throughout his entire life.
Other Interesting Yamamoto Tsunetomo Facts And Trivia
- Yamamoto Tsunetomo was born on June 11, 1659, and died on November 30, 1719.
- Tsunetomo's nationality was Japan.
- Not much information is available online about Tsunetomo's mother and wife. Also, Tsunetomo did not have any children.
- When Tsunetomo was a kid, he started following in his father's footsteps of becoming a samurai. He was highly impressed by the Zen Buddhist priest, Tannen, and decided to make his philosophy a part of his life.
- Yamamoto Tsunetomo was a simple person who was always looking for a simple life. When Tsunetomo was young, he was regarded as a skinny child who wasn't supposed to live a healthy and youthful life. Despite this, Tsunetomo crossed 60 years with a healthy body.
- Later in his life, Yamamoto decided to become a Zen Buddhist priest.
- Yamamoto Tsunetomo was born into a samurai family. His father was also a samurai and a prominent member of the military.
- When Yamamoto's master, Mitsushige, died in 1700, he decided not to follow the so-called tradition and follow his lord's steps to die.
- When Yamamoto told the Nabeshima clan that he had decided to opt for another way than the Junshi tradition, he faced a lot of debate from them.
- Tsunetomo decided to become a priest and settled down in the mountains. His wife followed in his footsteps and chose to serve as a nun.
- After settling in the woods, he narrated his life to another samurai, Tashiro Tsuramoto, who wrote the world-famous Japanese book, 'Hagakure.' The meaning of 'Hagakure' is the shadow of leaves or the shadow of hidden leaves.
- The book 'Hagakure' was published in 1716.
- 'Hagakure' became famous in the '30s and was represented as one of Japan's most popular bushido.
- Despite being a samurai, Yamamoto did not get involved in even a single battle in his entire life.
- In 2011, a comic version of 'Hagakure' gained popularity worldwide.
- Tsunetomo lived his entire life solely on two terms: purity and focus.
- Tsunetomo brought many changes in the Japanese tradition and was entirely against some of the proven vendettas, including 47 Ronin.
- One of the most famous quotes from the 'Hagakure' interprets that the samurai's duty must be focused on victory and not survival.
- Some people did not appreciate Tsunetomo's attitude of immediate action.
- Because Yamamoto Tsunetomo was too involved in his work, some people started saying that Yamamoto Tsunetomo looked 'Too Intelligent' for his age. Therefore, he invested one year of his life trying to look 'less intelligent.'
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