The Greatest Legacy for Future Generations
As some of you may know, GLASP stands for "Greatest Legacy Accumulated as Shared Proof.” It is our hope that through GLASP, people's learning and attitudes toward learning are public and accessible to other people and that they will be passed on to others and future generations.
We have come to this thought and wish partly due to our experience, but also largely due to the influence of one book we are about to introduce. The book is a transcription of a lecture given by Kanzo Uchimura, a Japanese Christian, in 1894 and published in 1897. We have been strongly influenced by this book and have read it many times since, and we have decided to translate and publish this book on the founding of Glasp in the hope that you will read it as well. Here is the content of the book. The original content in Japanese is available here. (*We have confirmed that there is no copyright infringement.)
In the book, the author mentions four legacies to pass on to future generations: Money, business, thoughts, and noble and courageous life.
Table of Contents
- Money as a Legacy
- Business as a Legacy
- Thoughts as a Legacy
- Noble and Courageous Life as a Legacy
It is summer and we are at the peak of the mountain. I might be able to wave my hands and fly my feet and add some heat to my blood and get your blood flowing, but I don't like to do that, and I don't think you would like it either. So, I know that this lecturer may be the pioneer of the Christian orator sitting down to speak at a Christian conference (the whole room laughed), but if it serves my purpose to do so, I am willing to break with precedent and sit down to talk with you here. You may consider this another act of the subversive party (applause).
I have therefore titled this article "The Greatest Legacy for Future Generations." If I were to write about all of my thoughts and feelings on this subject, it might take longer than the usual one hour. If it becomes too long and boring, please feel free to leave, and if I get tired again, I may ask for a break. If it becomes too long, I may mention it then, as I have an hour tomorrow morning. I do not want to make a noisy speech when I am in such a clean and quiet place, as I do in Tokyo or other noisy places where everyone is in high spirits. I am here to meet with you, speak my mind, and answer your questions.
While visiting Tokyo for this summer school, I stopped by Tokyo and had a conversation with my grandfather about poetry. My grandfather brought out an old poem by Sanyo. It was this book that my grandfather gave me that I read Sanyo's poems for the first time (holding the book in my hand). I brought the Sanyo book with me again when I came to this summer school. In the book, there is a poem that encouraged me when I was very young. As you all know, this poem is the first one in Sanyo's poems: “My thirteen years have flown by like the flow of a going river. Heaven and earth are eternal and unchanging, without beginning or end, but life is fleeting, and what is born must surely die. Since I have been given a limited life, I should somehow strive to become like the great men of the past and accomplish a worthy task that will remain in history for a thousand years to come.” It is a famous poem that Sanyo wrote when he was 13 years old. Looking back on my own life, I read this poem when I was still a student at a foreign language school, and I could not help but agree with it. I have been weak since I was a child, but my weak body has no place in society, and there is no telegraph line to pull me into society, but I am determined to become a historical person so that my name will remain as one of the lineages in the history books of the millennium. I do not consider this desire to be a bad desire. When I told my father about it and told my friends about it, they were very happy. "If you have so much hope, your life is very promising," they said. However, when I suddenly came into contact with Christianity and received the Christian teachings that were usually preached in this country, I lost much of the desire I had as a young man to be a person whose name will remain as one of the lineages in the history books of the millennium. I had a pessimistic view of the world. In other words, I became to have the idea that becoming a person whose name will remain as one of the lineages in the history books of the millennium is a carnal, unbelieving, and heathenish idea, we must not pass on our names to future generations, and we must take away the idea. Therefore, my life may indeed have been purer than the previous one. But it was also more boring than the last one. I had a desire to avoid sinning, to avoid doing anything that is detrimental to God, and to simply finish this life in a good manner so that I could be saved by Christ to heaven and have eternal joy in the future.
I was not without a certain amount of joy, but it was the opposite of how I had felt in the past. I no longer had the desire to do business in this world, raise a flag in this world, or live a manly life in this world. Since it is almost gone, I have come to think of it as a so-called monkish causal idea. And so it is not only with me but also with those who teach me. I often go to, there are no missionaries here, so I'm sure you will forgive me if I speak ill of them a little, ...... missionaries and tell them about my hopes, and they say, “You should not have such hopes. Such a thing is covetousness, and it comes from a heart that is not yet inspired by Christianity." I am sure that you have also encountered such a thought somewhere. I see that the idea of becoming a person whose name will remain as one of the lineages in the history books of the millennium may be a very low idea, depending on how you look at it. We want to bequeath our name to the world. In a sense, this is an idea that we should not have. It is a very un-Christian idea that a king of Egypt built a pyramid so that his name would be known throughout the world, that is, that he used the labor of all the people to build a large pyramid so that the world would know that he was the king of his country. It is said that when the famous Itohira died, his last will was, "Build an immense tomb for me.” He willed that someone famous in Japan should write “Itohei in the world" on his tomb. I do not think that Itohei's idea of telling this world about Itohei in the world to its thousandth generation is Christian. And there are many other such examples. I recently read in an American newspaper that a lady, a widow with great wealth, expressed her wish: "I want my name to be remembered by the people of my country after I die, but it is common for people to donate their money to schools or hospitals, I want to make a great tomb, the first in the world so that I will be remembered for a thousand years to come.” The tomb was completed the other day. I don't know how magnificent the tomb is, but I was surprised at the calculation. It is certainly not a Christian idea to spend two million dollars to build a tomb for oneself.
However, from a certain point of view, the idea of becoming a person whose name will remain as one of the lineages in the history books of the millennium is not such a bad idea, not only is it not a bad idea, but it is a good idea for Christians to have if we look at it in its true sense. In terms of the interpretation of our life, this life is a stairway to the future. It is just a preparatory school before entering a university. If our life were to disappear after only fifty years, it would be a very boring one. However, this is a purely religious matter, and it is not something I wish to discuss with you this evening.
However, I have hope. If I pass through this world and go to heaven in peace, if I graduate from my preparatory school and enter a university in heaven, if I ask myself if that is enough, then a pure desire will arise in my heart. In other words, I will not die without bequeathing this beautiful earth that has given me 50 years of life, this beautiful country, this pleasant society, the mountains and rivers that nurtured us, and all these things. I do not want to just go to heaven after I die, but I want to leave something behind here. I am not asking that future generations praise me or honor me in any way, but only that I leave behind in this world a memorial of how much I loved this earth, how much I loved this world, and how much I cared for my fellow human beings, in other words, I want to leave behind a memento in English. This is a beautiful idea. When I was in the United States, this thought often came to my mind. When I left the University in the States from which I graduated, I planted a beloved tree on the campus with my comrades on the day of our graduation ceremony. This was to be a legacy of my love for my school where I was raised for four years. Some of my classmates who had money were not satisfied with just that but also donated a music hall, a bookstore, or an athletic field to the school.
But when we leave this school called the world today, will we leave behind anything? From that point of view, I still have hope that I want to become a person whose name will remain as one of the lineages in the history books of the millennium. I want to leave a memento on this earth, a proof of my love for this earth, a monument of my love for my people. Therefore, since we were both born here, we may go to a country where we are happy, but while we are in this world, I want to make this world a better place, even if only a little. I want to leave behind our Memento in this world. The famous astronomer Herschel said to his friend when he was about 20 years old, "My dear friend, when we die, let us make the world a little better than when we were born.” Isn't it a beautiful hope for a young man? "When I die, let's make this world a little better than when I was born.” Read Herschel's biography. He is a man who has done a great deal of good in this world. He was a man who painted all of the celestial bodies that had never been known before. The knowledge of today's astronomers has benefited from Herschel's work, as he spent several years in the Cape of Good Hope colony in Africa, charting the stars of the southern hemisphere. It opened the way for navigation, commerce, and human progress, and it finally allowed us to send missionaries to foreign lands. We, like Herschel, must all hope for each other's ambition and fulfill it. We all want to make the world a better place by the time we die. Don't we want to accomplish some businesses and, if possible, leave this country a little better off than when we were born? I think we all agree on this point.
So this next one is about legacy. What shall we leave behind? What are we going to leave our beloved earth with? I have thought about it, and not only thought about it but often tried to do it. I wanted to leave something behind, and I thought to leave this behind. So I think there will be many legacies for future generations. I can't talk about every one of them. However, I would like to start with the first thing that comes to our mind.
Money as a Legacy
Among the things we bequeath to future generations, there is one thing that is of the utmost importance. That is money. When we die, we leave a legacy to society, not only to our children but also to society, which I believe is what many people are thinking. If I were to say this in front of Christians, I am sure that they would object that it is trivial to bequeath money. I remember that. I first came to Tokyo in 1881 as a mountain man from Sapporo. At that time, there was a strange phenomenon in Tokyo, which was called “revival." At that time, I was thinking about what I wanted to bequeath to future generations. Since I was educated in business, of course, I wanted to bequeath money, and I wanted to save Japan by bequeathing millions of dollars. I had no idea at that time that I would be chosen to teach at a summer school in 1894 (the whole room laughed loudly). I wanted to bequeath money and become a rich man. However, when I told this to a pastor who was very passionate about revival, he scolded me very much. He admonished, "You should work for the gospel because such a thing as wanting to bequeath money is chicken and will be solved in any way.” But I did not change my mind. I still do not. A person who despises those who bequeath money is a person who is stingy and miserly in the matter of money. I am not going to give a long lecture on the value of money here, but I am sure that you are fully aware of the necessity of money. To those who say that money is a thing of the universe and that money can be made at any time, Franklin replied, "Well, then, make it now.” I later asked him what kind of person the pastor was who said he did not need money, and he told me that he was a man who wanted money a lot. We have always believed that money can be obtained at any time, but in reality, it is very difficult to obtain money when money is needed. At times, wealth seems to be something that hangs in the air, as if it can be obtained anywhere, but only those who receive divine help are able to gather such wealth into one. It is autumn and geese are flying in the sky. Whoever catches them is fine, but it is difficult to catch them. If a person has ten or twenty geese in his hand, it is worth it. This is why one sparrow in your hand is more precious than two sparrows on a tree. If there is a desire in you to accumulate money, which is like money floating in the universe, so that future generations may be able to use it, then I, with all my heart and with all my soul, encourage him to do this, saying, "You, accumulate money" in the name of Jesus Christ, in the name of God the Father, in the name of the Holy Spirit, for the sake of the Church, the nation, and the world. To unite wealth is a great undertaking. So, whether our actual problems today are social problems, church problems, youth problems, or educational problems, when we look at them in detail, they are still financial problems. Who here can say that money is unnecessary? I would like to see rich people and businessmen arise among Christ-followers. It is our present need to have someone who will stand behind us when we work and who fully understands our hearts to look after us. Therefore, I truly pray that those young men and women who have the desire to bequeath money to future generations will turn to them and, through God-given means, bequeath much money to our descendants. I have seen an orphanage built by a famous French merchant named Girard of Philadelphia, who immigrated to the United States. This is the largest orphanage in the world. There are about 700 orphans of elementary school age. If orphans up to junior high school and college-age were counted, there would probably be more than 1,000 orphans. Looking at the organization of the orphanage, it was not an orphanage like the ones we have in Japan today, where the lack of endowment money prevented the business, but an orphanage built by Girard with all the money he had accumulated during his lifetime. When we read about Girard's life, we find that he accumulated money with a single purpose in mind. He had no children, and his wife died early. He said "I have no wife, no children, and no purpose. But I want to build the world's best orphanage" and worked hard and built the orphanage with the money he had made. At that time, the U.S. was in the process of opening its doors to the outside world, so it was not possible to accumulate money as quickly as now. However, the amount of money he accumulated over my lifetime was about 2 million dollars. With it, he bought a lot of unnoticed land in Pennsylvania. When he died, he said, "Take this money and build two orphanages, one in New Orleans, where he raised me, and one in Philadelphia, where I lived.” He seemed to be a man of strange habits, and he hated churches very much. He died with the rare condition, "I will not place any condition on the use of this money, but I will not allow any denominational teacher to enter the orphanage where I have built.” Therefore, even today, I am sorry to say that Methodist teachers, supervisory church teachers, and union church teachers are not allowed in this orphanage. Anyone else can be there. I will not tell you about the organization of the orphanage because it is a long story, but I will tell you about the mountain that he purchased with the two million dollars that I mentioned earlier. This is the mountain that produces coal and iron in Pennsylvania today. In fact, today's wealth is almost tens of millions of dollars. Now they can expand their business as much as they want, there is just no one to expand it. Nevertheless, if any of you should ever visit Philadelphia, I recommend that you visit this orphanage first and foremost.
Peabody, a well-known philanthropist, was a man who, when he first left the mountains of Belmont, had hopes of making it to Boston and becoming a millionaire. He came out of his hometown penniless. So, of course, there were no trains to Boston at that time, and even if there were horse-drawn carriages, they were not available for free without money, so he went to the owner of an inn and said, "I have to go to Boston, but it is getting dark and I am in trouble, so will you let me stay over tonight?" The owner of the inn was so pitiful that he was willing to let him stay the night. However, Peabody turned to the innkeeper and said, "I don't want to stay here for free without paying, but only if you give me something." However, the innkeeper said, "If you want to stay, you are free to stay.” But Peabody said, "I'm sorry about that.” Then he looked around the house and saw that there were many piles of firewood in the back. So, he asked the innkeeper for permission to chop wood in the back of the inn in exchange for his kindness, and worked until late afternoon and into the night, chopping wood and working until he had enough to pay for the inn. I do not know how many millions of dollars Peabody spent during his lifetime, but he amassed a lot of money, especially for the education of blacks. I must say that the reason why the blacks in America today are as socially active as the Japanese are because of the money of philanthropists like Peabody. I have come home knowing that Americans are very weak when it comes to money and that Americans are a people who have been greatly violated when it comes to money, but I also know that there are rich Americans and that the fact that they can accumulate money with a pure purpose and use it for a pure cause is a major cause of America's current greatness. If we do not have people who accumulate money with this purpose in mind when engaging in business, then there will be no real businessmen among us. If businessmen do not arise with such a purpose in mind, they will not benefit the nation no matter how much they arise. It is better not to give charity to the poor, such as giving a small amount of 10,000 yen to a poor person at the time of the Constitution's promulgation ceremony and then giving 50 or 60 sen to each poor person. Mitsubishi amassed tens of millions of yen, and I believe that Mitsubishi will continue to do good business until ...... today, but what has he done until ...... today? He gained a lot of power, and built a magnificent house and a splendid villa, but there is nothing to see what Japanese society has benefited from it. I hope that Christian businessmen will arise and that the spirit of businessman will arise among us, that making money is not for one's own sake, but to use wealth for the nation according to the right path of God and in accordance with the just laws of heaven, earth, and the universe. It is my hope that such businessmen will arise in our country today, more than that theology students. If you think there are ten theology students among Christians today, there is not a single businessman. If you think there are a hundred, there is not a single businessman. Or, if you think there are a thousand, there may or may not be a single businessman. There is no young man who has the pure idea of serving God and his country with money. I want a businessman like Kinokuniya Bunzaemon, whom I have often heard of, who does not have the lowly idea of accumulating a million Ryo and spending a million Ryo, but rather accumulating a million Ryo and spending a million Ryo for the sake of God. That is the kind of businessman I want. I think it is a very pure hope to bequeath a million Ryo for the sake of the country and society. It is a hope that I would like to have for myself today. If I could do it myself, I would, but unfortunately, I do not have the skills to do so, so if any of you have such hope, I urge those who are engaged in the education business to be careful not to disappoint others by saying, "Your business is a lowly business." And I hope that anyone who has such hope will be sufficiently encouraged by God to think that this is what he has commanded him to do. I heard that a rich American man gave his inheritance to his children saying, "I give you this money, but not one penny of it is worth a penny of this filthy money,” we want that kind of money.
When asked what is the most important thing among the greatest legacies to bequeath to future generations, I replied, Money. However, no one has the power to accumulate money. I think this is a Genius. Unfortunately, I do not have this genius. Someone once told me that the ears of a person who has the genius to accumulate money are very swollen and hang downwards, but I looked in the mirror and saw that my ears are very shrunken, so it appears that I do not have this genius (loud laugh). Among the students I have taught, there is one who possesses this genius. One of them was sent away to Hokkaido penniless, but now he has wealth ten times greater than mine. I told him, "If I become poor in the future, you will help me." In fact, making money, like any other profession, is the vocation of some people. I doubt that anyone can make money. When a person who should not give even the slightest thought to making money tries to make money, he or she looks very dirty. Not only that, but money is one of the greatest legacies to future generations, and if it is left in the wrong way, it can do a lot of harm. Therefore, not only those who have the power to accumulate money but also those who have the power to spend it must emerge. Like the famous Gould, who amassed $20 million during his lifetime. For this purpose, he made four of his close friends commit suicide, and he accumulated $20 million by taking down a company here and taking down a company there. Someone once said, "Gould never gave a sum of $1,000 for charity.” What did he do with the money when he died? He simply gave it to his children. In other words, Gould was a man who knew how to accumulate money and did not know how to spend it. Therefore, anyone who wants to make money a legacy must have the ability to accumulate money and the ability to spend it. I think it is very dangerous for a person who does not have these two ideas, who has not made up his mind about these two ideas, to accumulate money.
Business as a Legacy
Now, what will those who, like me, are not good at accumulating money, or who cannot spend it, bequeath to the legacy of future generations? I have no hope of ever becoming rich, so I abandoned the idea almost ten years ago. But if I cannot bequeath money, then the real question arises, what will I bequeath? So, I thought to myself, what is a better legacy than money? Business, in other words, is the use of money. Since money represents labor, one can use labor to transform it into a business and pass away with the business as one's legacy. Many entrepreneurs do not have the ability to earn money. The rich and the entrepreneur seem to be two different things. People in Osaka are very good at spending money, while people in Kyoto are very good at accumulating money. A merchant in Tokyo told me that those who have money cannot do business, but those who do not have money use other people's money to do business. When we consider the success of a pure businessman, it is never about money. Gould was never an entrepreneur. Vanderbilt is not an entrepreneur. Vanderbilt was very good at making money. And he only helped other people's businesses. The famous Stanford, California man was very good at making money. However, Stanford had three friends. I will not tell you about my friend, because there is no time, but there are many people who have made money and spent money. So if I cannot accumulate money and bequeath it, perhaps God has given me the genius to do business. If so, even though I cannot bequeath money, I will be fully satisfied if I bequeath a business. So, doing business is a beautiful thing, of course. The most obvious business is a civil engineering business. I am not a civil engineer, but I like to look at civil engineering projects very much. It is a great pleasure for us to bequeath a civil engineering business, and I believe that we are also bequeathing eternal joy and wealth to future generations. Today, I took a boat to the other side of the lake. There is a sluice gate at the southern end of the lake. The sluice is a tunnel that goes under the foot of the mountain. I heard that through this tunnel, water from the lake falls into Numazu and irrigates 2,000 to 3,000 Koku of rice paddies. Yesterday, I met a friend who told me about the digging of that hole. I was very happy when I heard about it. The person who dug that hole must have been exactly six hundred years ago, but we do not know who dug it. Only this legend remains. There were two peasant brothers in a neighborhood in Hakone who were very sober, and they said to each other, "We were born in this blessed country, and we must leave something to future generations." But the elder brother said, "If we, poor people like us, could do nothing great, we would not be a great legacy to future generations." The younger brother turned to his elder brother and said, "If you were to hollow out this mountain, take water from the lake, and create rice paddies, wouldn't that be a great legacy for future generations?” The brother said, "That's very interesting, then you dig from the top and I'll dig from the bottom. Let's dig this hole even if it takes a lifetime.” They did not have surveying instruments at that time, so they set a marker on top of the mountain and dug from both sides. Then the brothers spent their entire lives doing nothing but ...... work, probably enough to make a career for themselves. ......They dug year after year, doing it from both sides. I don't remember the year, but it is said that those who dug from the lower part of the lake were four feet higher than those who dug from the lake water. The water was four feet above the ground, but as you know, the water was high, so it fell to the other side like water from a dragon's spit. The two brothers did this great work out of a spirit of eccentricity and a desire to leave a legacy to future generations when no one was watching them during their lifetime. They spent their entire lives digging this hole, even though no one was watching or praising them, and that is an achievement that still encourages us today. I don't remember how many thousands of Koku or how many people live in the five villages today, but they have been harvesting rice year after year since the Yoritomo period. Because of the lake, they never felt a drought. Indeed, the brothers must have been very happy people. If I could do nothing else, I would like to imitate him. This is a very important legacy. If I were to go back there now, the hole would probably be about ten towns or so in length, but at that time, there was no gunpowder or dynamite, so digging a hole like that must have been a very difficult task indeed.
It was not long ago that the Tenpozan mine in Osaka was cut down. The person who cut the Aji River is truly a man of great achievement for Japan. Because of the Aji River, the flow of the Kizu River in Osaka was diverted to the north, speeding up the water flow and thus eliminating flooding, as well as creating a deep harbor that connected all ships coming from Kyushu and Shikoku. The Yoshino River, which was cut during the reign of Hideyoshi, used to flow behind Osaka, causing tribulations to the people, but the Yoshino River was opened between Sakai and Sumiyoshi, which eliminated flood damage from the Yamato River, and dozens of villages were established behind Osaka Castle. This was also a very significant business. Another famous business was the cutting of the Agano River in Echigo. This was a truly great business. The famous Shibata estate of 100,000 Goku, now probably the center of wealth in Japan, was also a great business. When I think of these great businesses, the thought that comes to my mind is that if I cannot bequeath money to future generations, I would like to bequeath business. If we put our heart and soul into not only our civil engineering businesses but also other businesses, our businesses will gradually grow larger and larger, just as money earns interest and interest earns more interest and more interest, and the more interest we earn, the more our businesses will grow.
Whenever I think of business, I cannot help but think of the famous David Livingston. I, therefore, recommend to those of you who speak English to read the book "Life and Letters of David Livingstone" written by Scottish Professor Brake. Besides the Bible, two other books have greatly inspired me throughout my life. The first is Carlyle's Cromwell. I will talk about that later. The second one is "David Livingstone," written by Mr. Brake. I have to say that I respect him more as a great entrepreneur than as a religious man or a missionary. If I could not accumulate money, or if I could not start a civil engineering business, I would like to do something like David Livingstone. This man was the son of a Glasgow, Scotland, planter, and from a young age, he was very careful about public works. "Somewhere I want to start a business."......David Livingstone's idea was that he wanted to go to China, with this hope, he appealed to the British missionary company, but they would not allow him to go to China, saying that there was no need to send him to China. Finally, he went to Africa and gave his life for Africa for 37 years, mainly evangelizing in the beginning. However, he thought that to save Africa forever, he could not evangelize today. He thought, I must explore the interior of Africa, revealing its geography, and open trade to give it power, and then evangelism will surely come as a result of business. So he stopped evangelizing and became an explorer. He crossed Africa three times in all directions and was able to identify lakes he had not been able to see and determine the direction of rivers he had not been able to see before, and this led to various major businesses. However, Livingstone's work did not end there, as it was followed by Stanley's expedition, Peters' expedition, and Chamberlain's expedition, and none of today's so-called African problems can be attributed to Livingstone's work. The Free State of Congo, an alliance of nine Western nations, which led to the establishment of a Protestant free state in the heart of Africa, was also a result of Livingstone's work.
Today Britain is a great country, and today the American Republic is a great country. I often wonder where it all began. I may be a little biased about who I admire, and if I am, please judge me as such, but in my opinion, the greatness of today's England is due to the emergence of the Puritan faction in England. The reason why America became the republic that it is today is because of the Puritan faction in England. But what is the reason that the Puritans have bequeathed, or are bequeathing, a great enterprise to this world? Nothing, because there was a Puritan general among them. The business of Oliver Cromwell, who was in power for only five years, seems to have ended with his death, but this is not the case. Cromwell's work is making Britain what it is today. But it will be a long time before Britain reaches Cromwell's ideals. He bequeathed Britain to future generations. He bequeathed the United States. It is his legacy that the Anglo-Saxons came to dominate Australia, gain power in South America, and rule the Americas.
Thoughts as a Legacy
Last night, I talked about what we should bequeath to future generations, first of all, money, and secondly, business. By the way, if we have neither the genius to accumulate money nor the genius to spend it, nor the genius to do business, nor the social standing to do business, what should we do in this world? To do business, we need not only a special genius from God but also a position in society. We sometimes criticize people by asking why they do nothing when they have genius, but I believe that this is a cruel criticism that is often leveled at us. When a person gains a position, even the most trivial of people can do great deeds. Without a position, there are many people, even the most eminent ones, who have ended up in the mountains with empty aspirations. Therefore, I think it is clear that you cannot evaluate a person by his or her business. Therefore, if I had no genius for business, no position to do so, no friends, and no support from society, I would die in ruin, and the question would arise as to whether I have anything to leave to the world. If I am unable to accumulate money and society does not allow me to do my business, I still have one thing to leave behind. What it is, is my thought. If the world does not allow me to carry out my ideas, I can leave the spirit of carrying them out on paper with a brush and ink. Or, if not, I have a similar business. In other words, if I am unable to do my work while I am still alive in this world, I can train young people and pour out my thoughts to young people so that they can do my work. In short, this means writing and teaching students. I would like to discuss both writing and teaching here. However, since this will take some time, I would like to share with you my literary observations on the first of these, that of bequeathing our ideas. One way to bequeath our thoughts is to pour out our aspirations to the youth of today, but the only way to bequeath only our thoughts is through literature. This is precisely the point of literature. Literature is a tool for passing on to future generations the thoughts that are always in our hearts. I believe that this is the practical use of literature. We all know that the legacy of thoughts is great. The implementation of thoughts in the world is business. Since we are unable to do so in this world, we will only sow seeds and pass away, saying to future generations, "Though I go underground with bitterness and deploration, you who come after me, do as you will with my thoughts.” The greatness of the legacy is truly remarkable.
As we all know well, about 2,000 years ago, a very small book called "The New Testament" was written by a very small group of Jewish fishermen and other people who were not well known to the world. I don't need to tell you that this little book finally changed the whole world, but everyone here knows it. Sanyo is also the author of the theory of "Kinno" (the Emperor's duty). He said that to revive Japan, Japan must become a single entity. He had a great idea that to make Japan a single entity, we must respect the Japanese imperial family, stop the feudalistic rule of the Tokugawa dynasty, and make Japan into what we call today the age of dynasties. However, although Sanyo thought of carrying out this idea, he was unable to do so. A person without such foresight as Sanyo must have disappeared in the dew of battle when he tried to carry it out. However, Sanyo was not a fool. He knew that he could not do this during his lifetime, so he wrote about his aspirations in "Nihon Gaishi" ("History of Japan"). He did not write about the history of Japan in such a way as to protect the royal family. Even if Gaishi did not clearly state the history of Japan, he wrote the history of the Gaishi since the Genpei period and left it to us in the spirit of a diligent royalist. As for what was the driving force that brought about the restoration of the monarchy, it is well known that Sanyo's "Nihon Gaishi" was one of them, as many historians have said. Sanyo revived Japan with his ideas. If we look into the history of the period before and after the restoration of the monarchy, we can see that Sanyo did a great deal of good. I do not know anything else about Sanyo. There are two or three things about his conduct that I disagree with. I disagree with his theory of the state and his theory of the military system. However, Sanyo's ambition, "I have nothing to hope for in this life, but I have great hopes for the next," is something that I truly respect him for. Sanyo died with "Nihon Gaishi" as his legacy, and his bones are buried in Rakuyo Higashiyama, but the new nation of Japan was born from "Nihon Gaishi.”
Two hundred years ago in England, there was a scholar who was very sickly, short, and skinny. He was unknown to the world and was thought to be of no use, living in poverty all the time in a back store, people would say, "What does he do?”, was thought to be a man who could do nothing, however, he was a person who had a great idea. He was a man who held the great belief that human beings are of great value and that the individual is more important than the nation. In the middle of the 17th century, his theory was not accepted by society at all. At that time, in Europe, nationalism was the established principle. Italy, England, France, Germany, and other countries all believed that they had to cultivate a national spirit, and society as a whole was inclined toward the idea of a national organization. At that time, no matter who was in power, it was clear that no matter how much he announced to the world his belief that the individual was more important than the nation, he would not be able to carry it out. So this scholar secretly retreated to his back store and wrote a book. This man, as you probably know, is John Locke. The book is called "Human Understanding.” This book came to France, where it was read by Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Mirabeau, and the ideas spread throughout France, finally leading to the French Revolution of 1790, which moved 28 million French citizens. This led to movements throughout Europe, and even at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Europe was moved by John Locke's book. Then the United States was born. Then came the French Republic. Then came the Hungarian Reformation. Then came the independence of Italy. Indeed, John Locke's influence on European reforms has been profound. We are both feeling the results of that in Japan. What is our desire? Is it to increase the power of the individual? How far we can go with this is still a question, but at any rate, this is our wish. Of course, some people had such ideas before John Locke. However, John Locke died after writing a book titled "Human Understanding," which gave form to his ideas. However, his ideas are still working in us today. Although John Locke was physically weak and of very low social standing, I believe that he became the dominant figure in Europe today.
Therefore, it is a great undertaking to bequeath thoughts. If we cannot bequeath our business, we can bequeath our thoughts so that we can do our business in the future. Therefore, I must warn you of something. There is a literary person among us. Some think that if anyone picks up a brush and publishes a review in a magazine or something, he or she is a man of letters. Literature has become a toy for lazy bibliophiles. Anyone can do literature. This is why literature is considered by the Japanese to be a truly carefree pursuit. It is a truly enviable thing to retreat to the mountains and engage in writing. Genichiro Fukuchi built a villa by Shinobazu Pond and wrote a script about Nichiren Shonin. From other people's point of view, it looks very elegant. As for what kind of life Japanese people think a man of letters should have, we can see it when we go to a picture book shop. There is a picture of a beautiful woman sitting in front of a desk in a red-painted hall, holding up a brush and looking at the moon coming up from the other side. This is the Genji Room of Murasaki Shikibu. This is the Japanese literary style. But if literature is a thing of nature, then literature is not a legacy to bequeath to future generations, but rather a detriment to it. The book "The Tale of Genji" may have introduced beautiful words to Japan. But what did "The Tale of Genji" do to inspire Japanese morale? Not only has it done nothing, but it has also made us feminine and spiritless. Such literature should be exterminated from our midst. If such literature is literature, then we should be proud to tell the world that we, along with Carlyle, have never touched literature. Literature is not something like that. Literature is an instrument of our war against the world. The literature says that we cannot go to war today, so let us go to war in the future. Therefore, when a man of letters stands before a desk, it is the same as when Luther stood before the Council of Worms when Paul stood before King Agrippa, or when Cromwell drew his sword and faced the battlefield of Dunbar. We wage war with the aim of improving our society, and our country, and destroying the devil, the enemy of the world. It is said that when Luther entered a room and was writing something, the devil came out, so Luther took an inkstand and hit it. Historians say that this is not a true story. However, this is literature. We can't do business with anything else, so we take an inkstand and hit the devil with it. We are not trying to do business today. It is the ambition of the literati to leave this world with the idea of continuing our wars and our businesses on pen and paper well into the future. It is indeed the business of men of letters to leave behind a gift, our thoughts, in brush and paper, to bequeath to the future, and if God permits us to do so, we shall gratefully bequeath that gift. The famous General Wolff sang Gray's Elegy when he took Quebec City, saying, "I would rather write this Elegy than take Quebec." Of course, Elegy is not a radical, so-called Lutheran text. However, it has comforted English hearts like General Wolff's, and indeed, it has encouraged English courage to this day.
Thomas Gray was a famous scholar, and it is said that few men of his time were as accomplished in all branches of learning as he was. The critics say that of all the English literary figures, Thomas Gray was probably the most erudite and versatile. But what did Thomas Gray leave behind? If all of his books were collected together, a book like this one (hand-imitated) would probably run to 200 or 300 pages. But there is no great work like this one. Thomas Gray's legacy to future generations is nothing but a 300-line poem called Elegy. His forty-eight years of life ended with the writing of Elegy. However, Elegy will probably not disappear as long as the British people live, and as long as the British national language is spoken. Nothing has ever comforted so many people, especially the poor, the unacceptable, and those who have many aspirations but are unable to put them forth to the world as this poem. With this poem, Gray is comforting the world. We truly envy Gray's fate. It may seem small that a man of forty-eight years of learning died after leaving behind only three hundred lines of poetry, but Gray was truly a man of great accomplishment. In the words of the famous Henry Beecher: ...... I don't think this is Beecher's way of saying something small and petty: ......said, "I would rather write a hymn to 'Jesus, Lover of my soul' by Charles Wesley than spend 60 or 70 years of my life as I did." When you think about it, these words were said out of respect for Charles Wesley and not from Beecher's heart, but when you sing this song by Wesley over and over again and see how much feeling, how much taste, how much hope is in it, you may find what Beecher said to be true. Beecher's great work may never be as great as this one hymn. Therefore, if we have a thought, and if we are unable to put it into practice, it would be a great task to put it on paper and bequeath it to future generations. The work of the literati is therefore an enviable undertaking.
If this is the kind of business we would like to do, we would like to do it too. I am sure there are some of you who are saying, "But I can't do literature. I have never written a word, and I am not well educated, so I cannot be a man of letters." Some people look at "The Tale of Genji" and think that they cannot write with such fluency, or they look at Macaulay's writing and think that they cannot learn from it, or they look at Sanyo's writing and think that they cannot write like it, and they are disappointed, saying, "Even if I do, I cannot become a scholar." Some think that a man of letters is a person with a special vocation and that literature is not something that we mere mortals can do. This disappointment stems from the same soft thinking that I mentioned earlier. In other words, it stems from the literary idea of "The Tale of Genji.” Literature is not like that. Literature is the expression of our hearts as they are. John Banyan was an uneducated man. If he read any books at all, they were two tatters: The Bible and Fox's Book of Martyrs. Now, no one has the patience to read these books. I have read it in Sapporo. It is a book that one loses the courage to read after reading about ten pages. It is a book written by a Quaker, so there are many grammatical errors. However, Banyan read the book from beginning to end. He said, "I have read neither Plato's nor Aristotle's books, I wrote only what I think because I’m a poor sinner through the grace of Jesus Christ” and he wrote a famous book called "Pilgrim's Progress(Tianlu Rekisho)". So, perhaps the number one critic of English literature,...... a Frenchman named Thane, who died a few days ago,...... said of Banyan's book, " Perhaps when discussing the English language in terms of purity, no other book comes close to John Banyan's "Pilgrim's Progress." This is the purest English, free of any external clutter." And so that famous book is written by an uneducated man. So if we have the spirit of John Banyan, that is, if we write about how we felt, how we suffered, and how we rejoiced, rather than just telling boring theories we heard from others or theological theories we have concocted, the world will be more than happy to read this. Not only will the people of today read it, but future generations will read it with great pleasure. Banyan is indeed a "serious religious man." The first-class literature in England is a serious expression of the experiments of the mind. Therefore, if any of us has the desire to be a man of letters, we must have a heart like Banyan. If you have a heart like Banyan's, I believe no one cannot become a man of letters.
Since Mr. Niwa is not here right now, let me say a few bad words about him (laughter). ...... You can't say anything about him later (loud laughter). Mr. Niwa published a magazine called "Christian Youth" at the Young Men's Association. He has been sending a lot of it to me. When I went to Tokyo the other day, Mr. Uchimura asked me, "What do you think of Christian Youth?" I replied, "With all due respect when the 'Christian Youth' comes to me, I immediately take it to the washroom and leave it there." However, the teacher became very angry. Then I told him why. The reason why I use "Christian Youth" as a dirty magazine is because it is a really boring magazine. The reason why it is so boring is not that it does not contain any excellent articles. The reason why it is so boring is that young people write things that do not resemble young people. They do not read them because they imitate academics, pulling out boring arguments from here, there, and everywhere, and then gluing them together with scissors and glue. I told him that if he wrote from the heart of a young man, I would cherish it and at the end of the year, I would make a fine cover for it and leave it as the most valuable item in my library box. Since then, the journal has been much improved. So she writes a long letter. It is really hard to read. However, I am always pleased to see it. The woman is not a believer or anything. Every month on the third day of the third moon, she would come to me and say, "Please, Master, give me six rin of your money. When I asked her what she wanted to spend it on, she remained silent. She said, "Whatever I want." I gave her the money, and she bought tofu and offered it to Crescent Moon. When I asked her about it later, she said, "If you don't pray to Lord Crescent Moon for your master, you will have bad luck." I would always offer her a six Rin in gratitude (big smile). Whenever Tanabata-Sama (Tanabata Festival) comes, I offer dumplings, pears, persimmons, etc. to Tanabata-sama for my sake. I always gladly let her offer them. I read the letters she writes to me with more pleasure than I read the literature of many great scholars in "Rokugou Zasshi." That is real literature, literature that appeals to my feelings. ...... Literature is nothing but something that appeals to our feelings. If literature is such a thing,...... then it must be such a thing,...... then we can be literati if we want to be. The reason we can't become literati is not that we can't write, nor is it because we can't write Chinese. If our hearts are full of ideas, and we can write our hearts out as John Banyan did, then that is first-class literature. As Carlyle said, "Go deep into anything, and there is music in every deep place." Write your feelings as they are, and you will have a fluent and fine piece of literature. In my own experience, I have found that the best sentences are those that I write from my heart, regardless of whether or not there are mistakes in the kana or whether or not the grammar is correct rather than the writing I wrote after doing a lot of research to find out what Wen Tianxiang wrote or what Hakurakuten wrote, and even if people outside commented on it, they would say that it is the best writing. That is the secret of a literary person. Anyone of us can bequeath this kind of literature. We should be thankful for that. If we are unable to bequeath our business, God gave us words, and since he gave us human beings literature, we can bequeath our thoughts to future generations through literature.
This brings me to another problem. We cannot accumulate money and we cannot do business. If you all become literati, the publishers may be happy, but society will not be happy. The increase in the number of literate people in the world will only please the typesetters and the paper makers, and may not be beneficial to society at large. Therefore, if we are unable or unwilling to become literati and have no thoughts, if we have ideas like Banyan's but cannot spell-like Banyan, the question arises as to whether we have any legacy for future generations. This is a problem that has often occurred to me. I see that becoming a literary scholar is, as I said before, a dangerous thing to do, however, it is not something that anyone should wish to become a literary scholar. For example, as one school teacher (......) says, if you enter a university and obtain a bachelor's degree, or even go to the United States and graduate from school, you can become a teacher. I have often heard, and still remember, the words of Dr. Seelye, the vice-principal of Armistice University, to whom I was very much indebted, who said, "If you pay enough at this school, you can get as many scholars as you want. There are plenty of people who study geology and plenty of people who study zoology. There are plenty of geologists and zoologists. However, there are very few people who can teach geology and zoology. There are many literati, but there are few who can teach literature. Therefore, there are 30 or 40 professors in this school, and these 30 or 40 teachers are very precious because they not only know the subject themselves, but they can also teach it.” This is something we should deeply consider and we should not think that we can become teachers simply by graduating from school. I believe that becoming a school teacher is a kind of special vocation. A good teacher is not necessarily a university graduate. As Mr. Oshima knows, when we were in Sapporo, Mr. Clark was a teacher, and he taught botany. Since there were no other botanists at that time, we considered Dr. Clark to be a first-rate botanist. I thought that what he said was correct in botany. However, when I went to his home country and asked him about it, I revealed his truth. One of the scholars in his country laughed and said that it was strange that Dr. Clark would talk about botany. However, he was a man of great power. He had the power to put botany into the minds of young people and to create an interest in the study of botany. Therefore, he was very valuable as a botany teacher. Therefore, we should not think that as long as we study, we can become teachers. We must let go of the idea that if we only have thoughts, we can all become teachers. A person who becomes a teacher must be able to pass on learning to the youth -must also have learning - rather than being able to learn. To convey this is a skill. These are short words, but they contain a great deal of meaning. Even if we wish to become a man of letters or a school teacher, not everyone can do it.
If a person cannot leave money or business, can he become a man of letters or a schoolteacher and pass away with his ideas? It’s not. However, I believe that literature and education are much easier than making an industry or accumulating money because they can be done independently. Literature, in particular, is an independent enterprise. In today's schools, no government school, including mission schools, can transmit our ideas, even if they say they can. Therefore, the school business is a very difficult business to do as an independent business. However, when it comes to the literary business, society is almost entirely at our disposal. It is a clear fact that many people who wanted to become independent left politics and entered religion, left religion and entered education, and left education and finally entered literature. Many great men have fled to literature. Literature is probably the most useful hiding place for those who maintain independent thought. However, as I have just said, it is not a path that everyone can enter.
This is where the question comes in. If I could not become a man of letters or a schoolteacher, then the question arises as to what else I can bequeath to future generations. I often feel disappointed because of this. Then I have nothing to leave behind. I cannot become an entrepreneur, accumulate money, write books, or teach. So must I disappear as a useless person, as an ordinary person? As Lu You said, “After I die, my bones will decay, my name will not be in history" and I sometimes fall into a state of disappointment, thinking that my life will end with this lament. However, I believe that there is a greater legacy than these three, the greatest legacy that anyone can leave behind. It is indeed the greatest legacy. Money is also a legacy, but I cannot call it the greatest legacy. Businesses are also great legacy, but I cannot call them the greatest legacy of all time. Literature, as I mentioned earlier, is also a very precious thing, and the writings of my thoughts are truly valuable legacy for future generations, but I cannot call them the greatest legacy. The reason why it cannot be called the greatest legacy is that it is not a legacy that can be left to anyone. Not only that, but the result is not necessarily harmless. As I mentioned yesterday, money can be very profitable depending on how it is used, but it can also be very harmful if it is used improperly. The same is true in business. Cromwell's and Livingston's businesses are very profitable, but they are also very harmful. Writing a book has many good things and many bad things in it as well. We cannot name it a perfect legacy or the greatest legacy.
Noble and Courageous Life as a Legacy
What, then, is the greatest legacy? I think that there is a legacy that human beings can bequeath to future generations, a legacy that no one else can bequeath, a legacy that is only beneficial and not harmful. If I had to say what it is, I would say it is a noble and courageous life. I think this is the true legacy. I don't think any other legacy is a legacy that anyone can bequeath. But what is a noble and courageous life, it is a life that you and I have known for a long time, without my having to say it here. In other words, it is to believe that this world is not a world ruled by the devil, but a world ruled by God. We must believe that this is not a world of disappointment, but a world of hope. We are to carry out the idea that this world is not a world of sorrow, but a world of joy, and to leave this world with our life as a gift to the world. I believe that this legacy is a legacy that can be left by anyone. If we look at the works of great men of letters and literature, or we look at the works of great men of business, the books they wrote and the works they left behind are great but compared to the life of the man they left behind, they are small legacies. Paul's letters are very useful, but when compared to his life, I think they are of little value. Paul himself was a more important person than the Romans or the Galatians. Cromwell's creation of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom was a great achievement, but Cromwell's own life, in which he carried out his independent thought in that age and lived a heroic life by God, is a legacy to society that is ten times or even a hundred times greater than Cromwell's business. I am a great admirer of Thomas Carlyle's books. Some people hate me for it, but I have great respect for Carlyle as a whole. I have often benefited from reading his books and have been inspired by them. However, after reading through the 40 books written by Thomas Carlyle and comparing them to Carlyle's own life, I think that Carlyle's writings are of little value. I was reminded of this the other day when I read a biography of Carlyle. As you know, the most famous book Carlyle wrote was the history of the French Revolution. A historian once said, "In terms of historical narrative and style, Carlyle's "History of the French Revolution" is probably the best written by an Englishman, and if not the best, it should be among the best." I am sure that every reader of this book will feel the same way. This book shows us a panorama of the French Revolution as if it were a vivid picture of the events of a hundred years ago, and as if it were written by a great painter, but it could not be written in the same way. We place a high value on this book. We are indeed very grateful for the book that Carlyle left for us. However, there is something even more valuable than this book when we look at the experiments of Carlyle's life in writing about the French Revolution. It is a long story, but allow me to tell it to you here. It was almost a lifetime's work for Carlyle to write this book. If you look at the "History of the Revolution," you would think that anyone could have written a book of this caliber. However, it is a book that was the result of extensive historical research and the gathering of a wide range of material, and it is indeed a book that Carlyle wrote with all the blood of his life. It took him several decades, I forget how many, to finally write a book that was exactly what he wanted. Then the book became a manuscript and he wrote it on ruled paper. He waited and waited, thinking that the time would come soon when he would be able to publish it. When Carlyle’s friend came, Carlyle told him about the book, he said, "This is a very good book, and I hope you will allow me to read it this evening." Carlyle thought that what he had written was boring, and he wanted to ask for someone's criticism, so he lent it to him. After lending it to him, the friend took it home. A friend of the friend came over, picked it up, read it, and said, "This is an interesting book, please let me read it tonight." So the friend said and lent it to him, "Bring it to me early tomorrow morning, and I will lend it to you,” the friend took the book to his house and read it with great effort, and when he had read it till dawn, he found that it was an obstacle to his business tomorrow, so he left the book on his desk and fell asleep. The next morning, before he woke up, a servant came to the house and decided to light the stove before the master woke up, as you know, in the West, paper is used as a substitute for paper, so she looked for some good antiquities, and found that there were a lot of them spread out in front of the desk, which she thought would be good, so she rolled them all up, put them in the stove, lit a fire and burned them. She burned Carlyle's "History of the Revolution" which took decades or so. It went up in smoke within three or four minutes on the clock. So when the friend heard about this, he was very surprised. He can't say anything about it. If it were something else, if she burned paper money, she could compensate for it; if she burned a house, she could build it, however, there is no way to atone for the burning of something that was the result of a passionate thought, something that took decades of passionate effort to write. What is dead does not return to life. They cut their stomach but that’s all and was the end of it. He told the friend about it, but the friend was unable to do anything about it and remained silent for a week. He didn't know what to say. He had no choice, so he told Carlisle about it. Carlyle was in a daze for about ten days and did nothing. I think that even Carlisle must have felt the same way. That made him angry. He was a very short-tempered person, so he became very angry. He left history alone at that time and read a boring novel that was of no use to him. In the meantime, however, he returned to himself and said, "Thomas Carlyle, you are a fool, and the 'History of the Revolution' that you have written is not precious at all. The first precious thing is for you to endure this hardship and take up the pen again to rewrite it. It is useless to send out to society a 'history of the revolution' written by a person who is disappointed about it.” He inspired himself and wrote the book again. That is all there is to the story. But when we entered Carlyle's mind at that time, we were filled with speculation. The great thing about Carlyle is that he rewrote the book "History of the Revolution" not for the sake of writing it, but for the sake of rewriting what had been burned in the fire. Even if the book has not survived, he has indeed left a great legacy for future generations. Even if we fail to do it or have bad luck, Carlyle left us a great legacy in the sense that he restored our strength and reminded us that we must not abandon our business and that we must summon up the courage to get back to it.
What are the evils of our time? The lack of money, the scarcity of business in our country, and the lack of good books, to be sure. However, what is it that the Japanese people need from each other? Is it a lack of books, money, or business? Of course, there is a lack of these things. However, as I think about it, the most important deficiency today is the deficiency of life. That is why these days, we are so often driven by the idea of learning and education, in other words, culture (cultivation). We are concerned that we must learn at all costs, that we must invest in learning for our youth at all costs, and that we must educate and teach future generations. Of course, this is a very good thing. If we were to assume that we were born a hundred years later and read the history of people in the year 1894, how would we feel when we read this? When we read the names of the people who went to the U.S. to get money to build these schools, churches, and youth centers, we find out that these people went to the U.S. to get money to build them, or that these people built them through this kind of movement. When we read this, we may think and are disappointed saying "Ah, I can't do such a thing, I can't get money even if I go to America now, and I don't have the power to collaborate with others like that. I can't do that kind of imitation. I can't do that kind of business.” In other words, if I were a person fifty or a hundred years from now, I might have inherited a school from today's time. I might have inherited a church. But I would not have received the driving force that makes me work. I would not have received anything of importance. But if there is one church here that is boring, I could sell the building of that boring church and it might be worth very little money. However, when you hear the history of the church, you can hypothetically determine that the history was like this: ...... The builder of this church was a very poor man, a man of little learning, yet this man has cut off all his extravagance, has left all his passions behind, and has built this church by his strength alone....... When I read this kind of history, it gives me courage. If he can do it, there is nothing I can't do, and I will try one myself.
I would like to tell you a story about a man who was a hero of Japan in the modern era, or perhaps I should say a hero of the world. Among the heroes of the world, there was a man named Kinjiro Ninomiya, who was born in the neighborhood of Mount Hakone, where we are staying. When I read his biography, I felt a great sense of inspiration. I owe a great deal to Mr. Kinjiro Ninomiya. His business has not spread widely in Japan. If I were to summarize all of his achievements, I would say that he only saved the people of 20 or 30 villages. However, what is the reason why this man's life has benefited me, and why it has benefited so many people in Japan today? Nothing, this man bequeathed a lifetime of gifts, not just the gift of business. Some of you may already know his life story, but let me tell you a little about it. Kinjiro Ninomiya lost his father when he was 14 and his mother when he was 16, his family was poor and had nothing, so he was left in the care of a very cruel uncle. He had not a penny to his name, and his family's wealth was in a bad state. He had one younger brother and one younger sister. He was an orphan without a single penny. How did he make a living? He was at his uncle's house and while he was helping him, he wanted to read a book. When he did so and read a book, his uncle scolded him. He told him that it was absurd to use this expensive oil to read books, and he would not let him read. Then he heard that it was wrong to use his uncle's oil without telling him, so he made up his mind, "Then I will not read until my oil is ready." So, he went to an unknown place by the river and planted rapeseed seeds. It took one year to harvest nine or ten liters of rapeseed. He then took the rapeseed to an oil shop to exchange it for oil, which he then used to look in books. When he did so, he was scolded again. If all the oil is yours, don't think that you can read books. Your time is mine, too. If you are going to do something stupid like reading a book, you might as well spend that time twisting a rope.” He also had no choice but to work all day and read books later because his uncle told him to. ...... He was a man of hard study in that way. How did he make a life for himself? When the villagers played, especially on festival days, there was a swamp in a nearby field that had been turned into a swamp by a flood. In his own time, and not his uncle's, he drained all the water from the swamp, prepared a field with a small hoe, and took it there to plant rice. In this way, he harvested his first bale of rice. According to his autobiography, "My joy at receiving a bale of rice was indescribable. This was the first direct gift from heaven to me, and that one bale was worth a million to me.” He gradually continued in this way, and when he was 20 years old, he left his uncle's house. At that time, he had three or four bales of rice. He was the first person to finish the work. Looking at his life from beginning to end, he said, "This universe was indeed created by God ......, not God, but Heaven, and Heaven is a truly beneficent being. The heavens are indeed so beneficent that they only want to help mankind. Therefore, if we surrender ourselves to heaven and earth and follow the laws of heaven, heaven will help us even though we do not want it.” Not only did he hold this belief, but he also put it into practice. The story is a long one, but in the end, he improved villages by tens of thousands of Koku and used himself entirely for the benefit of others. He was a man of great merit in terms of economic and agricultural improvement at the end of the old shogunate. When we look at the life of a person like Mr. Kinjiro Ninomiya, we often think, "If he could do that, then there is nothing I cannot do as well.” It is an ordinary thought, but it is a very valuable thought. But then, we feel that if we obey the laws of the universe without relying on others, relying on God and ourselves, the world will be as we wish it to be, and we will be able to do what we want to do in this world. Though Kinjiro Ninomiya's business was not large, his life was so much more. I am sure that not only I but tens of thousands of people in Japan have been "inspired" by this man. You should read his biography. There is a book titled "Sontoku Ninomiya, the Great" in "Shonen Bungaku" (Literature for Boys), but it is a boring book. The book I read most often is "Houtoku-ki," a book of about 500 pages published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce. I sincerely hope that you will read this book. It is a book that gives us new ideas and new hope. It is really like reading a Christian bible. Therefore, even though we may not be able to leave behind a legacy of the business, I believe that if we were to follow the example of Kinjiro Ninomiya, that is, if we were to lead a life of independence, we would indeed be the ones to bequeath a great business.
I will end now because the time is getting long, but I would like to repeat before you one word that has always given me a deep sense of my life. One of our members graduated from Mount Holyoke Seminary in Massachusetts, which is an old girls' school. It is a very good one. However, if I were to assess the school, I would say that I do not think it is the best school for girls in the United States, especially in terms of education and intellectual development. There are many good schools for girls in the United States. There is the Smith School for Girls, which is a large school. There is also Wellesley School in Boston and Bryn Mawr School in Philadelphia. But Mount Holyoke Seminary is a very powerful school that has done a great deal for the world. The reason why the school (I heard that the school was in good shape at this time, but until recently it had been a tidy school for girls) became a force to inspire the world was that there was a very special woman in the school. She was a woman named Mary Lyon, who possessed a soul and spirit that surpassed the finest physics machines, the finest observatories, and the finest scholars. I cannot describe her life in full here, but her last words to her students should encourage the women among us, as well as the men. I have often thought about the life of this woman, who was like a Japanese samurai. She was a woman full of chivalry.
Go where others do not like to go. Do what others don't want you to do.
This is the foundation on which Mount Holyoke Seminary stands. I believe this is the power that has inspired the world. It is the spirit of doing what others do not like and going where others do not like. So, are we moving in that direction in our lifetime? Many of us are not so inclined, but rather, we are doing what we want to do because others are doing it. We are not like, "I will do what others do because others do it. Others are going to America to get money, so I am going to America, others are going to be grandmasters, so I am going to be a grandmaster, and, more recently, since the Christian religion has gained a good reputation, I am going to be a Christian minister. When I go to the Kanto region, I find that there are many things that are not found in the Kansai region. There are many good things in the Kanto region. I think there are more good things in Kanto than in Kansai. Kanto people are always talking about "willfulness.” A mean person has a crooked whip, which is easily recognized by a balled chestnut head. If the whip of his head is crooked like this, he is always mean. When people say go right, he says left, and when people say go here, he says there," this is especially true of the people of Jyoshu (I am not from Jyoshu, though). I don't think this is a spirit that should be honored, but it is the will of the samurai. If we remove that spirit from us, we will become cowardly warriors. As you all know, Tokugawa Ieyasu had many great qualities, but when he went to the riverbanks as a child, he saw two groups of children fighting and shooting stones at each other. Ieyasu saw this and ordered his retainers to help the smaller group. The more numerous ones were fine, so he told them to go to the less numerous ones and help them. This was the great thing about Tokugawa Ieyasu. There are only a few who stand for justice at any given time. Therefore, what we must do is always to stand for the righteous few, and for the sake of that righteousness, we must strike a blow against the multitude of unjust people. Of course, this does not mean that we must help the losing side. What I want is the will to fight with the few. That is the spirit. I want that in all of us. When we stand on the side of justice today, when we, the few, stand for justice, I hope that at least those of us who have come to this summer school will stand with them. Then, when future generations hear about us, they will say that although these people lacked power, wealth, and learning, they spent their entire lives working for the principles that they possessed. I believe that this is a life that anyone can bequeath. And so we are happy to be able to leave that legacy behind, no matter what our life may have been like.
Don't these thoughts occur to you often? If I had no family relations, I would have been able to do great things, or if I had money and had graduated from a university and gone to Europe and America to improve my knowledge, I would have been able to do great things, or if I had good friends, I would have done great things. However, great deeds can be done by overcoming various misfortunes, and that is what great deeds are. Therefore, when we look at it this way, it is most pleasant for us to have obstacles in our way. The more hindrances we have, the more we can do our work. We can bequeath to future generations our courageous lives and businesses. The more opposition we face, the more interesting it is. It is interesting that we have no friends, that we have no money, that we have no learning. If we enjoy God's favor and can overcome these deficiencies through our faith, we will bequeath a great undertaking. The more zealously we overcome them, the greater will be our legacy to future generations. If I had a lot of money, a good position, and little responsibility, there is nothing that I could have done that would have made a great business. Even if the undertaking is small, by overcoming all these objections, future generations will be greatly benefited by me. I believe that overcoming various inconveniences and opposition is our great task. Therefore, like Jacob, I believe that we should be thankful for the tribulations that we encounter.
My words are very complicated and my time is limited, so I am not able to give you all of my thoughts. However, I will take my leave now and descend the mountain. I would like to save at least some legacies for when we meet again next year. When we meet again after this year, it is fine to say that we have left something behind, that we have accumulated this much money for future generations this year, that we have done this much work for future generations this year, or that we have written an article about my thoughts in a magazine, but it is even better to say that for the sake of future generations I have helped the weak, for the sake of future generations I have overcome so many hardships, for the sake of future generations I have cultivated so much character, for the sake of future generations I have exercised so much chivalry, for the sake of future generations I have overcome so much compassion. I would like to gather here again with these stories. If we continue to advance year after year with this mindset, our life will not be a life of fifty or sixty years but will be like a tree planted by the edge of the water, gradually sprouting shoots and branches. It is not a life of little growth and no value, like grafting a tree onto bamboo or a bamboo onto a tree. It is my greatest hope to live a life like this, which comforts my heart every day and encourages me in all that I do. I will not go into my other subject, "Religious People Who Are Not Serious," because I do not have time for it. I will not, but I believe that I have already told you enough about the spirit in which I live. A sincere believer does what he or she believes in. Anyone can simply talk big. No matter how much we study theology or read philosophy, as long as we do not have the spirit to earnestly practice the principles we believe in, God is a Gentile to us. Therefore, we must do exactly what God has made known to us. We must do all that we think we must do. If we announce to the world that justice will finally prevail and injustice will finally be defeated, we must do exactly as we have done. This is what I call a sincere believer. Even though we have nothing to bequeath to future generations, even though we have nothing to be remembered as such by future generations, we would like to bequeath to future generations that they will say that we lived a life of sincerity while we were alive in this world. (Applause)