LXXXII - (Re) leituras - The Book of the Five Rings, by Myamoto Musashi - comments by André Bandeira
The very time I'm writing these lines, there are about 70 japanese who are dying for me and you. German newspapers have insinuated that these japanese, mostly belonging to the fire-brigade, habe been ordered to go to the reactors of Fukushima and try to quell the atomic leaks. Kami Kaze means «the wind of God». When the Mongols were about to invade Japan, a series of winds came from the Mount Fuji and pushed the mongol ships away, putting the entire invading fleet, in desarray. Soon after, or sometime before ( I do not remember well), the japanese, who were keen in using their long swords, managed to jump into the ships and make the admirals endure so many losses that they decided to retreat. In this book, dating back to the XVIIth Century, one can see that the art of the samurai («the lone wave») is based on victory and not in a philosophy such as the one exposed in Sun Tzu's Art of War. For this latter, the general who managed to win one hundred battles without a fight, was at the top of military science. For Musashi, if there were one hundred battles to fight, the samurai would have waged and won everyone of them. It was by cumulative wisdom, that the bushido (the code of the samurai) could be fufilled. Something quite reasonable in a country which cherished peace but was always exposed to invasions and natural tragedies, leaving everyone to take care of himself in a matter of minutes. Hard and winding road where enlightment could only come at the very and sudden end. These japanese firemen are doing now their bushido. The diagnosis seems dull: either they'll die in a few weeks or they'll manage to survive, the most, until the end of the year. I cannot avoid a shout, in this world of lust and pleasure: which right has whoever of putting the end to someone else's life, for whichever reason, when there are so many manmade and natural forces able to wipe us all from the Earths'surface in a matter of seconds? Should any student learn History sitting in a kind of electric chair and receive electrical shocks similar to the pains which he's seeing depicted on the History books? There was an old italian journalist, Tiziano Terzani, who was dying slowly a few years ago, who wrote, during that time, a book called « On more leap on the merry-go-round ». He once visited the Temple in Japan where kamikazes used to depose their last vows, before leaving on their last missions. One said: I want to die in the sky as a crystal glass being broken in the clouds. May this purity go off in our minds when our thoughts are just jockeying to find a way out which adds more suffering to the one already existent. Shouldn't we put the cream of our bravery, the top of our pride, the glamour of our technology in the battle of Fukushima? Or else, shouldn't we admit that we still have a long way to go, before being ready to fight the battles of Fukushima, as these japanese firemen, are fighting now?