Dwelling on… How the Way of the Samurai can be used to improve one’s pursuit of happiness through work, trade, or profession.

This is the third in a series that expands on terms heard in architects’ and interns’ circles like BIMJA, CAD-JITSU, WARRIOR INTERN and other notions that metaphorically equate emerging architects to lethal martial artists. I haven’t had any formal martial arts training. However, the discipline, practice, and pursuit of personal perfection inherent to the martial arts all raise my interest. This interest came to a peak when I was introduced to Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai.

Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Please visit the initial Way of the Samurai Architect post to read the introduction to this series, more info, and links about the Hagakure and the movie Ghostdog.
The following quotes from Hagakure are featured in Ghostdog. After each quote are a few words on how I find parallels in my own life, since, you know, I don’t actually roam from village to village, wielding a katana in life and death battles and Klan drama to serve my master. Although, the sense of urgency feels like that sometimes, there is similarity. There are lesser battles day in and day out. There is a master or client to serve. There is livelihood if I succeed and the lack thereof if I fail.

 

samurai-03-retainer

From Ghostdog

Devotion

“If one were to say in a word what the condition of being a Samurai is, its basis lies first in seriously devoting one’s body and soul to his master. Not to forget one’s master is the most fundamental thing for a retainer.”
Not to forget one’s boss or one’s client is the most fundamental thing for a professional. To be successful, one must seriously devote ones body and soul to a boss or a client’s project. I see ego come out a lot in architecture and enjoy recognizing when an architect puts the ego away and lets the client’s project come first. I suspect this happens in most design professionals as well. Devoting the body and soul to one’s master is to truly let that master drive every move, decision, and stroke in the work. I believe this level of true devotion leads to exceptional project outcomes.

 

From Ghostdog

From Ghostdog

One Thing

“It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same with anything else that is called a Way. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all ways and be more and more in accord with his own.”
As my own way is The Way of the Architect, then hearing about The Way of the Samurai helps me be more in accord with The Way of the Architect. What is your own way? Does it not inspire you to hear or read about The Way of the Samurai?

 

From Ghostdog

From Ghostdog

Dream

“It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell your self it is only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different than this.”
It really is all in your head, isn’t it? What you see goes into your head, or brain to be processed and turned into vision. What you hear goes into your brain and turned into sound. What you feel is sent to your brain by your nervous system and turned into those sensations. I think this quote from the Hagakure is not a stretch. While “something like a nightmare” may come and go, and you could call it only a dream, I think it is important, though, to learn what you may from it. Maybe you can keep that bad dream from happening again. Also, once you see the world like this, doesn’t it become easier to achieve your dreams, and live your dreams, if you see the world as a dream?
More quotes and parallels are to come in the next post in The Way of the Samurai Architect series. Until next time, live nicely!