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Shoshin Wasuru Bekarazu (初心忘るべからず – Don’t Forget Your First Resolution) Part 2

  • Shoshin Wasuru Bekarazu: Part 2

    初心忘るべからず Part 2

    The other day, I introduced the proverb, shoshin wasuru bekarazu (初心忘るべからず), which means “Never forget the humble and serious attitude you had when you began to learn.”

    This proverb comes from Zeami, a traditional performer during the Muromachi period.

    Originally, this phrase consisted of three parts: Zehi no shoshin wasuru bekarazu (是非の初心忘るべからず), Tokidoki no shoshin wasuru bekarazu (時々の初心忘るべからず), and Rōgo no shoshin wasuru bekarazu (老後の初心忘るべからず).

    The words zehi (是非) means “success and failure,” tokidoki (時々) means “moment to moment,” and rōgo (老後) means “old age.”
    「是非」は “success and failure”、「時々」は “moment to moment”、「老後」は “old age” を意味します。

    That is to say, what Zeami was trying to say is that “One should never forget the first experiences at various stages of their lives, from the immature time when they repeated failures to their old age.”

    Original sentence