Wednesday, December 13

Happy Samurai Forever Ever After

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Happy Samurai Forever Ever After

Ostaf Al Mustafa

Samurai is not a fairy tale, so the last session of story in every figure of this powerful military caste in feudal Japan, rarely in happy ending. Happiness not an effort among slain of blazing sword to exterminate enemies. A happy coincidence would be a hidden part of Samurai’s live. In Hagakure, The Book of Samurai, as a compilation of Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s philosophies, assured about state of happiness consideration. “During happy times, pride and extravagance are dangerous. If one is not prudent in ordinary times, he will not be able to catch up. A person who advances during good times will falter during the bad.” In his words, happy times is really most harmful condition. At that times, all circumstances are a bunch of hazardous moment.

Yamamoto Tsunetomo was a samurai in the early 1700’s, who never fought any battles. He was forbidden by law from committing tsuifuku (suicide of a retainer after his master’s death), he retired to a monastery. In monastery, a younger samurai wrote down Tsunetomo’s utterance, and made a compilation in a book. This book is known as Hagakure ( “hidden leaves” or “hidden by leaves”).

Tsunetomo ascertained the construct of happiness in thought and mind, so he punctuated in detail explanation. “There is nothing so painful as regret. We would all like to be without it. However, when we are very happy and become elated, or when we habitually jump into something thoughtlessly, later we are distraught, and it is for the most part because we did not think ahead and are now regretful. Certainly we should try not to become dejected, and when very happy should calm our minds.” Regret more painful than everything. It must be hurting heart, mind and soul. Regret not only a wrong doing a few and disappointment. It was a strong feel sad of absence and the lost of something important. Samurai has the most important in his live, there are dignity and honor, as quality of being worthy of respect, esteem, gravitas and lordliness. If Samurai lost his dignity, get fallen in finishing a command or order given by his master, he must took Katana and slained himself in Harakiri ritual. There was no regret, if Samurai yearned for acquiring his perfection of happiness.

Tsunemo lived in happy and peace at religious residence. There was his truth temple of inner-happiness. His compilation in dept thought was representative of the applied exclusive harmonize of Zen and Confucianism, were prevailing during Edo Era (1600-1868) Japan. Zen and Confucianism still determining state of happiness concept and ordering life in pre-modern till present day in Japan.

Florian Coulmas, from German Institute for Japanese Studi, in a working paper, titled The Quest for Happiness in Japan”, aforementioned “In Buddhism teaches moderation, the middle way, the avoidance of extremes as the most promising path to a good life. That the pursuit of material riches will not lead to happiness is a matter of course to Buddhist thinking. The Neo‐Confucian order which was predominant during the two and a half centuries of Tokugawa rule does not conceptualize social relations in terms of maximising individual happiness, but rather in terms of harmony and the integration of individuals into the social body. Taoism focuses on nature emphasising the importance of recognizing and accepting the reality that we cannot control. Like Confucianism it emphasises self‐cultivation and holds that the properly cultivated individual mirrors, and conforms to, the natural order of things.”

There are many similar about how receipt happiness in Tsunemo era and until today. But there are another three points added in happiness at modern Japan nowadays. Nishi, (1875-1976) Meiji intellectual, labelled those points as three treasures. Nishi propounded health, wisdom and wealth as three treasures in a foundation of moderen morality. What Nishi advocated in his writing, now became a guidance that encompassed Japan to new definition of happiness.

If Tsunemo, as a Samurai might living happily forever in a monastery, then anyone who possessed three treasures in his live, could pursuit happiness too at present day. Anyone could choose a simple happiness or a perfection happiness. A simple happiness merely for pleasure, fun, and satisfaction fullfilled a daily live. A perfection happiness is to be happy for one and all, making the world better in humanity sustainable at large. A perfection happiness is obtain a qualify of happy forever ever after in love, peace and cool.

Makassar, November, 05, 2010


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