The Kodenkan Judo of Master Okazaki

| "These are the Keys..." | Okugi | Harold McLean | Overview of Kodenkan | Introduction to Shinin no Maki | The Meaning of Judo | The Meaning of Kodenkan | Sincerity | The Breeze in Sumi-E | True Man | Bibliography | AJG Newsletter, Nov 1941 | Marion Anderson's Notebook | Official Kodenkan Mokuroku | Okazaki's 1925 Diploma | Letter from Bud Fuller | Tsaikontan Classic | Citations I | Citations II | Judo, The Gentle Way (Excerpts) | Taoist Tales | Even Hell under the Upraised Sword | Kodenkan Musings | Historical Photos | 3 versions Esoteric Principles
Taoist True Man

The following poem is taken from The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton (Merton, WofCT, p.60).

The True Man

What is meant by a "true man"?

The true men of old were not afraid

When they stood alone in their views.

No great exploits. No plans.

If they failed, no sorrow.

No self-congratulation in success.

They scaled cliffs, never dizzy,

Plunged in water, never wet,

Walked through fire and were not burnt.

Thus their knowledge reached all the way

To Tao.

The true men of old

Slept without dreams,

Woke without worries.

Their food was plain.

They breathed deep.

True men breathe from their heels.

Others breathe with their gullets,

Half-strangled. In dispute

They heave up arguments

Like vomit.

Where the fountains of passion

Lie deep

The heavenly springs

Are soon dry.

The true men of old

Knew no lust for life,

No dread of death.

Their entrance was without gladness,

Their exit, yonder,

Without resistance.

Easy come, easy go.

They did not forget where from,

Nor ask where to,

Nor drive grimly forward

Fighting their way through life.

They took life as it came, gladly;

Took death as it came, without care;

And went away, yonder,


They had no mind to fight Tao.

They did not try, by their own contriving,

To help Tao along.

These are the ones we call true men.

Minds free, thoughts gone

Brows clear, faces serene.

Where they cool? Only cool as autumn.

Where they hot? No hotter than spring.

All that came out of them

Calm quiet, like the four seasons."

The original, translated by James Legge is provided in The Texts of Taoism (TTT, P237-240).

"What is meant by `the True Man?' The True men of old did not reject the views of the few; they did not seek to accomplish their ends like heroes before others; they did not lay plans to attain those ends. Being such, though they might make mistakes, they had no occasion for repentance; though they might succeed, they had no self-complacency. Being such, they could ascend the loftiest heights without fear; they could pass through water without being made wet by it; they could go into fire without being burnt; so it was that by their knowledge they ascended to and reached the Tao.

"The True men of old did not dream when they slept, had no anxiety when they awoke, and did not care that their food should be pleasant. Their breathing came deep and silently. The breathing of the true man comes even from his heels, while men generally breathe only from their throats. When men are defeated in argument, their words come from their gullets as if they were vomiting. Where lusts and desires are deep, the springs of the heavenly are shallow.

The True men of old knew nothing of the love of life or of the hatred of death. Entrance into life occasioned them no joy; the exit from it awakened no resistance. Composedly they went and came. They did not forget what their beginning had been, and they did not inquire into what their end would be. They accepted their life and rejoiced in it; they forgot all fear of death, and returned to their state before life. Thus there was in them what is called the want of any mind to resist the Tao, and of all attempts by means of the Human to assist the Heavenly. Such were they who are called the True men.

Being such, their minds were free from all thought; their demeanor was still and unmoved; their foreheads beamed simplicity. Whatever coldness came from them was like that of autumn; whatever warmth came fro them was like that of spring. Their joy and anger assimilated to what we see in the four seasons. They did in regard to all things what was suitable, and no one could know how far their action would go. Therefore the sagely man might, in his conduct of war, destroy a state without losing the hearts of the people; his benefits and favors might extend to a myriad generations without his being a lover of men. Hence he who tries to share his joys with others is not a sagely man; he who manifest affection is not benevolent; he who observes times and seasons to regulate his conduct is not a man of wisdom; he to whom profit and injury are not the same is not a superior man; he who acts for the sake of the name of doing so, and loses his proper self is the right scholar; and he who throws away his person is a way which is not the true way cannot command the service of others.

The True men of old present the aspect of judging others aright, but without being partisans; of feeling their own insufficiency, but being without flattery or cringing. Their peculiarities were natural to them, but they were not obstinately attached to them; their humility was evident, but there was nothing of unreality or display about it. Their placidity and satisfaction had the appearance of joy; their every movement seemed to be a necessity to them. Their accumulated attractiveness drew men's looks to them; their blandness fixed men's attachment to their virtue. They seemed to accommodate themselves to the manners of their age, but with a certain severity; their haughty indifference was beyond its control. Unceasing seemed their endeavors to keep their mouths shut; when they looked down, they had forgotten what they wished to say.

They considered punishments to be the substance of government, and they never incurred it; ceremonies to be its supporting wings and they always observed them; wisdom to indicate the time for action, and they always selected it; and virtue to be accordance with others, and they were all-accordant. Considering punishments to be the substance of government, yet their generosity appeared in the manner of their infliction of death. Considering ceremonies to be its supporting wings, they pursued by means of them their course in the world. Considering wisdom to indicate the time for action, they felt it necessary to employ it in the direction of affairs. Considering virtue to be accordance with others, they sought to ascend its height along with all who had feet to climb it. Such were they, and yet men really thought that they did what they did by earnest effort.

In this way they were one and the same in all their likings and dislikings. Where they like, they were the same; where they did not like, they were the same. In the former case where they like, they were fellow-workers with the Heavenly in them; in the latter where they disliked, they were coworkers with the Human in them. The one of these elements in their nature did not overcome the other. Such were those who are called the True men."

Prepared by: David A. Scheid