In Times of Peace, Prepare for War: The Samurai Wisdom of Nichiyo Kokorogake

You may have heard the adage that goes something like “the more you train in times of peace, the less you will bleed in times of war”.
This phrase connotes the value of preparedness thinking and preemptive action. It can be related back to the historical samurai principles of the Natori Ryu.

Natori Masazumi, the legendary shinobi who passed on the scrolls of Natori Ryu, echoes to the present a principle of samurai conduct that he says is of primary importance for all samurai: Nichiyo Kokorogake.

What is this?

Nichiyo Kokorogake parallels the preparedness adage above. It means to make use of states of ‘order’ by preparing to address inchoate and even flagrant states of ‘disorder’, and when ‘disorder’ or war arises, one should work to swiftly reinstate ‘order’ or peace . The central point here is to not waste one’s time. Prepare so that once an adverse event occurs, you may be better equipped to deal with it quickly.

So how can you apply Nichiyo Kokorogake to everyday life?
Here are a few examples:

– Consume a Good Diet and Exercise! Realizing that your body is literally the means by which you interact with this earth, it behooves you to take care of it so that you can use it well in states of emergency or even war.
– Make a list of potential sources of ‘disorder’ in your own world (i.e. problems at work, earthquakes, floods, terrorism, violent thugs, etc.), then devise a strategy for dealing with the disorder to retain. For example, if you are going on an extensive road-trip, be sure you have a carjack, roadside flares, and other essential equipment for car problems. A less mundane example might be getting kidnapped (if you think this is a possibility) and being able to escape because you learned in advance how to escape restraints, signal for help, etc.

Continue to ponder and apply this principle, and you might not bleed when the going gets tough.


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