I never seek to defeat the man I am fighting, " he explained. "I seek to defeat his confidence. A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory. Two men are equals - true equals - only when they both have equal confidence.
His face was very heavily creased, and into each crease he had tucked some worry or other, so that it wasn't really his face any longer, but more like a tree that had nests of birds in all of the branches. He had to struggle constantly to manage it and always looked worn out from the effort.
I went back to those graves not long afterward and found as I stood there that sadness was a very heavy thing. My body weighed twice what it had only a moment earlier, as if those graves were pulling me down toward them.
In the instant before the door opened, I could almost sense my life expanding just like a river whose waters have begun to swell; for I had never before taken such a drastic step to change the course of my own future. I was like a child tiptoeing along a precipice overlooking the sea. And yet somehow I hadn't imagined a great wave might come and strike me there, and wash everything away.
I studied Japanese language and culture in college and graduate school, and afterward went to work in Tokyo, where I met a young man whose father was a famous businessman and whose mother was a geisha. He and I never discussed his parentage, which was an open secret, but it fascinated me.
I fell into a sound sleep and dreamed that I was at a banquet back in Gion, talking with an elderly man who was explaining to me that his wife, whom he'd cared for deeply, wasn't really dead because the pleasure of their time together lived on inside him.
I don't know when we'll see each other again or what the world will be like when we do. We may both have seen many horrible things. But I will think of you every time I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in the world.
We all know that a winter scene, though it may be covered over one day, with even the trees dressed in shawls of snow, will be unrecognizable the following spring. Yet I never imagined such a thing could occur within our very selves.
Here's the thing: this eel spends its entire life trying to find a home, and what do you think women have inside them? Caves, where the eels like to live...when they find a cave they like, the wriggle around inside it for a while to be sure that...well, to be sure it's a nice cave, I suppose. And when they've made up their minds that it's comfortable, they mark the cave as their territory...by spitting.
Autobiography, if there really is such a thing, is like asking a rabbit to tell us what he looks like hopping through the grasses of the field. How would he know? If we want to hear about the field on the other hand, no one is in a better circumstance to tell us-so long as we keep in mind that we are missing all those things the rabbit was in no position to observe.
Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.
What an unbearable sorrow it would be, to realized I'd never really tasted to things I'd eaten, or seen the places I'd been. What life would I have? I would be like the dancer who had practiced since childhood for a performance she would never give.
An en is a karmic bond lasting a lifetime. Nowadays many people seem to believe their lives are entirely a matter of choice; but in my day we viewed ourselves as pieces of clay that forever show the fingerprints of everyone who has touched them.
She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret.
From this experience, I understood the danger of focusing only on what isn't there. What if I came to the end of my life and realized that I'd spent every day watching for a man who would never come to me? What an unbearable sorrow it would be, to realize I'd never really tasted the things I'd eaten, or seen the places I'd been, because I'd thought of nothing but the Chairman even while my life was drifting away from me. And yet if I drew my thoughts back from him, what life would I have? I would be like... Read more »
But what I could see out of the corner of my eye made me think of two lovely bundles of silk floating along a stream. In a moment they were hovering on the walkway in front of me, where they sank down and smoothed their kimono across their knees.