Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Red Leaves

A certain son of Mori Monbei got into a fight and returned home wounded. Asked by his father Monbei, "What did you do to your opponent?" his son replied "I cut him down." When Monbei asked "Did you finish him?" His son replied "Indeed I did."

Then, Monbei said "You have certainly done well, and there is nothing to regret. Now, even if you fled you would have to commit seppuku anyway. When your mood improves, prepare your robes and commit seppuku, and rather die by your father's hand then by another's ."

And soon after, he performed kaishaku for his son.

Some would consider it a terrible thing for a father to do, but really, it is terrible for anyone - A failure means a painful, humiliating, dishonourable death for the samurai, and shame for the kaishaku which inevitably results in he himself committing seppuku. There are two thing one must know - Killing and Dying.

This is the way of Red Leaves.

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