Life is like walking along a long road shouldering a heavy load; there is no need to hurry (人の一生は重荷を負うて遠き道を行くがごとし。急ぐべからず). In this refined calligraphy work we read, inscribed inside an enso (円相) circle, the incipit of the famous Toshogu Goikun (東照宮御遺訓), a testament written in 1604 by Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康), in anticipation of his abdication as shogun (将軍), as a moral and political guide for his successors. The text continues as follows…
One who treats difficulties as the normal state of affairs will never be discontented. Patience is the source of eternal peace; treat anger as an enemy. Harm will befall one who knows only success and has never experienced failure. Blame yourself rather than others. It is better not to reach than to go too far (不自由を常と思えば不足なし。こころに望みおこらば困窮したる時を思い出すべし。堪忍は無事長久の基、いかりは敵と思え。勝つ事ばかり知りて、負くること知らざれば害その身にいたる。おのれを責めて人をせむるな。及ばざるは過ぎたるよりまされり。).
The work was made on a thick shikishi (色紙) cardboard by Ohira Rensen (大平蓮川), master calligrapher of the Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県) and a member of Chubu Nihon Shodokai (中部日本書道会), and is in very good condition.