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  • ("What is most important to the heart of a warrior? To desire with one's very soul every second of every day to accomplish one's aim." - Yamamoto Tsunetomo, "Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai")


  • It's just after sunrise, and 16-year-old Mori Banshirô is already hard at work, practicing drills with his long sword.

    太陽才剛升起,16 歲的 Mori Banshirô 已經開始努力工作,手持長劍進行劍術練習。

  • Banshirô is an ambitious samurai in training, and today, he must impress his teachers more than ever.

    Banshirô 是一位有野心的武士訓練生,而今天,他比往常更需要給老師們留下深刻印象。

  • Today, he'll make his request to travel to the capital city of Edo for a year of martial and scholarly studies, and he needs their support, along with his father's.


  • The year is 1800, in the castle town ofchi, capital of the Tosa domain in Japan.

    時值 1800 年,位在高知這座城市,它也是日本土佐藩的首都。

  • The daimyo rules the domain, and about 1,500 samurai retainers serve him.

    各領域會由大名統治,然後有約 1,500 名武士傭人服務他。

  • For 200 years, Japan has been at peace, and the samurai, once primarily warriors, now play a much wider range of roles.

    200 年以來,日本都處於和平狀態,而曾經以戰士為主的武士現在也扮演了更多元的角色。

  • They are also government officials, scholars, teachers, and even masters of the tea ceremony or artists.


  • To prepare for these diverse responsibilities, young samurai like Banshirô study the "twin paths" of literary learning and the martial arts.

    為了這些多元責任做準備,像是 Banshirô 的年輕武士會研讀學術和武術的雙重路線。

  • At 15, he went through the rites of adulthood and received the daishô, a pair of swords.

    他在 15 歲時經歷了成年禮,並收到稱為 daishô 的對劍。

  • The long sword is for training and combat, while the short sword has a sole, solemn purpose


  • to commit ritual suicide, or seppuku, if he dishonors himself, his family, or the daimyo.

    若他對自己、家人或大名不忠時,執行所謂 seppuku 的自盡儀式。

  • Banshirô idolizes the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi, a renowned swordsman who lived 150 years earlier.

    Banshirô 視傳奇性武士 Miyamoto Musashi 為偶像,他是存活在 150 年前的著名劍客。

  • But Banshirô doesn't admire his swordsmanship alone.

    但 Banshirô 並不只是景仰他的劍術。

  • Miyamoto Musashi was also a master calligrapher and painter.

    Miyamoto Musashi 也是為書法專家以及畫家。

  • That's the real reason Banshirô wants to go to Edohe secretly wants to be a painter, too.

    那是 Banshirô 想要去江戶的真實原因,他在暗中也想成為畫家。

  • After finishing his practice at home, he bids his father goodbye and walks to school.


  • His father is preparing to accompany the daimyo to the capital.


  • The Tokugawa shogun, head of the Japanese military government, requires all the regional rulers to alternate years between their castle town in the home domain and the capital city.


  • The costly treks back and forth keep the daimyo subordinate and prevent them from building up their own military forces to challenge the shogunate.


  • The daimyo's wife and children live in the capital full-time, where they serve as hostages to ensure his loyalty.


  • But the practice doesn't just affect the daimyoit determines much of the rhythm of life in Japan.


  • Samurai must accompany the daimyo to Edo.


  • This year, it's Banshirô's father's turn to go, and Banshirô is desperate to go with him.

    今年輪到 Banshirô 的父親前往,而 Banshirô 極度希望與他同行。

  • But given that he's still in training, he'll need permission from both his father and the domain.


  • At school, Banshirô's first lesson is in swordfighting.

    Banshirô 在學校的第一堂課是舞劍。

  • Under his teacher's stern eye, he pairs up with his classmates and goes through the routines he's been practicing.


  • At the end of the lesson, he reminds the instructor of his request to go to Edo.


  • The instructor cracks his first smile of the day, and Banshirô feels confident he will gain his support.

    指導老師露出了當天第一次微笑,Banshirô 很有信心自己能夠獲得他的支持。

  • Next, Banshirô practices archery, horsemanship, and swimming before his academic courses in the afternoon.

    Banshirô 緊接著練習射箭、馬術以及游泳,然後迎接下午的學術課程。

  • Courses cover Confucian philosophy, morality, and history.


  • When the instructor calls on him, he has the response on the tip of his tongue, ensuring another supporter for his campaign.


  • By the end of the day, Banshirô feels confident that his formal request will be approved, but the greatest challenge is still ahead of him.

    一天結束後,Banshirô 胸有成足地相信他的正式請求會被認可,但最大的挑戰還在他眼前。

  • Convincing his father.


  • His father believes the martial arts are more important than the literary arts, so Banshirô doesn't mention his artistic ambitions.

    他的父親相信武術遠比人文藝術重要,所以 Banshirô 並未提及他在藝術方面的野心。

  • Instead, he talks about renowned sword instructors he can train with and teaching certifications he can earn to improve his professional prospects back inchi.


  • Then, he makes his final, strongest argument.


  • If he goes this time and succeeds, his father can retire and send him instead in the future.


  • It's his last point that finally sells himBanshirô's father agrees to take him on his tour of duty.

    正是這最後一點說服了父親,讓他同意帶 Banshirô 踏上任務之旅。

  • In the bustle of the capital city, Banshirô will finally have the opportunity to pursue his secret ambition to become a painter.

    在喧囂的首都中,Banshirô 將終於有機會能夠追求他偷偷想成為畫家的野心。

  • Travel 150 years further back in time and join forces with another group of elite and formidable warriors, the Cossacks.

    將時光再倒轉 150 年,與另外一群精良且氣勢強大的哥薩克戰士聯手。

  • Or, expand your knowledge of Japanese culture with this video on Kabuki dance drama.


("What is most important to the heart of a warrior? To desire with one's very soul every second of every day to accomplish one's aim." - Yamamoto Tsunetomo, "Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai")


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