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The Fostering of Wisdom

Kawaraban No. 34


by Kenji Shimizu

With regard to the critical international situation Japan also has fallen into an extremely unpleasant position. In the ‘Book of Dialogues’ by Confucius the following is taught: “Don’t worry if you possess a little, be worried if you are unequal”. That means that even if you are poor, you are able to endure this circumstance if it is the same for everybody. Formerly most Japanese thought in such a way. But on this matter today’s society has degenerated so that people do not care about others as long as they themselves get by well. Everyone is a neighbor himself and annoys other people without scruple. How come?

Let us reflect on education in Japan today. Isn’t it only a pure study of knowledge for the sake of the knowledge? There is not the slightest difference in carrying around lots of books.

In Bushido people attached little value to knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Knowledge was a means to foster wisdom. An English proverb as well goes as follows: “Experience without study is superior to a study without experience”.

Presently terrible incidents are accumulating, where children are involved, and the reason is that studying puts priority on knowledge (accumulation of knowledge) and thereby causing a backlash in the brain. The body develops into the body of a cultural human being (softened), while the head develops into that of a savage.

Let us refer to the members of Parliament who represent the citizens. During their question-and-answer sessions they completely talk around each other. That is a shame for us Japanese. I want man to become more aware to this shame. Additionally we are in a situation, where the outrageous broadcasting from magazines and television reach children unfiltered and exert a scarcely imaginable negative influence upon them.

Under these circumstances it is not possible to meet the demand of educating children sincerely.

In future in Japan human potential will be wasted, if first of all the adults do not change dramatically. There are various games for children in which they learn wisdom for their life in a natural way. But in any case the adults have to follow a consistent philosophy and have to live with full conviction; otherwise Japan will not change. Because children imitate adults …

© translated by Jennifer Reynolds and Peter Nawrot 12/2005