‘Live interestingly in an uninteresting world’ Samurai Death Poem For Japanese Letter Tattoo
A Samurai verse on life in Japanese letters (kanji and Hiragana) is available for instant download. This can make a great looking tattoo on back, spine, ribs and neck for guys. The design is available in 3 different writing styles for your preference. Created and verified by a native Japanese speaker. 100% accurate and Your favourite tattoo artist DOES NOT need to know any Japanese.
Live interestingly in an uninteresting world, it is just a matter of how your mind and heart see it
This is a death poem from a very famous Samurai, Shinsaku Takasugi, in the late Edo period known as Bakumatsu (幕末) . Bakumatsu refers to the final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate (Samurai era) ended (1853 – 1868)
Samurai verse on life explained
Bakumatsu is the time when major ideological-political divide was happening between the pro-imperial nationalists and the shogunate forces, which included the elite shinsengumi swordsmen. Because of the political instability, samurai were always under threat of assassination. Shinsaku died at the age of 29 and this poem is said to have been read by him before he passes away.
Meaning of the verse
There is always only one fact. Even if there is one fact, if there are a hundred people, there will be a hundred different truths, because there is a truth for each person. What is interesting to each person is also different. The only thing that is interesting to you is what you find interesting, and the only thing that determines that is your mind. Therefore, whether you live an interesting life or not depends on your own mindset.
This poem can be broken down to 2 sections. The first section is ‘Live interestingly in an uninteresting world'(おもしろきこともなき世をおもしろく) and the second section is it is just a matter of how your mind and heart see it’ (すみなしものは心なりけり). Some people omit the second section and interpret the verse to inspire oneself like ‘I will make this world interesting’ while others recognise the second part and use this verse as a Buddhist teaching. (e.g Karma 自業自得). The download files contain both 5 line style and 2 line style for your preference.
Who is Shinsaku Takasugi?
Shinsaku Takasugi is a samurai from the Chōshū Domain (present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture) who led a fight against Tokugawa clan (The ruler of the entire Japan) and defeated (Second Chōshū expedition in 1864).
Despite the national seclusion policy at the time, he was ordered by the domain master to secretly go to Shanghai in China to investigate the state of affairs and the strength of the Western powers. He was so shocked by the effect of the European imperialism over the Chinese Empire.
This experience made him convinced that Japan must strengthen itself to avoid being colonised by the western powers, or to suffer a similar fate as China. When he returned from China, he led a squad and set fire on the under-construction British Embassy.
There was already a growing movement in Japan called Sonnō Jōi (尊王攘夷 ‘expel the barbarians and revere the Emperor’) and thus, attracting certain radical sections of Japan’s warrior class and court nobility, and Takasugi’s ideas found ready support in Chōshū and other parts of Japan.
Although he was a very influential Samurai, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 27 and did not get to see the success of his dream (Overthrowing Tokugawa Shogunate)
If you are interested in visiting Japan for holiday, then learning its history will definitely make your trip more enjoyable, especially visiting Historical sites.
There is a button to download the file right after checkout and no need to wait for me to send it to you. Then you just simply forward it to your favourite tattoo artist. The letters are 100% accurate and he/she does not need to know any Japanese. The file contains both calligraphy style and line art (Stencil).Stencil is what your tattoo artist must have to ink the tattoo as it serves as the outline to trace the artwork onto your skin.
NOTE : The letters DO NOT NEED TO BE MIRRORED, they should appear just as it appears on the print-out.
PDF or JPG?
All letters in any file with ‘verse‘ tag fits in a 22cm (8.66inch) x 8cm (3.14) frame. Depending on the number of letters, the size of the letters vary and the letters may not fill the entire frame. New line starts after certain syllables in accordance with the rules of Japanese verse.
Please select the pdf version if you want to resize the letters to your perfect needs as it is illustrator-editable and resize-friendly. Your tattoo artist can make it bigger or smaller with no problem.
Here are the example files for your reference.
3 different styles
You have 3 writing styles to choose from for this design.
each style gives different impressions and I have summarised in the gallery above.
How to order
Just simply tick your preferred style and hit the ‘purchase’ button. You have 3 writing styles to choose from for this design. Each style gives different impressions. In a nutshell,
- Style 1: Elegant, Delicate
- Style 2: Chic, Sophisticated
- Style 3: Earnest, Sincere