To Kiyomori each stall, each soul here seemed borne under by the crushing weight of the world; everyone here was a pitiful weed, trodden underfoot -- a conglomeration of human lives putting down roots in this slime, living and letting live in the struggle to survive; and he was stirred by the fearful and magnificent courage communicated by the scene.

Eiji Yoshikawa

I wouldn't say Musashi is ordinary. But he is. That's what's extraordinary about him. He is not content to rely on whatever natural gifts he may have. Knowing he is ordinary, he is constantly trying to improve himself. No one appreciates the agonizing effort he's had to make. Now that his years of training have yielded such spectacular results, everybody's talking about his 'God-given talent.' That's how men who don't try very hard comfort themselves.

Eiji Yoshikawa

...you're going to find people from all over the country, everyone hungry for money and position. You won't make a name for yourself just doing what the next man does. You'll have to distinguish yourself in some way.

Eiji Yoshikawa

People tend to be put off by the idea of selling sex, but if you spend a winter's night with one of them and talk with her about her family and so on, you're likely to find she's just like any other woman.

Eiji Yoshikawa

The bitter winds in February were sometimes called the First East Winds, but the longing for spring somehow made them seem more piercing.

Eiji Yoshikawa

The summit is believed to be the object of the climb. But its true object--the joy of living--is not in the peak itself, but in the adversities encountered on the way up.

Eiji Yoshikawa

It does happen, of course, that the priesthood has been on bad terms with womankind for some three thousand years. You see, Buddhism teaches that women are evil. Fiends. Messengers of hell. I've spent years immersed in the scriptures, so it's no accident that you and I fight all the time.

Eiji Yoshikawa

The truth of the scholar, alone in his study, does not always accord with what the world at large considers to be true.

Eiji Yoshikawa

When a woman dislikes the man who is courting her, she parries him cleverly, like a willow in the wind.

Eiji Yoshikawa

See, see how the sun has moved onward while we talked. Nothing can stop it in its course. Prayers cannot halt the revolving of nature. It is the same with human life. Victory and defeat are one in the vast stream of life. Victory is the beginning of defeat, and who can rest safely in victory? Impermanence is the nature of all things of this world. Even you will find your ill fortunes too will change. It is easy to understand the impatience of the old, whose days are numbered, but why should you young ones fret when the future is yours?

Eiji Yoshikawa

The world is always full of the sound of waves.
The little fishes, abandoning themselves to the waves, dance and sing and play, but who knows the heart of the sea, a hundred feet down? Who knows its depth?

Eiji Yoshikawa

Fighting isn't all there is to the Art of War. The men who think that way, and are satisfied to have food to eat and a place to sleep, are mere vagabonds. A serious student is much more concerned with training his mind and disciplining his spirit than with developing martial skills.

Eiji Yoshikawa