Confucius once said “Respect deities, but keep away from them.” I think this means that you have to make every effort you can and stay away from deities paying respect to them.

  • Confucius 孔子
  • respect 尊敬する
  • deity 神
  • make efforts 努力する

Miyamoto Musashi was influenced by the words of Confucius. He said in his book of The Way of Walking Alone , “Deities are sacred and to be respected, but I won’t depend on them.”

  • influence 影響する
  • sacred 神聖な
  • depend on A Aに頼る

A Japanese verb “keien-suru”(敬遠する) is derived from the Confucius’s words “respect but keep away from.” The meaning of “keiensuru” has now been changed into that of “avoiding troubles making no efforts.”

  • verb 動詞
  • be derived from A Aに由来する
  • avoid 避ける

There is no problem in offering gratitude to deities, spirits or humans. In the real world, too, you cannot judge if the other person is good or bad. If you ask a favor of someone who looks like a nice person, you don’t know what’s on…

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