What follows come out of my essay. I first compare the translation for Tokitsu's biography of Musashi, with William Scott Wilson's translation. (Tokitsu is an instructor in Musashi's sword style in France, Wilson is widely known as one of the best translators of Japanese and Chinese classics.) 1. yo yo no michi o somuku koto nashi Tokitsu: Do not go against the way of the human world that is perpetuated from generation to generation. Wilson: Do not turn your back on the various Ways of this world. Yo: "society" or "the world of human beings," and in a broader sense, "the world." The repetition of the term denotes the idea of succession and movement over time. Michi: "the way" or "principle." Somoku: "to go against." Koto nashi: a negation applied to a verb. "Nashi" corresponds to the negation ("not"), and "koto" to the nominative form taken by the verb in this sentence. Tokitsu states: "Yo yo no michi:" "the way of the human world that is perpetuated from generation to generation." Acording to Imai Masayuki, the present-day and tenth successor to Musashi, this expression designates the way of wisdom, the true way that traverses time from the past to the future. This idea belongs to the tradition of Buddhism. According to Imai Masayuki, this sentence indicates the state of a man who is independent yet, acting freely, conforms to a truth of human nature. "...independent yet, acting freely, conforms to a truth of human nature." What is that "truth"? And how different would it be if instead of a general "truth of human nature" I were to say "truth of his own individual nature?" To restate fully: "independent yet, acting freely, conform to a truth of his own nature." It sounds odd. I would restate the whole thing as "Do not disregard the human world that is perpetuated from generation to generation." There's still something missing, something I'm not understanding in the original phrase - so any attempt of mine to try and restate it for whatever purpose is not really more than brash ego. It really DOES sound in English like "Don't ignore typical human behavior, it can still put you at risk - and don't be too obviously different because it's in their nature to cause trouble with those who go against the flow." Years later I'd have to amend that as "Do not consider yourself immune to the realities of human behavior." Individuals may be individual, have unique egos, but the patterns of human behavior are pretty consistent. The unique qualities come in when we realize we can in fact choose how to respond to the patterns of behavior around us.