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The Tao of Shinsei had many notable quotes.

Notable Quotes[]

  • “We tell the tale of heroes to remind ourselves that we also can be great.” [1] [2] [3]
  • “Every journey begins with a single step. Step well, and your journey will be filled with fortune. Step poorly, and it will be wrought with disaster.” [4]
  • “You cannot live while hiding from life.” [5]
  • “A handful of wealth is worth a handful of dust when compared to the; riches a samurai's family gives to him.” [6]
  • “You own every word you speak.” [6]
  • “A courageous man has no need to be cruel.” [6]
  • “While you rest, your enemy practices.” [7]
  • “The truth of the world can be found sitting at the riverside, The river never begins, the river never ends. All of life is like the river, lessons never begin and lessons never end.” [8]
  • “Hesitation is the seed of defeat.” [9]
  • “Every day of his life a man has only one judge, and that judge is himself.” [9]
  • “A man must find his place in life, or he is a wandering fool never content, never at peace, bringing discord with him wherever he goes.” [10]
  • “The road of revenge leads straight to the sun, hanging on the horizon. There are no wayside inns to give the traveller rest, there are no detours, byways or deviations. It is a long, bloody path that can only end in a grave.” [11]
  • “Held in a hand you trust, it is your ally. Held in a hand you do not trust, it is your enemy. Learn the way of fire and you learn the way of the world.” [12]
  • “The wind moves with such subtlety, you do not even notice your own breathing. Be aware. Only a fool knows the wind is empty.” [13]
  • “You can not command the elements any more than you can command the stars in heaven. You must learn to hear the music of the celestial chorus. Once that is done, you must learn to dance.” [14]
  • “The Earth is silent and still, a sleeping giant who does not wish to be disturbed.” [15]
  • “Master the Way of the Earth, and you will find the virtue of the eternal mountain.” [16]
  • “Take away your enemy's foundation and you will find he is not as threatening as he once was.” [17]
  • “Evil spirits are the result of an impure life. Live your life with certainty and justice and you will be free of fortune's curse.” [18]
  • “Just as water washes away the stains of the earth, so does it wash the soul clean of the stains of fear.” [19]
  • “There are no secrets. There is no understand­ing. Void is all and nothing. It is the dance of the elements.” [20] [21]
  • “Every man's life is a story.” [22]
  • “Only when you are in the grave will you have nothing more to learn.” [23]
  • “The worst enemy is the absence of hope.” [24]
  • “The temple road is wisdom's golden path.” [25]
  • “It is honorable to be accused by those who deserve to be accused.” [26]
  • “A person overwhelmed still lives, a person dishonored died long before their heart ceases to beat.” [27]
  • “The truth is always simple. Liars make things complicated.” [28]
  • “All things are known to the man who is wise.” [29]
  • “When the work is done, wait, wair, bide.” [30]
  • “To serve the Tao is to serve the Empire. The one cannot be parted from the other, no more than the sea can be parted from the land.” [31]
  • “There is no such thing as coincidence There are only auspicious occasions.” [32]
  • “What you call "I" is merely a door that moves when you inhale and exhale.” [33]
  • “Do not judge a man by the lord he serves. Judge him by his choice of enemies.” [34]
  • “The words of the Tao are simple. Following the Tao is complex. So does the simple show the outward things, The complex reveals the soul.” [35]
  • “The dragonfly's buzz is no different from the lion's roar. All creatures have a voice with which they express the Way. So it is with us.” [36]
  • “Sometimes the downfall of houses hinges on the fumble of a wrist.” [37] [38]
  • “Do not be wary of men who take risks with title and lands. Be wary of men who have nothing to lose.” [39]
  • “To master the future, one must study the past.” [40] [41]
  • “Understand the Will of Heaven, and you make all things possible. Ignore it, and you will accomplish nothing.” [42]
  • “I am only the ladle and the Way is the well. When you are not thirsty, is your mind on the ladle or the well?” [43]
  • “The essence of Air is the essence of speed and awareness. It is oneness with the world, both physical and spiritual.” [44]
  • “Your soul - your life energy - is not bound by the flesh. It can reach where your fingers cannot.” [45] [46]
  • “Following a false light only leads you deeper into darkness.” [47] [48] [46]
  • “He who would not be a fool knows not to fear long knives but ones that may only strike close.” [49] [41]
  • “Sometimes the downfall of houses hinges on a fumble of the wrist.” [50]
  • “The way of darkness always brings great power. The way of darkness always brings a great price.” [51] [52]
  • “Do not be wary of men who take risks with titles and lands, be wary of men who have nothing to lose.” [53]
  • “One must learn to see what is to be seen and to see though what others wish you to see.” [54] [55]
  • “Courage may feed a man's soul, but it is rice that feeds his belly, and an army cannot move on courage alone.” [56] [57]
  • “It takes a wise man to see an obstacle as it truly is and not as it appears to be.” [58] [57]
  • “Wisdom can be found in many places, but you must always begin at home.”[59] [52]
  • “You are always blind to your truest enemy, for he is behind your eyes.” [60]
  • “When I have a voice in the Emperor's ear, I need no general in the field.” [61]
  • “What you do not understand can kill you.” [62]
  • “Lose your fear, and you gain the world.” [63]
  • “You cannot conquer the elements. You must learn to dance with their harmony.” [64]
  • “The art of war is to put your enemy in a position that he cannot fight from.” [65]
  • “Knowing your advantages does you no good if your enemy is able to keep you from employing them.” [52]
  • “There cannot be two suns in the heavens or two Emperors on earth.” [66]
  • “The Tao of Shinsei is more than clever sayings and trite wisdom; the wisdom of Shinsei contains the secrets of the Universe.” [66]
  • “Wherever there is light, there must be shadow.” [66]
  • “One must bow to offer aid to a fallen man.” [66]
  • “Shinsei said, "Who binds you?" The Emperor said, "No one binds me - I am the Emperor." "A contradiction in itself." said the monk with a smile.” [46]
  • “At times, the voice of peace must ring like Thunder.” [2]
  • “A black heart hides many secrets. The blackest heart hides the deadliest secret of all.” [2]
  • “Appreciation of beauty is the beginning of wisdom.” [2]
  • “Study what the pine and cherry blossom can teach. Man is not the only keeper of enlightenment.” [67]
  • “Two men can brave what one man cannot.” [67]
  • “You can steal a samurai's weapon and armor, but you can never steal his honor.” [67]
  • “Those with pure purpose have the strength to never fall.” [68]
  • “In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert's, there are few.” [68]
  • “Wisdom comes in finding the opportunities that dilemmas provide.” [68]
  • “Even in times of trouble, remember this: there is no evil in nature. What is now has been before and will be again. It is the short sighted and foolish who believe that life has no patterns, no purposes. All that is now is part of what has been and what will come to be.” [69]
  • “Do not be distracted by the pincers when it is the tail that can kill you.” [70]
  • “The strength of an Empire does not lie in the stone of its walls, but the hearts of its people.” [70]
  • “The only true test of courage is the last one.” [71] [72]
  • “Desperate men employ desperate measures.” [73] [21]
  • “Friendship is truly tested when it is time to share the burden.” [74] [72]
  • “Petting scorpions with a compassionate hand only gets you a sting.” [75] [72]
  • “When darkness descends, a man must find allies in the shadows.” [76] [41]
  • “You cannot balance the elements while you are without balance.” [77] [21]
  • “First we are enveloped by the womb; then we are enveloped by custom; finally we are enveloped by death.” [78]
  • “The center is everything. Find the center. All else proceeds naturally from there.” [79]
  • “It is the sound of purest harmony, the sound of the universe. Make your soul sing its song, and you will find there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” [80] [81]
  • “A clear mind can topple even the strongest will.” [82] [21]
  • “Brave men may be forgotten; brave deeds never so.” [83] [84]
  • “Winds blow, nations change, fortunes rise and fall, but the simple folk will always be asked to shoulder the weight.” [85] [81]
  • “Only the face of all that is and is not can reveal the truth.” [86] [81]
  • “In order to choose the correct path, you must know the pitfalls that await you.” [87] [81]
  • “There are subtler strategies and deadlier battlefields than even I know.” [88] [41]
  • “If a general is wise, he knows that a single man can halt an entire army.” [89] [38]
  • “The higher you stand above modesty, the easier it becomes to lose your footing.” [90] [38]
  • “A sagacious general, armed with the knowledge of his enemy, will be able to act as if he knows his enemy's every thought.” [91] [55]
  • “...for the more corrupt the soul, the more painful it becomes to look upon the pure. So it is with crystal and jade and the creatures of the dark lands. Remember this, Hantei, for it will one day save your life.” [92] [57]
  • “When you are doing one thing, be concerned with that one thing and nothing else. Distraction breeds disaster.” [93] [55]
  • “When ten thousand men clash with arms and fire, it is always a single man's actions that make the difference.” [94] [72]
  • “You need no armor, you need no sword. You need only to know that you cannot be defeated.” [95] [84]
  • “Destiny does not believe in secrets. When something is meant to be, it is obvious to all but the foolish.” [96] [84]
  • “When your enemy is certain you cannot act, victory is within your reach.” [97] [84]
  • “While others lament on what they should have done, the wise man prepares for what he should do next.” [98] [46]
  • “Guard your words carefully, for you own every word you speak.” [99] [46]
  • “As an ocean to a small stream, the leader to his people, this is the Tao to the world.” [100] [101] [102]
  • “The Elements are not the means to an end... they are the beginning, and the end.” [103] [102]
  • “True Nobility comes not from being superior to another man, but from being superior to your past.” [104] [66]
  • “All things are necessary - war, peace, the edge of the sword, and the sound of a poem. With understanding, all things are one.” [105]
  • “People argue. Nature acts.” [106]
  • “Never promise more than you can perform.” [107]
  • “Seek enlightenment, but do not be foolish enough to expect enlightenment.” [108]
  • “A wise man does not seek wisdom in the world. He finds it within himself.” [109]
  • “If you cannot find enlightenment now, wait a hundred years. It shall be waiting for you.” [110]
  • “To expect surprise is the only way to avoid it.” [111]
  • “Humility is the greatest teacher.” [112]
  • “Death cannot be avoided. Only embraced.” [113]
  • “In the strangest places, seek yourself.” [114]
  • “The path of the damned is lined with the souls of those with good intentions.” [115]
  • “Those who fear to act have already failed.” [115]
  • “A stray dog sees only what it chases.” [116]
  • “When seeking a teacher, first find those who know what you know, then those who know what you do not.” [117]
  • “In simplicity, there is honor.” [118]
  • “When your numbers are superior you must attack without pause, but when you are outnumbered, you must choose your opportunities carefully to find advantage.” [119]
  • “A man whose sword is always drawn is never approached. He has no allies. Yet a man who never draws his sword will find it rusting in its sheath. Seek balance in all things.” [120]
  • “Find the essence of fire within yourself, and the world shall bend around you like metal at the forge.” [121]


  1. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Way of Shinsei, p. 48
  3. Imperial Histories 2, p. 311
  4. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 14
  5. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 33
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 34
  7. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 35
  8. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 46
  9. 9.0 9.1 Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 52
  10. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 53
  11. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 54
  12. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 96
  13. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 132
  14. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 141
  15. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 146
  16. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 147
  17. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 148
  18. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 149
  19. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 150
  20. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 162
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Way of Shinsei, p. 15
  22. Character Travelogue (Phoenix Clan)
  23. Way of the Dragon, p. 23
  24. Way of the Unicorn, p. 27
  25. City of Lies: Location Guide, p. 39
  26. Way of the Crane, p. 29
  27. Way of the Crane, p. 46
  28. Way of the Crane, p. 54
  29. Walking the Way, p. 120
  30. Night of a Thousand Screams, p. 28
  31. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 80
  32. GM's Survival Guide, p. 20
  33. GM's Survival Guide, p. 31
  34. Unexpected Allies, p. 1
  35. Unexpected Allies, p. 109
  36. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 45
  37. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 61
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Way of Shinsei, p. 4
  39. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 31
  40. Imperial Histories, Backside
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 Way of Shinsei, p. 13
  42. Emerald Empire; Fourth Edition, p. 176
  43. Emerald Empire; Fourth Edition, p. 188
  44. Book of Air, back page
  45. The Soul Goes Forth (Scorpion Clan Coup, Scroll 1 flavor)
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 46.4 Way of Shinsei, p. 35
  47. A Vision of Truth (Scorpion Clan Coup, Scroll 2 flavor)
  48. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 10
  49. Long Knives by John Wick
  50. Breach of Etiquette (Imperial flavor)
  51. Evil Feeds Upon Itself (Imperial flavor)
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 Way of Shinsei, p. 10
  53. Hisa (Imperial flavor)
  54. Mists of Illusion (Imperial flavor)
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 Way of Shinsei, p. 7
  56. Small Farm (Imperial flavor)
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 Way of Shinsei, p. 11
  58. Unscalable Walls (Imperial flavor)
  59. Walking the Way (Imperial flavor)
  60. Stater quotes: Crab Clan (Imperial)
  61. Stater quotes: Crane Clan (Imperial)
  62. Stater quotes: Dragon Clan (Imperial)
  63. Stater quotes: Lion Clan (Imperial)
  64. Stater quotes: Phoenix Clan (Imperial)
  65. Stater quotes: Unicorn Clan (Imperial)
  66. 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4 Way of Shinsei, p. 26
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 Way of Shinsei, p. 49
  68. 68.0 68.1 68.2 Way of Shinsei, p. 67
  69. The Way of the World, by John Wick
  70. 70.0 70.1 Starter Quotes (Shadowlands)
  71. A Stout Heart (Shadowlands flavor)
  72. 72.0 72.1 72.2 72.3 Way of Shinsei, p. 14
  73. Desperate Measures (Shadowlands flavor)
  74. Sympathetic Energies (Shadowlands flavor)
  75. Winning Kachiko's Favor (Shadowlands flavor)
  76. Bayushi Hisa (Emerald flavor)
  77. Disharmony (Forbidden Knowledge flavor)
  78. Emerald Empire; Fourth Edition, p. 36
  79. Kokoro (A Perfect Cut flavor)
  80. Chime of Harmony (Crimson and Jade flavor)
  81. 81.0 81.1 81.2 81.3 Way of Shinsei, p. 20
  82. Fist of the Earth (Crimson and Jade flavor)
  83. Historian (Crimson and Jade flavor)
  84. 84.0 84.1 84.2 84.3 Way of Shinsei, p. 23
  85. Peasant Levies (Crimson and Jade flavor)
  86. Visage of the Void (Crimson and Jade flavor)
  87. Wisdom the Wind Brings (Crimson and Jade flavor)
  88. Bayushi Kachiko (Obsidian flavor)
  89. Block Supply Lines (Obsidian flavor)
  90. Breach of Etiquette (Obsidian flavor)
  91. Careful Planning (Obsidian flavor)
  92. Jade Works (Obsidian flavor)
  93. Meditation (Obsidian flavor)
  94. Toku (Obsidian flavor)
  95. Chi Strike (Time of the Void flavor)
  96. Destiny Has No Secrets (Time of the Void flavor)
  97. Plans Within Plans (Time of the Void flavor)
  98. The Time is Now (Time of the Void flavor)
  99. Untrustworthy (Time of the Void flavor)
  100. Starter Quotes: Brotherhood of Shinsei (Jade)
  101. Ashigaru (Jade flavor)
  102. 102.0 102.1 Way of Shinsei, p. 29
  103. One with the Elements (Jade flavor)
  104. Chi Projection (Hidden Emperor 6 flavor)
  105. Glimpse of the Unicorn (Storms Over Matsu Palace flavor)
  106. Hurricane (Storms Over Matsu Palace flavor)
  107. Dragon Dancers (Spirit Wars flavor)
  108. Introspection (Heaven and Earth flavor)
  109. The Path of Wisdom (Diamond flavor)
  110. Temple of the Ages (Promotional flavor)
  111. Plans within Plans (Diamond flavor)
  112. Doji Doukohito (Khan's Defiance flavor)
  113. A Noble End (Khan's Defiance flavor)
  114. Silent Solace (Khan's Defiance flavor)
  115. 115.0 115.1 Light of the Mountain (The Race for the Throne Book), by Shawn Carman
  116. Kitsuki Nakai (Empire at War flavor)
  117. In Search of Guidance (Embers of War flavor)
  118. Shinsei's Shrine (Celestial15 flavor)
  119. The Battle at Beiden Pass - Letters to the Generals
  120. Kakita Mitsumichi (Twenty Festivals flavor)
  121. Soul of Fire (Unreleased Promo)