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This book has been compiled from edited transcripts of lectures

delivered in the 1960s by the late Haruchika Noguchi to
members of Seitai Kyokai.


All rights reserved. No part of this book may he reprinted or
reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic,
mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented,
including photocopying and recording, or in any information
storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from
the publishers.
First published 1991
Printed in Tokyo

I Scolding and Praising ..................................................... 9
II The Question of Ignorance ...........................................42
III How Spontaneity is Stifled ..........................................64
IV The Elder and Younger Child ........................................77
V Childrens Demands .....................................................93
VI The Physiology of Rebellion ....................................... 107
VII The Tale-Bearing Disposition .................................... 129
VIII Mothers who Vent their Anger Indiscriminately on
their Children ......................................................... 145
IX The Suppression of Demands and Childrens Illnesses ... 173
X Taiheki and the Acceptance of Scoldings ....................... 183
XI Things that Interrupt Growth ..................................... 192
Appendix : Taiheki ....................................................... 235

Scolding and Praising

It is in giving praise or meting out a scolding that the manner of
thinking of someone who is in charge of others Is manifested
most directly; but, however directly this manner of thinking may
be manifested. the words that are said are pointless unless the
other person understands them. In the case of delivering a
scolding, one has a partner: but people sometimes forget this. A
housewife, for example. will grumble away to herself In the
kitchen and work herself up as much as she can, and as soon as
her husband returns home, she will spring to the attack. Her
assault comes as a complete surprise to her husband, who is not
aware of the process that has led up to it. It is even worse when
a small child is scolded with a string of long words: he wont
understand at all. When
you are giving a scolding, you have a partner, so that you
should always proceed in such a way that your partner
understands. This is the first thing to remember in connection
with scolding and praising.
When I speak of the others understanding a scolding, I mean
that it is wrong when what has led up to a scolding is not clear,
and the other is suddenly overwhelmed with a flood of scolding
words. And it is wrong for parents and teachers thoughtlessly to
deliver scoldings. You have to speak so that the other person is
able to understand. For this, you have to make preparations so
that your thoughts are expressed in simple terms. Some people,
when they deliver a scolding, behave like the kind of person who
mumbles reproaches for hours without ever once being
understood. They are doing no more than speaking to
themselves. At least, theirs is not a scolding directed towards
someone else.
During the last war, there were children who got lice. One
mother reprimanded her child at length and said, How on earth
did you manage to pick up lice? I asked her whether she was
speaking to the lice. Her child did not, after all, pick up lice
so her cross-examination was futile. Had she addressed the lice,
it would have been more to the point, but then, of course, she
would have had to have used different words in order to

communicate with them. But there are many cases of this kind
of misjudged scolding.
To return to the other persons understanding what you say, it is
not a matter solely of the words you use. You occasionally come
across someone who, right from the beginning, shouts at the
top of his voice. The other person is scared by his loud voice
and at some point backs down. He doesnt back down because
he understands what the scolding is about; he is persuaded only
by the force with which the words are delivered. It is mistaken
to suppose that if you speak in a loud voice, a scolding will be
understood or children will meekly obey what you say.
Again, if there is a great jumble of problems in your mind and
you voice complaints without having sorted these problems out,
children will not be able to understand, and they will suddenly
become deaf to what you say. If his mother goes too far in
piling up one incomprehensible thing
upon another, her son will think to himself, There must be
something wrong with her; and he will suddenly become unable
to hear her scolding. Again, if the manner of scolding is too
frightening, a child will become tongue-tied. He will think that if
he makes a reply, he will only be shouted at the more, so he
simply holds his tongue.
If you distinguish the two aspects of scolding and being scolded,
there is, on the scolding side, the pleasure of giving vent to
ones energy; so that there is a pleasure in scolding, and this
involves the danger of scolding too much. Shouting You stupid
idiot! is pleasurable in some way, and this is the pleasure of
venting energy; but the person who is being scolded feels only
that the scolding is taking an unconscionable time. But the
person who is venting his energy feels that the scolding is taking
scarcely any time at all, and the result is that he tends to say
too much. On the other side though the time is the same for
both the person being scolded feels that the time taken is
extremely long. As the contradictory sayings Day and night
alternate with the speed of an arrow and One day lasts a
thousand years suggest, there are differences
in subjectively felt time. The person who is being scolded feels
that one day lasts a thousand years, whereas the person doing
the scolding feels that nights and days are flashing past: he
wags his tongue nineteen to the dozen and forgets the passage
of time.

But it is wrong to scold excessively. A scolding which, if brief,

would be understood, will not be understood if delivered at
length simply because of its length. A scolding that is off the
mark will anyway not come home to the person being scolded,
but if a scolding that is on the mark is given at length, the
recipient has no recourse but to become deaf. Again, a person
who sees that he has hit the mark when he is giving a scolding
will triumphantly repeat himself again and again; and he will, in
addition, become overbearing. But it is especially at a time
when a scolding is on the mark that one has to be circumspect.
And at a time when a scolding is right on the mark, one has to
be as succinct as possible.
If you express yourself simply when giving a scolding that is off
the mark, the other will feel nothing; though if you express
yourself at length in such a case, your child will doubt your
intelligence and
the efficacy of the scolding will not be increased. If the authority
of your scolding collapses, then parental authority as a whole is
virtually lost. So a scolding that is off the mark is wrong, as is a
scolding that is on the mark and goes on too long. A childs not
understanding why he is being scolded, or what is being said, is
undesirable; and the indulgence, on your part, in sudden
emotional outbursts is equally undesirable. A child who is
scolded as soon as he returns home from school will think,
Mummy must have broken a dish or something. Because he
thinks that it is because of a broken plate, he doesnt regard the
scolding as a scolding, and he may try to get away. It often
happens that a child thinks, Oh, shes being hysterical again,
and ignores his mother.
So the true meaning of delivering a scolding in such a way that
the other understands does not consist only in the others
understanding the words. He must understand the reason for
the scolding, too. The logic and length of the scolding are also
important, and the limits of the scolding must be such that the
other can assent to the justice of his being scolded.
The Japanese adult, however, is not accustomed to expressing
his own thoughts in simple words. Even when making a minor
complaint, he or she will speak in such a way that the other
person cannot make head or tail of it. A wife may say to her
husband something along the lines of: I do my best to talk to
you, but all you do is look the other way. And you always read

the newspaper at mealtimes. But what she says is not the real
root of her complaining. Or she may say, You re dawdling
again, you know. Or, Youre looking over there again. But
what she is really saying is: Is it because Im no longer
attractive that you dont look in my direction? Or it may be that
the true complaint is: Im still not unattractive, so you should
look at me a little more often. When she looks in the mirror,
she thinks she has some attractiveness left, but the husband
mostly notices the extent of her foolishness and that is why he
takes refuge in the newspaper. If, at such times, she would
speak gently and attractively, it would be understandable, but
she scolds him by saying, Youve got your nose stuck in the
newspaper again. Why she does this is incomprehensible. In
way, even a single complaint lacks any kind of polish.
When you scold your husband, what you say will not register
unless you express yourself clearly. This is even more so in the
case of a child or a person less experienced than yourself. a
scolding will never register unless what you say and mean is
understood. When a scolding doesnt register, a child merely
thinks his mother is being silly. You cant guide a child unless
the conditions are such that a scolding registers. When,
however, a child is in a state of fear about being scolded, he
doesnt understand the scolding, which serves only to frighten
him: it is simply a case of using scolding like a knife or a gun, so
that the more you scold in such a way, the less effective it gets;
and the more words that are used in giving a scolding the more
a child will make light of his mother.
Scolding is not a matter of hitting the other persons weak
points. Instead, it is a matter of providing his good points with
the opportunity to develop it is this kind of influence that
scolding properly is. Consequently, merely attacking the others
weak points is not scolding. Some parents will say
to their child, Youre not very bright, so unless you study hard,
you wont do as well as so-and-so. The child then comes to
believe that lie is not very bright so it wont make any difference
even if he does study hard, and he says to himself, Im never
going to study. Rather than saying, Youre not very bright, so
youve got to study, it is far more effective to say, You have
the kind of head that gets cleverer if it is used, so why dont you
use it a bit more?

Attacking someones weak point, as if prying at the chink in his

armor with a dagger, is definitely not a method to be followed
with a child, nor with your husband. The only result of this kind
of approach is that you hurt the other person. A true scolding is
warm, inspires the other person when he hears it, and consists
in words that call forth the strength that is within his body. So
what you say should be filled with love and it should be brief,
moreover, you should find words that change the others
disposition. You should speak succinctly and so that the other
person readily understands you.
There are some people who will sit up and take notice if you
merely say, What,
again! With this kind of person, the worst thing you can do is to
go on and on, referring back to the past and attacking him by
saying things like: Youve done it again, havent you? You did
exactly the same before. Dont you remember?
Particularly in the case of children, you should never make
comparisons and say things like, You are worse than your elder
brother! Or, Youre the eldest son, so you must behave
yourself. The child will, through his own sense of values, shut
out remarks like these. It is the same in the case of husband
and wife. However reasonable and understandable the criticisms
a husband makes, his wife will suddenly cease to understand
what he is saying if he draws a comparison with a neighbors
wife. If she is told, In comparison with so-and-so, you dont
think at all, she wont take it meekly, even though she may
think the same herself.
I think that you must be very well aware of this, but when it
comes to children, parents will say, without giving the matter a
thought, Youre a much better child than your brother, or,
Your marks are worse than your elder brothers. It is as if they
are out to set enmity among their children. In
this way, a childs capacity to understand is rendered incapable
of understanding. Even though what is said may be understood,
the scolding as such is not understood.
It is extremely difficult to deliver a scolding in such a way that
the other understands. The problem of how to scold and how to
praise has its origin here. If you cannot see this, nothing of your
scoldings can be communicated. In the case of a scolding, you
must carefully observe what kind of person the other is; you

must know him. The question of the others understanding or

not understanding is, obviously, an important one, but more
important than this kind of technical problem is the fact that if
you have not grasped what is prior to scolding, you may use the
same words as someone who has grasped this, but your words
will not be taken in the same way.
There are people who, because the other does not listen to a
scolding, will try to compensate by seizing on every possible
occasion to deliver a scolding. And some people try to make the
other listen by speaking in a loud voice. But when scoldings are
repeated and repeated or get louder and louder, they merely
return on the person
who is delivering it. You stupid idiot! is not a very nice thing to
say. The phrase itself doesnt have much meaning, but because
of the way it is said the other person is made to feel insulted.
Try saying You stupid idiot! twenty times. A person who does
this comes to look stupid himself. It is a mistake to suppose
that using lots of words when giving a scolding, speaking in a
loud voice or keeping on and on is a good thing.
A little time ago, a mother came to me and said, When my
child gets ill, I make him take medicine. I cant bear to see him
suffering from asthmatic fits In the past, there was nobody
who died from asthma, and here we looked on asthmatic
attacks with equanimity. It is an illness that often attacks poorspirited children, and I used to use a childs passing through
asthma as a means of making its spirit stronger. But these
days, if you make a child bear its asthma too much, it can die.
It is because adrenocortical hormones are used to treat asthma.
If you use this kind of medicine, a child can suddenly die. Why
do parents use this medicine in the knowledge that it is
harmful? Because the child is suffering, they say.
Nobody can say that in his life there are no days of suffering. On
the contrary, continued days of suffering increase as one
becomes adult. Parents teach their children only to run away
from suffering or to protect themselves against it, and they
dont teach them to bear it. Unreasonable suffering, in
particular, cuts to the quick. In the case of suffering that is
reasonable and is common to everybody, one hundred out of
one hundred people suffer, so that it is not suffering. Everybody
bears the weight of the air on his shoulders; it is the same for

everybody, and it is not suffering. But when one or two people

out of a hundred suffer, then their suffering really is suffering.
At this kind of time, no matter how carefully you have brought
up a child so that he is not warped in any way, he is likely to
break down unless he has come to be able to bear this sort of
thing. Therefore, when a child falls ill, injures himself or faces
unreasonable suffering, his parents must teach him to bear and
to overcome the suffering. Many children who are full of
complaints or autistic develop asthma, but if you look at the
matter in another light, asthma surely provides an opportunity
curing an autistic personality or for making a child less
dissatisfied. This is what I think, and I have come to make use
of asthma for these ends. It provides an opportunity to build up
a spirit that endures suffering with equanimity, and does not run
away from it.
If you dont do this and repeatedly treat a person as though he
were a harmless lump of meat, he will not learn what powers of
standing up to things he possesses within him, and he will
degenerate, become a shell and in the end a mere puppet. He
will become such that, whatever happens, he thinks always
along the same lines. Human beings all differ one from another,
and so long as they all follow their individual ways of feeling,
one hundred people should respond in one hundred different
ways to something; but this kind of person will become unable
to feel for himself. Nothing new will ever come from him.
One sees something and is surprised. Within this surprise is
working the wisdom that opens up a new age. When a person
jaded with urban living looks at something and says, Its not
interesting, it is because the capacity for surprise has been
lost. Advances result when one feels a more pure
surprise, and builds up a sensibility that is founded on this
feeling; but a person who doesnt feel surprise cannot do
anything. It is not foolish to say that the steam engine was
invented as a result of a mans watching the lid of a kettle jiggle
about and being surprised; or that the laws of gravity were
discovered as a result of a mans watching an apple fall and
being surprised. If a person is surprised by nothing and only
thinks to himself, Oh, more of the same, no new thing will be


So in human life a capacity for surprise is necessary; and grief,

too, is important. If you do not bear suffering and manifest the
strength you have within you, can you really be said to be alive?
I think that there are too many cases of children being overly
protected from things by the people around them.
I asked the mother with an asthmatic son, What kind of child
do you want to raise?
I want to raise him safe and sound, she replied.
But if you want a child to be safe and sound, you are better off
burying him. What makes a human being a human being is that
each individual feels in a certain way, walks
a certain road, and moves in a certain way. It is not right to
bring up children all in the same way, and to break down the
strength they have within themselves to stand up to things. One
should make the most of their individuality, let them bear the
sufferings that are given them whether they like it or not, and in
this way provide for the growth of their spirit.
If you understand this, I dont think that you will simply force
something on the other when you deliver a scolding, and I dont
think you will be able to reduce the other to a shell. There are,
however, parents who never give a scolding, and who offer
praise at every opportunity and for whatever reason. If you only
praise, your child will come to look on you with a fair contempt.
He will believe that you are soft-centered. When a child like this
goes out into the world, his suffering will be two or three times
greater than that of ordinary children. Other people arent so
easily won over; and he is made to suffer all kinds of things
together for the first time in his life. But if, of course, you are a
husband, the only way of treating your wife is to spoil her
after all, she is responsible for providing food.
Well, thats by the way
As long as human beings live in such a way that they are
sensitive to one anothers feelings, it is extremely important
that scolding and praising should be done in such a way that the
other understands, and that the strength he has within him is
called forth. Praising someone all the time means that he has
nothing that is worthy of praise. Praising is, first of all, given a
value by scolding; and, again, scolding has its significance from
praising. A professional praiser of others is no different from
someone who never praises others at all: his praise is nothing

but the words of a flattering, spineless individual. Similarly, the

words spoken by a professional scold are never effective.
Children will only think, Oh, here we go again. And afterwards
they will have conversations like this:
It went on a bit long today, didnt it?
Oh no, it wasnt too bad.
So you have to manage scolding and praising as a single thing.
It doesnt matter in the case of praising if you go on a bit, but a
scolding should be brief, cogent and coherent. But, on the
contrary, unless praise is to the point, it is not effective. If you
praise a woman who is proud of her fair skin by saying, What
nice big ears you have!, she will feel totally deflated.
One of my sons said, Gary Coopers super! I wondered
whether such a young child could really recognize this, so I
asked, What do you find super about him? Its his hat! he
replied. He felt that it was Gary Coopers hat that was super,
but he summed up his feelings by saying, Gary Coopers
super! In this sort of case, adults are surprised that children
should think in the same way as them; but my son would bend
up the rim of his hat and announce, Im Gary Cooper!
As this shows, children look at things differently from the way
adults look at them. So when a child is being praised, if the
praise is pointless and the child is praised for something that
doesnt deserve praise, he will subsequently regard the other
with contempt. He will say to himself about the adult, You dont
understand a thing, do you? So to praise is more difficult than
to deliver a scolding. If you dont seize on the point for which
someone wants to be praised, your praise will miss the mark.
In the case of a scolding, however, unless
the scolding is slightly off the mark, it wont be effective. If you
hit the mark exactly, you will make the others wounds smart.
One instinctively protects the place that hurts. So the closer you
are to the mark, the more the other will resist you, and the
more he will protect himself. A child will say, But Mummy did
the same thing, didnt she? Or he will say, it happened like that
for such-and-such a reason, so I couldnt help it. In these ways
he will make excuses and put the blame on other people. It is
because the mark has been hit too exactly.


If you grasp the essence but shift just a little way away from the
mark, the other will find it acceptable; he will have the room to
compare, by himself, his action with what you have said. A
couple of fingerbreadths away from the mark is about right, I
So, whether you are giving praise or delivering a scolding, you
must speak in such a way as to lure the other. Nonetheless,
there are people who have come to suppose that you can give
praise for any reason whatsoever, and they think that so long as
it is praise they are giving, they are doing no harm. On the
other hand, there are people
who, having once hit the fatal mark in giving a scolding, will
seize upon the others weak point and dig and dig away at the
wound they have made. It is really a strange thing when a
person has no sympathetic understanding of another, and when
he is totally undiscriminating about time or place. But not
understanding how to scold or how to praise, not understanding
anything about the person you are addressing, making a roughand-ready guess from your own point of view and then shouting
your head off that, I think, is what people are actually doing.
Children are often unable to distinguish between a scolding and
an angry outburst, and I think that the reason lies here.
Children often say, Ive made Mummy angry, or, Mummys
furious; and I think mothers become so easily angry and shout
so loudly that children are not able to realize that they are being
scolded. But if a mother has become angry, she is not qualified
to give a scolding. When you become angry, you unthinkingly
coerce the other; you attack and hurt the other and force your
opinions on him. It is natural to try to escape if someone
attempts to coerce you. Just as a
dog will run away when you try to chain it up, so a person will
not think that he is being scolded if within you there is the
intention of forcing or coercing him. He will see you as angry.
There are always aggressive and destructive elements within
anger. And so it is certain that the other will want to get away,
and he will, not unreasonably, cover his ears and keep his
mouth shut.
So long as you dont understand this distinction, you will be
confused, and will at one point scold your child and at another
point shout at him. Consequently, your child will not like being
scolded; he will run away from a scolding, and just as you are

about to deliver a scolding he will suddenly disappear. If,

however, you understand the true significance of scolding, I
think that the distinction between being angry and scolding will
be clear to you, and you will understand that once you have
grown angry, you are no longer qualified to give a scolding.
I have often come across mothers who take the lead in
shrieking at the tops of their voices. Dont be so noisy! they
shout at their children. In this kind of case is it the
mother or the child who deserves to be scolded? If you think the
matter over carefully, I think youll come up with the right
answer. No, even here at the Seitai Association, I can hear from
my room things like: Youre making too much noise! For
goodness sake be quiet! It is only the mothers voice that I can
hear. I always feel, Whats this? Its the mother who is making
all the noise. She says this kind of thing to her child and scolds
him only to make him cry, which results in even more noise,
and then she adds to it by repeating, Be quiet! It is usually the
mother who makes the child cry. If she took the child into the
garden and let him run about, he would be fairly quiet when
brought back in again. But the mother perhaps thinks that her
turn to see me will come shortly. So she suppresses her child,
and that is why he starts to racket about more and more. I
think this shows a lack of consideration on the mothers part.
One sometimes sees a mother who, despite the fact that it is
she who has given birth to her child, has not even a smattering
of the necessary discretion and knowledge. She thinks there is
nothing wrong with dragging her child down the street as
though she were out for a walk with a stray dog. But she is, of
course, making a mistake. Indeed, the same sort of thing
happens with wives and their husbands. You get some wives
who will drag their husbands from jewelers window to jewelers
window and say, Oh, thats a nice ring! If you are taking a
wife like that out, make sure she fills her stomach before you go
out, and you wont have any problems of this nature. When
people are hungry, they develop a craving for anything. There is
no problem if the husband knows the technique I have just
described. But even if he doesnt use it, he can say, when his
wife insists that she wants something, But this ones better,
isnt it? And he should ask the salesman to show him
something that is ten times the price of the object his wife
fancied. She will then begin to worry and will certainly start

saying, Oh, lets forget about it. So when his wife wants to
buy something that costs 20,000, the husband should suggest
that something which costs 1,000,000 would be better. His
wife will suddenly start calculating in her mind and say to
herself, If we buy that, we shant be able to buy anything
afterwards. Or she will think, Well have
to withdraw money from the bank. She will imagine all sorts of
things and feel a conflict within herself. If her husband then
says, Well, wed better wait a bit before buying it, she will also
forget the 20,000 article.
I have said that the root of scolding and praising lies in
understanding the other, but studying the infinite number of
other people one comes across is clearly an extremely difficult
task. Nonetheless, if you put a little effort into studying the
people close to you your children, for example you will
become qualified to deliver a scolding. So, first of all, you must
narrow down the field of study and go into matters deeply.
Then, I think, you will no longer depend on guesswork, you will
not scold again and again, and you will be more systematic.
If, however, once you start speaking, you mix your feelings up
in the matter, you will grow angry before you know it. Having
given vent to their feelings, some parents scurry about and
press sweets on their children. The child of such a mother will
think, If I put up with this for five more minutes, Ill get a
sweet. Scolding involves a venting of feelings, and when a
mother recognizes
what she is actually doing while giving a scolding, she begins to
speak gently. She ends by cheering her child up and giving him
sweets. And this kind of mother becomes furious about
something that she herself has done and then looks for the next
opportunity to deliver a scolding. That is why the kind of mother
who gives sweets to her child after scolding it lets loose a flood
of words when she delivers a scolding and is completely
incoherent. I imagine the sort of scolding a person who belongs
to taiheki* type 3 gives is the best example of this. There is no
connection between what is said first and what is said
subsequently. In the end, this kind of mother shouts without
even understanding herself what she is saying.
Whether, in a scolding that lasts five minutes, what is said has
an effect or not depends on the extent to which the person
being scolded has been understood. A child who belongs to

taiheki type 7, for example, will never understand a scolding

that is readily comprehensible. If, on the contrary, you suddenly
shout something that is totally
incomprehensible, he will give a start; and, while not
understanding, he will wince and afterwards begin to do his
best. So one cannot say without qualification that it is only
understandable scoldings that are understood. Perhaps you
think that a reasonable and coherent scolding is always
effective. But if you scold a child who belongs to taiheki type 3
in a reasonable way, he will think that what he is being asked to
do is too difficult, and while he is being lectured he will simply
give up any idea of doing what you say. Instead, you should
adopt a gentle tone of voice and use words that he cannot
possibly understand. Simply doing this will make a deep
impression, and he will start giving of his best.
Thus, though it is definitely true to say that an understandable
scolding is good, it is necessary that the whole body should
.understand as well as the head. People who belong to taiheki
type 7 will give a start and begin to make an effort if someone
suddenly shouts, You stupid idiot! And people who belong to
taiheki type I will readily understand if you say, You shouldnt
do this, because, and give a reason. Other people dont
understand if you take this
approach, but suddenly saying, What on earth are you doing!
will make them understand. People who respond to What on
earth are you doing! with Im doing this belong to types other
than type 7. A type-7 person will judge whether what he is
doing is right or wrong as soon as you say, What on earth are
you doing! If he recognizes that he is doing wrong, he will
immediately start doing the opposite. A type-3 person will mend
his behavior at once only as a result of being told, Itll soon be
time for a snack. So simply ensuring that the words you use
are understandable is not necessarily sufficient to communicate
with the other.
To put the matter in a nutshell, something that cannot be
understood will not be taken in. With both scolding and praising,
a mutual exchange of words is involved. This is what is involved
in communication, so that a one-sided approach is wrong. What
you say must be taken in by the other, and then the others
understanding must be transmitted back to you. You often hear

children exclaim, I understood! Though the child has

understood, the parent or teacher is too insensitive to perceive
this and does not recognize the childs feelings. Or it
may be because the person giving the scolding is shouting
loudly and blocking out what the other wants to say; or it may
be that so much is being said that it makes the other feel fed
up. Whichever is the case, what the other feels is not perceived,
so that the person doing the scolding simply continues. It is
because there is no exchange of feelings and opinions.
Still, words that are understandable are not necessarily taken in
by the other, and you can communicate with people who belong
to taiheki types 3 and 7 even though what you say is
incomprehensible or the tenor of the scolding does not accord
with the circumstances. It is a fact that there is no one way of
bringing about understanding. Take the example of a person
who belongs to taiheki type 9: if you break off almost as soon
as you start speaking, he will suddenly look back at himself and
examine himself. If, however, you speak your piece to the end,
he will generally say to himself, Oh, what a fuss about
nothing, and hold you in contempt. There are quite a few
people who, if you religiously chew over your words so that your
scolding may be understandable, will judge your level of
intelligence accordingly
and hold you in contempt. This approach to a scolding is the
worst possible one to take in the case of someone who belongs
to taiheki type 9.
A person who belongs to type 5 immediately calculates whether
what you tell him to do will be to his advantage or not. If you
tell him to do something that he feels is not to his advantage,
he will think to himself, That persons stupid.
Thus, as you can see, there are a variety of ways of
understanding. So, having got an idea of the whole picture, you
must speak in the way that is most readily understandable to
the person you are addressing. There are people who
understand because they dont understand, people who
understand because the scolding does not accord with the
circumstances, and people who, though they do not understand
the content of what is being said, discern some advantage for
themselves and suddenly understand. Again, there are people
who will meekly obey what you say if they think that doing
something will display them in a good light.

Since there are many ways of understanding, I cannot

recommend any one approach without qualification, but the
most important consideration whether one is giving a scolding
or praise, is what is prior to these things. It is more important
than skill at scolding, or any method. So before delivering a
scolding, you have to know what lies prior to scolding, and I
hope that you will all give careful consideration to this point.
But I think you understand that when you come to use the
techniques of scolding and praising, the question of what is prior
to these is more important than that of the techniques you use.
I said earlier that in the case of a scolding you should miss the
mark by exactly three fingerbreadths. But in order to do this,
you have to know the whole of the other person. If you dont
know, it is difficult to miss the mark by three fingerbreadths.
You may intend to miss it by three fingerbreadths, but you miss
it by five instead, or you are nowhere near the mark at all.
Then, you shouldnt say everything in a scolding. There should
always be something left unsaid. When you give praise, theres
no harm in saying everything; there is no significance here in
leaving something to implication.
One mother scolded her son for two hours for going to a Pinball
parlor. When I told her, Hell definitely go again, she said, He
wont, because I gave him such a scolding. But, just as I
thought, he went again. Hes so stubborn, his mother
complained. Is it because he is stubborn? I asked in reply. Or
is it because his mother acts so as to make him not listen when
he is scolded?
If a boy is scolded for two hours, his hour at the pinball parlor is
more than canceled out. He feels that the debt he has incurred
has been repaid in full. So he can go to the pinball parlor with a
relieved spirit. I suspect another feeling is involved, too: he
thinks that if he doesnt go, he will have lost to his parents.
When the mother scolds him she is in fact inciting him to do
what he did again.
It often happens in the case of a child who would not cry if he
were not scolded, that the parent tries to make him cry; and it
often happens in the case of a child who would not do
something wrong if he were not scolded, that the parent pushes
him towards doing something wrong. So when you deliver a
scolding, you should put the

other in your debt. You should allow certain implications to
remain unsaid in your scolding. When the situation requires a
force-ten scolding, you should give only a force-three scolding,
and the part that remains unsaid should be left unsaid. It is
important, if you are going to make the other understand, that
you do not say everything, that you miss the mark by three
fingerbreadths, and that your scolding should be only a third of
what the situation deserves.
Regarding the unspoken implications of a scolding, if the other
doesnt recognize their presence in what you say, it is no good.
Saying, Oh, its all right in any situation whatsoever has
nothing to do with implying anything. Having recognized clearly
what needs to be recognized, and having given a scolding for
what requires a scolding, the implications of what you have said
will manifest themselves all the more strongly in what has not
been touched upon. Leaving things unsaid does not mean
holding yourself back for the sake of appearances. Nor does it
mean acquiescing in anything your child does in order to
demonstrate your broad-mindedness. A true scolding is for the
take of making the other a better person, even though what is
said may be bitter in your mouth, and even though it may make
the other resentful.

The Question of Ignorance

Question : I want to ask you about a boy an only child who
will soon reach the age of four. He has come to behave much
better these days, but he still bullies his friends. He doesnt lend
his toys to them and he hits them. The other day, perhaps out
of a desire to tease him, he slammed the door on a friends
finger. Subsequently, the friends nail came away. I smacked his
hands and bottom at the time as a punishment, and afterwards,
instead of giving him a fierce scolding, I tried to explain things
to him so that he would understand what he had done. But this
had little effect, and I am wondering how I should go about
training him.
Answer: When we speak of a child as
being a child, we mean that he doesnt understand anything but
himself, and so he cant recognize the world outside himself.
This is what childhood is. As a person moves towards adulthood,
he gradually comes to recognize that there is a world outside
himself, and he understands that there are people who exist
separate from himself. As a child comes to recognize these
things, he approaches the age of independence. So children
always act one-sidedly, and are completely self-centered. When
a child hits another, he doesnt think of the others pain, and if
he wants anothers toy, he feels that it is his own. The fact that
your child is aware of the possibility of lending or not lending his
toys, shows that he has developed to a certain point; before
that he didnt distinguish between himself and the people
around him. There are many adults, even, who have never got
beyond this stage. You sometimes come across people who,
though they know what pain is in reference to themselves,
cannot understand another persons pain. But this is a
fundamental characteristic of childhood. Therefore, when a child
doesnt lend his toys and hits or keeps away another child in
order to defend
his toys, because there is no room in his mind for him to
recognize that if he hits another, that other will be hurt, or that
if he doesnt lend his toys, the other will feel hard done by.
Defending his toys in this way is quite normal in a four-year-old
child, so that you shouldnt think of it as being particularly bad

Again, even though your son slammed the door on his friends
finger in order to defend his toys, he didnt mean to hurt his
friend. He is not even conscious that doing something like this is
wrong. He is at that stage of life. I suspect that a child who has
once shut his own finger in a door will unconsciously avoid doing
the same to others. Even a child hesitates a little before giving
another person this kind of unpleasant experience. Through this
sort of thing, a child gradually comes to recognize the existence
of others, and develops into an adult.
There are the buds of this within every child. So if your child has
had a particularly painful or bitter experience, he will be able to
think of the other; but if he has had no such experience, he will
not connect slamming his friends finger in the door with pain.
We may suppose that he has had the
experience of shutting a piece of paper in the door, and
assumed that there was no difference between doing this and
slamming the door on someones finger.
You heard about those children who played by putting stones
and coins on the railway track. Children never think that a train
might be derailed and topple over; they are interested only in
seeing a coin flattened out or a stone broken into pieces. Of
course they know nothing about its being a crime to obstruct
trains, and they do not understand that their actions involve
danger. No, it is because they do not know these things that
they act as they do. If they did know, they would feel
frightened, and I suspect they would not be able to act in such a
Not knowing, and doing anything, however bad, without a
qualm are connected. For this reason, I think one can say that
ignorance is the worst of evils.
Thus, in this case of the small boy slamming his friends finger
in a door, the boy felt no guilt whatsoever. It is because of
ignorance. Even though the other cries out in pain, he cannot
connect the others crying with the doors having been slammed
on his
finger. The most he does is wonder why the other is crying, and
he might think he is doing so only to scare him.

This kind of thing often occurs among adults, too. There was a
story in the newspapers about a man who suffered from
whiplash when his car was struck by another. As a result, he got
the other driver to sign a pledge that he would pay him
damages for the rest of his life. A little later the man who had
signed the pledge killed him. By getting the other to pay him
damages for the rest of his life, the injured person was in fact
inflicting injury. One might say that he was using the fact of his
having been crashed into to intimidate the other. When you
persist with a selfish idea like his, that is the kind of thing that
happens. But if you take the other into consideration, you are
unlikely to make unreasonable demands, such as getting
someone to pay you damages for life. I think one can say that
the man in questions blatancy in seeking what he sought was
due to his not having become adult. But this kind of thing comes
out much more directly in the childs world. Moreover, the adult
knows how to make use of this kind of ignorance, but the
child really is ignorant, so that, unless you teach him, it is
beyond his powers to realize that slamming the door on
someones finger is bad.
The consequence of this fact is that while a child doesnt know
these things, it is meaningless to smack his hands or bottom as
a punishment. If one does this, a child will become scared of
being scolded and he will try to prevent adults from finding out
what he has done. Then, however much you may try to discuss
the matter with your child, your feeling of wanting to scold him
will manifest itself first, and what you say will not be
communicated. And on the other side the child is unable to
understand why he is being scolded. It is because he has no
experience of the pain that results from a door being slammed
on a finger, nor has he the knowledge that pain is a necessary
consequence of this happening.
In this kind of case, you should analyze the childs action and
endeavor to grasp for which aspect of his action he should be
scolded. I have said before that you should not give a scolding
that the other doesnt understand. In this case, the friends
finger was shut in the door, and so the child may
well think that it was not him but the door that was directly
responsible. It was he who slammed the door, but the door did
the actual deed, so how can he know the extent of the pain that
was caused? I suspect that there is this kind of idea in the

childs mind. So when you scold your child, there is no meeting

between the two sides that of scolding and that of being
scolded; and on the latter side there is no realization of what he
has done. The more that is said, the less that is understood. So
this, too, is the kind of scolding that is incomprehensible. An
adult thinks that a child should at least know that when a door
is slammed on someones finger, it hurts; but a child who has
never experienced having a door shut on his finger does not
know this.
There was a child who was leaning out of the window here. An
adult shouted, Watch out! and tried to stop him. But the child
tore himself away and climbed up on the window sill. Its
dreadful, said his mother. Hes so reckless and wild. I went
over and made him drop a bottle from the window. Naturally it
shattered on reaching the ground. If you fall, youll be broken
into pieces just like that, I said. After that,
the boy was brought here five or six times, but not once did he
go near the window. His mother told me that at home, too, he
stopped doing dangerous things.
The childs doing something dangerous was not because he had
a brave spirit, nor because he was reckless. He did it because he
was ignorant. When this boy saw the bottle broken, he couldnt
bear the thought of the same happening to himself, and so he
stopped doing things like leaning out of windows and climbing
on to window sills. But however many times you tell a child who
has not realized the danger that it is dangerous to clamber up
on to window sills, he feels only that his freedom is being limited
in some way. He resists the constraint he feels, and does what
his parents dislike him doing. In this kind of case, the more a
child is cautioned by his parents, the less he accepts what they
say. Thus, making a child listen by using lots of words in a
scolding that he doesnt understand, makes the child insensitive
to scoldings. In this kind of case, you have to get the child to
feel for himself what the scolding is about. In the case I just told
you of, I made a victim of a bottle, but a light bulb makes a far
greater noise when it explodes, so that if you dropped one
instead of a bottle, the effects would, I suspect, be even more
salutary. Once a child has understood in this way that
something is dangerous, next time you need only say once, Its
dangerous. That will be sufficient. The child will think you are
being kind in telling him this. But if a child does not have such

experience or knowledge, he will feel that he is being

constrained when you tell him that something is dangerous and
he will resist. When a child is made to feel constrained, a sense
that he is not free arises in him. This causes discomfort, so it is
not unnatural that he should show resistance.
An adult definitely gets a horrible feeling in the pit of the
stomach when he sees a child doing something dangerous. An
adult knows a dangerous thing when he sees it, but he forgets
that a child has a more supple body, and that if a child falls, it
will not injure itself so seriously as an adult would. The adult
forgets that even though a child may look as though it were just
about to fall, a child does not get tense like an adult, and can
avoid danger on the spur of the moment. Truly: you may do
something that
is dangerous, but if you have no awareness of danger, you can
move about freely without any qualms. But if you once believe
that you are doing something dangerous, what happens is that
the body grows more and more tense, and as a result you
become unable to move about freely.
Therefore, if you shout Watch out! at a child who is standing
in a dangerous place and the child suddenly realizes that he is in
a dangerous place, his whole body will tense, he will even
release his grip on something that lie is holding on to, and he
will fall. This often happens. Again, it may happen that a child is
surprised by his mothers suddenly saying, Thats dangerous!
He feels that she is angry with him, tries to get away, and falls.
You should never frighten a child in this way. A childs body will
become tense merely as a result of his feeling that his mother is
Again, the body will tense on account of the loudness of the
warning voice or the rapidity with which a warning is delivered.
You may try to explain calmly that what a child is doing is
dangerous, but you will only achieve the same result of driving
him into a dangerous situation. It is better to say
nothing in this kind of case.
Nevertheless parents shout: Thats dangerous! Be careful! The
worst kind of parent suddenly bellows a warning in such a loud
voice that even other people nearby are shocked. Then,
afterwards, he or she is able to feel a sense of relief at not being
to blame by saying, I told him it was dangerous, but he fell. I

warned him But examine what such a parent has done: we

may say that he or she actually put a child who was already in a
dangerous situation in a far more dangerous situation by
suddenly shouting in a loud voice and all to avoid
responsibility or to avoid having any burden of guilt put on him
or her.
I know that approaches like this are dangerous, so that in this
sort of case I draw close to the child, smiling warmly all the
time, and only after taking him by the hand do I speak to him.
Look down, I say. If you throw a bottle down, see what
happens. It ends up like that. Until you get right up to the
child, you must not do anything that may frighten him.
But parents who dont know about this sort of thing
unexpectedly shriek, Watch out! And they dash towards the
child. The
child may think he has done something wrong, and because of
this you dont know what he is going to do next. Parents dont
even think about this problem, and they suppose they are
protecting their children. It is a very strange thing.
Ignorance often leads a mother to behave like this, but does she
get spanked or punished in any way? No, nothing is done to her.
But if its a child, he gets his bottom spanked only because he
shut a door and a friends finger happened to get caught in it. It
might be that it was the friend who accidentally got his fingers
in the way when the door was closed. If that is what happened,
the problem is that the friend is stupid, or that his reactions are
slow. But then you sometimes come across parents who say this
kind of thing, put the blame on the other child and make a great
fuss. For it is not only children who put the blame on others.
Some parents do as well, so that if your son thinks in this way,
you cant say that he is mistaken. Therefore, rather than
spanking him or whatever, you should first teach him well so
that he knows he must close the door in such a way that he
doesnt catch other peoples fingers in it, and so that
he knows that when someones fingers are trapped in a door, it
is painful.
You may, however, possess some knowledge, but without its
necessarily issuing in action. You may know at the age of three
that you should behave well and that it is wrong to behave

badly, but even at the age of seventy you may not be able to
act on this knowledge. Though people tend to suppose that if
you know, you dont do certain things, it doesnt work like this.
This is true of adults, and it is even more true of children.
You may teach a child that it hurts when your fingers are caught
in a door, but it is quite possible that he will use this knowledge
in a manner opposite to the one intended and think to himself:
If I pinch his fingers in the door, itll definitely hurt. I wonder
how much he will cry if I do it. And a desire arises to
intentionally try this out. Adults suppose that if they once tell a
child that shutting a door on someones fingers will cause injury
and pain, the child will never hurt another in this way again, but
I can categorically state that this is not the case. The reason is
that children, unlike adults, find other peoples pain
A child may think, Itll be fun to slam the door on so-and-sos
fingers. I bet hell cry. Or it may be that a child will think,
When you drop a bottle from the window, its all smashed to
bits, and itd be fun if so-and-sos head was smashed into little
bits. And he may push a child who is standing by the window
out of it. Though you may impart knowledge to a child, it is
unwise to rely on the childs own judgment in the matter of
using that knowledge.
One cannot, in actuality, treat a child as a fool because he is
ignorant. Various kinds of new knowledge will be entering him,
and on the other hand he is able to give birth to new things. An
adult is bound by the prejudice that he already knows it all, and
his knowledge no longer increases. But the ignorant child
possesses broader possibilities than someone who already
knows things. Within ignorance there is an unshackled sagacity
that brings new things to birth. For this reason I believe that
ignorance should be respected. But ignorance that results in
harm to others is a bad thing. To go back to the question of
what happens after knowledge is imparted, adults suppose that
once knowledge has been given, that is impart knowledge to a
child, it is
the end of it. But it is quite possible to misuse knowledge. And
children do not even understand what is good and what is bad.
One cannot say that adults understand fully, either. A spy is
praised for stealing secrets, but if after giving up spying he
steals other peoples things, his actions are reprehensible. In a

time of war, the more people you kill, the more you are
honored. But if, after returning from a war, you kill people, you
will be executed as a murderer.
As these examples show, even adults do not understand fully
what is good and what is bad. An adult knows to think that a
certain action is good or bad only in accordance with the ethical
ideas held in common by a society, and he does not truly feel
this in his heart. But it is impossible to act in accordance with
something that you dont truly feel in your heart. Though, for
this reason, more and more adults nowadays can act neither
well nor badly, children, who are ignorant, have the possibility
of gaining knowledge, and they also have the possibility of using
this knowledge freely, for good or for ill.
So when you are imparting knowledge to a child, you must
teach, at the same time,
the ethical rules of your society. But if you teach only these
rules, they will not be connected with action. It is by means of
experience that ideas of right and wrong become linked with
action. It is because all experience involves the subconscious. I
shall say it again, but ignorance in a child is not the same as
lacking sagacity or wisdom. Understanding that if a bottle is
dropped from a window it breaks is knowledge. And supposing
that if you push some nasty person out of the window he will be
broken in the same way is wisdom. But if a child has wisdom, I
think it is better to direct the subconscious workings of wisdom
in such a way that the child comes to feel he must see that
nobody falls from a window and hurts himself.
The mother here smacked her sons hands and bottom. By
spanking him first, she aroused in him a feeling of resistance to
any scolding, as well as resentment against the child who had
been hurt and was crying. Then she tried to address her son.
But there is nothing to be gained from going about the matter in
this way. The child probably thinks that while he was shutting
the door the other stuck his finger in it, and now he
has been spanked because of the others stupidity. In this way,
a feeling of hatred towards the other child grows and grows.
Because he doesnt understand the reason for his having been
spanked, he resents the spanking, and, I suspect, has no outlet
for his indignation. After the spanking, we were told, the
mother, instead of scolding her child firmly, tried to speak to
him. But when you speak to a child in an attempt to make him

understand what he has done while he still doesnt understand

at all why he has been spanked, you are acting in a
contradictory way.
If you say, One, two, three, seven, eight, nine, people who
know how to count will understand that four, five and six are
missing, but someone who doesnt know how to count not only
doesnt understand what is missing, but what is said has no kind
of connectedness for him whatsoever. Or say to someone, Look
to the side Oh, what a disgrace you are. There is no kind of
connection between the two phrases. It is much the same when
you spank a child first and then speak to him without scolding
him severely. The mother has at least to explain afterwards to
the child that a spanking is the
same as a severe scolding, or more severe than a scolding. if
she doesnt do this, resentment against the crying child arises in
her child because of the way she has punished him. But she
should not allow this to happen. If she does allow it to happen, I
suspect that the child will do the same again. He may think, its
all because that soppy boy cried. And he may think about
taking revenge at some other time for his having been
punished. Or he may think, That little wet howled very well.
Next time Ill see if I cant make him howl harder.
You sometimes see people at the zoo who try to make quiet
animals move about or wake sleeping animals; and even people
who throw stones into the cages. Exactly the same kind of
curiosity may be aroused in a child. That boy cried just because
his finger got pinched. If I break his leg next time, I wonder
how much hell cry One cannot say that a desire to try out
something like this doesnt arise. Moreover, in the case we are
talking about, the mother spanked her son, and I think there is
a great danger that this experience may lead him into actions
that involve doing similar things to others. In a case like this, I
think there is a more
suitable way of giving a scolding than meting out corporal
punishment. You should think about this. If you want to use
something like spanking as punishment, you would do better to
say to your child, Just stick your finger here a moment.
Mummys going to shut the door. Then when he has stuck his
finger where you told him to, shut the door. It would be even
better to shut the door so hard that his fingernail falls off like
the other childs. Even though you dont go so far as that, the

child will understand very clearly if you punish him in this way.
And when the child shrieks, It hurts! and bursts into tears, you
say, The other child was hurt, too, you know, and then
apologize to your child. If you say, Im sorry I hurt you out of a
desire to teach you what it was like, your child will definitely go
and apologize to the other child in the same way.
But of course I am not seriously recommending that you should,
so to speak, throw a stone at a child merely because he has
raised a lump on himself by hitting himself against a stone, and
raise another lump. It is a matter of the way in which
experience is provided. When you teach
children various things, you must put these things in order.
Smacking a childs bottom or hands because he has pinched his
friends fingers in the door is pointless. You have to teach him
that if someones fingers are slammed in the door, it hurts. At
the same time, you must teach him that being hurt is
unpleasant, as well as what is best to do in this kind of case,
and how to apologize and talk the matter over.
But for this you need to take precautions against the childs
native wisdom working in an undesirable direction. If you scold
a child a lot in an incomprehensible way, he will not only resist
the scolding, he will resist your voice as well as what you are
trying to teach him. Time drags for the person who is being
scolded. Delivering a scolding is a way of venting energy, so
that it is enjoyable; but it is not enjoyable for the person on the
receiving end. Just as time feels very different to the person
who is being beaten and the person who is doing the beating, so
it always seems to take a long time when one is being scolded,
and it feels much longer when one is scolded in an
incomprehensible and repetitive way. If you give a scolding in
this manner, everything,
from your voice to the speed of your delivery, the content of
what you say and the reason you give for the scolding, will
arouse resistance in the child; and this turns into a feeling of
hatred for the other. This happens with adults, too, but in the
case of children, it is much more direct.
I smacked his hands and bottom such a punishment is not
fitting. Doing something that is unfitting is no different from
incomprehensible scolding that is combined with this kind of

corporal punishment is far more severe than an extremely

severe scolding. So this mother gave her child something that
was far more severe than an extremely severe scolding. Hers
was a very clumsy way of dealing with the matter. Because she
did this sort of thing, the child resisted; and he will do the same
again. And every time the child does the same again, I suspect
his mother will recite this litany: Hes been much better lately,
but all the same he still does bad things. But a child is
ignorant, so that it is natural that he should make lots of
mistakes. It is because he is ignorant that he comes to know
things. You should regard
this whole problem as having more to do with the ignorance of
mothers who think they know things, an ignorance that does
their children harm.
Mothers must first of all enter into childrens hearts a little more
deeply, and train themselves to give brief, cogent scoldings, as
it were in one word. Scolding is an action whereby a parent
directly shows a child what its fault is, and so you must plan to
use scolding as a means of helping a child develop. I think that
one has to adopt this kind of position on the matter.


How Spontaneity is Stifled

Giving a scolding is a direct expression of a parents will. The
same is true of giving praise. Scolding and praising differ little in
respect of their standpoint.
There was one small boy who liked drawing, and he drew
splendid pictures. One day, someone who came to the house
saw one of his pictures and praised him by saying, Youre very
good at drawing, arent you? After that, the boy would bring
each picture as he drew it to an adult and ask, Whats this one
like? Eventually, if a drawing of his wasnt praised, he would
tear it up. Before, he had enjoyed drawing and was delighted
simply at being given some paper to draw on, but because he
was praised, he began drawing pictures in order to be praised.
The boy did not understand what he was
being praised for, so that he was perplexed when it came to
drawing pictures in order to be praised. He felt anxious unless
he showed his drawings to someone else. He was happy to be
praised when he showed someone a picture, but adults would
only praise him once. When it came to the second or third time,
they would nod and vaguely grunt or say, Yes, thats all right.
The boy didnt get praised as he did the first time, and though
he set to and drew pictures in the hope of being praised more,
each time he drew something the praise grew less and less
effusive. It is no wonder that he should have become anxious.
And during this time he tore up his elder brothers drawings.
Perhaps he felt that his brothers drawings were better than his
own, and that is why he tore them up.
In the case of this boy, the method of giving praise was
unskillful, and the timing of the praise was bad. Indeed, one can
say that the childs enjoyment was stifled by praise. Giving
praise is, in fact, difficult to master. If someone is praised for
something that he doesnt want to be noticed, he will not feel
that he has been praised. He will probably think that the other is
A scolding that directly hits the mark rubs salt in a persons
wounds, and automatically creates, as a result, a tendency to
resist the scolding. So when you are giving a scolding, you must

miss the mark by a bit in order to avoid rubbing salt in the

others wounds, but in the case of praise, unless you hit the
mark precisely, the effect will be the opposite of what you
intended. The case of this small boy is a good-example. His
innocent enjoyment was destroyed as a result of praise being
given in a thoughtless way.
It is much the same in the case of classical music nowadays.
Recording techniques have definitely improved, there is a
greater variety of records available, and records are
considerably cheaper than they used to be, so that one can
listen to music as much as one likes. But my enjoyment has
completely disappeared. I still put on records out of force of
habit, but when I am listening by myself, I find that I naturally
put on old 78 records, even though it means the trouble of
winding up the gramophone. These days, they have re-recorded
a lot of the older records, and I have been listening to these rerecorded versions; but I can listen to very
few new recordings. It is because music making has come to be
nothing but the production of sounds, and there is no deep life
to it. The musicians are all playing in order to be praised. People
study nowadays with the aim of entering various competitions,
and making music has come to be a matter of impressing
others. Music has lost its enjoyable qualities and its inner
significance. And the musicians themselves are constantly
traveling all over the world, giving one concert after another, so
that they cannot afford to enjoy the music they play. And their
hearts, too, I suspect, have lost openness. It may be that their
inner states are reflected in their music. So their performances
are totally uninteresting.
For as long as musicians compete in competitions, they will be
like the boy who began drawing pictures in order to be praised,
not knowing precisely why they are praised, nor what is good
and what is bad, and when they are praised they will continue
only in the manner for which they were praised. They will make
no progress in any aspect of their art. For, not knowing why he
is praised, a person will, out of a desire to receive more praise,
only his first tendency. One cannot extol this kind of behavior,
whether it be in a child or an adult. Even though the demand for
praise may spring from a deep source, it still has an undesirable

quality in that the person in question is influenced by what

others may think in trying to reach decisions.
The boy was, one might say, castrated as a result of being
praised. That is why giving praise is difficult. When offering
praise, you must hit the mark exactly and say, for example,
This part and that part are good. With scolding, however, it is
better to miss the mark slightly and to give your words a latent
significance so that it is only afterwards that the person who
was scolded recognizes what you meant.
Let me tell you about a certain mother. When her little daughter
tidied up her room, this mother praised her by saying, You are
so good at making things tidy, arent you? Its so tidy here, and
its tidy over there, too! Having heard this, her daughter
started to make her room spick and span everyday. She cleaned
from corner to corner, even moving the furniture about to do so.
But her mother, having said, Youve
really tidied things up, havent you?, came to think it was
natural that her daughter should tidy her room, and after
praising her daughter perhaps two or three times, she stopped
giving praise. The upshot was that water was found in shoes
that had been taken off in the porch. Keeping the porch tidy was
the responsibility of another of the children. And this little girl,
after other of the children had tidied a place up, would tear up
paper and scatter the pieces about there. She thought it was
because places for which others were responsible were tidy that
the tidiness of the place she was responsible for was not
praised. She wanted the place she was responsible for to be
thought tidier than other places. Because she tidied up this
place out of a desire for praise, she had no choice but to make a
mess. in another place if it was tidy.
Even adults sometimes behave in this kind of way. You
sometimes hear something like, Did you know that Mrs. Soand-so has got an ugly birthmark on her Or you might hear,
Even though they dont have enough money, they went and
bought a They must have done it on the installment plan. All
that this is, is puffing
oneself up by deprecating others. The remark about the
birthmark was actually made by a certain woman, and it was
made only because her husband had remarked on the good
looks of the wife next door. This kind of behavior is no different
from the behavior of the little girl I have just told you about,

and this woman may, before long, graduate to speaking ill of

others, and saying things like, Mrs. X likes to show off, or,
Mrs. Y gives herself airs. The little girl behaved as she did
because of the way an adult praised her. Because her mother
had praised her by recognizing the action of tidying up a room,
the girl wanted to keep the praise coming, and she didnt like it
if the places others were responsible for were tidy. When the
places the other children cleaned were tidier than her own room,
she felt a desire to mess them up. The little girl was exactly like
the kind of man who thinks of himself as being a pillar of virtue.
The way he preserves this sense he has of being virtuous is not
to forgive others for minor vices, and to find fault with others.
For much the same reason, the little girl put water in the shoes
in the porch.
If the mother had not praised the result
of the little girls action, but had instead brought to recognition
the motivation at its root by saying, You do like everything
neat and clean, dont you? Look, its become so tidy here, and
over there top, her daughter would definitely have started
tidying up even inside the cupboards. If you compare the
phrases Youve made it so tidy, havent you? and You do like
everything neat and clean!, I think you have to agree that the
latter has a deeper inner significance.
When you praise or scold a child, there is the problem of the
angle you do it from, as well as that of what you are scolding or
giving praise for. Depending on how you grasp the matter at
hand, you can communicate some inner meaning with what you
say or you can set limits. What needs to be brought to
recognition? Whether you are offering praise or delivering a
scolding, it is not the action itself that should be addressed. If
you do not scold or praise in such a way as to support or change
the inner inclination that gave rise to a certain action, you will
not allow your childs spirit to develop. A scolding that does not
allow this is harmful. A scolding that does not cultivate the
spirit, that does not enrich it, and that does not allow the spirit
to grow is harmful, and it hurts the child. If you are only going
to hurt the child, it is better neither to praise nor to scold. You
sometimes come across parents who give a scolding in order to
vent their spleen or to take some kind of revenge. One can
hardly regard this sort of thing as the behavior of an adult

Whether one is scolding a child or praising it, the first problem is

to grasp the essential nature of the frame of mind that gave rise
to a certain action. Especially in the case of praising, the action
for which the child has been praised could lead to various
possibilities, and so you should bring to recognition inner
inclinations that will lead to new activity on the part of the child.
I think you have understood that the kind of recognition that is
involved in saying, You do like everything neat and clean, dont
you? is better than the kind of recognition involved in saying,
Youve tidied things up very well, havent you? It is the same
with adults. Saying, It turns out you really have a very upright
nature! is a better way of giving praise than saying, You did
really splendidly to refuse that bribe!
Giving praise is more difficult than giving a scolding because you
have to hit the mark precisely. With scolding, it is better to miss
the mark, so that afterwards it occurs to the person in question
what was meant, and he recognizes by himself what he has
done. Why is it wrong to hit the mark? There are some mothers
who put on a high and mighty manner and shriek, Ive hit the
bullseye now say youre sorry! And they bully their children
in order to squeeze an apology out of them. But by doing this,
they make their childrens spirits shrink. This gives birth to a
reaction and leads to wild behavior. If, hastily, you use physical
punishment, your child will behave wildly when he sees you are
not looking. Physical punishment is the cause of a childs
beginning to bully children weaker than himself when his
parents are not looking.
In a persons spirit, too, there are autonomous activities, and so
when a persons spirit is made to shrink excessively, it always
results in excessive arrogance. Someone who has the habit of
grabbing hold of a salesman and saying, 0y, send this along
tomorrow, either lacks money, or, if he doesnt, he is definitely
the kind of person
who bows and scrapes to his superiors. The spirits reaction has
to manifest itself somewhere. So one may regard the behavior
of a woman who adopts a high and mighty manner towards her
child as a way of getting her own back for not being able to pick
a fight with her sour and indifferent husband. But one should
vent ones anger on someone who is strong and able to take it,
and not on children. An adult is already a thing of the past, and
it is quite all right to lash out against him or her. But children

have the future in them. To break this is impermissible and a

great sin even if it is the parents who do it.
But there are some parents who say when their child makes
another child cry, My, youve beaten him! You are full of
energy, arent you? They say this with the intention of giving a
scolding that has a hidden significance to it, but there is no
hidden significance, only a silly complacency. Parents whose
scoldings have lost authority and who no longer scold properly,
deliver scoldings that are bungled, far from the point and
lengthy. As the children listen to these scoldings, they gradually
become inured to them, and they no longer feel a scolding as
a scolding; then they become unable to hear a scolding and in
the end no longer respond to one. This kind of scolding results
in symptoms of inurement and of resistance, and after that in a
condition of deafness and dumbness. Then children begin
fobbing their parents off with some expedient words and acting
obsequiously, but behind their parents backs they behave
badly. If a child becomes an expert at doing what he likes
behind his parents backs, his parents will themselves having to
take all sorts of precautions.
When this kind of situation has come about, the child skillfully
uses scoldings to plan his next exploit, and the knowledge he
has gained from his parents enters into his next bad act. He will
come to possess wisdom of this kind for even in the
commission of a bad act there is wisdom. If he hasnt the
wisdom to act cleverly so that he is not scolded, and if he hasnt
the courage, he will be unable to behave badly.
Thus, if you catch your child redhanded, scolding him only by
asking, What on earth have you got up to now? is futile and
will communicate nothing because you have jumped at a
without offering any explanation. And if, instead of giving a
scolding, you praise your child with, That shows how intelligent
you are, he will only do the same again more often. You should
say something like this: Why do you use the wisdom you have
in this way? You cant be said to have wisdom yet, you know, if
you act like this. And you have courage, so why do you use it to
do this sort of thing? One cant say that what you did really
shows courage, you know. You must teach your child that he
has wisdom inside him, and that even though he does
something he couldnt do were he not courageous, he could act

in a better way if he had more courage. Unless you guide your

child in such a way that he goes through the kind of experience
I have just described and gains confidence in himself, and so
that he uses his wisdom and courage well and lives in a fresh,
vital manner, your scoldings cannot be said to really possess
any kind of inner significance.


The Elder and Younger Child

Question : I have two daughters. One is six and a half, the other
is four and a quarter. When the elder cant get her way, she
bullies her sister. And she says to me things like, Itd be better
if my little sister werent here. Itd be better if she were dead.
How should I deal with this?
Answer : Yours is a very understandable question. In this case,
there are about two years between the elder and younger child.
The elder is already six. When she wants the younger to follow
her lead, it sometimes looks as though she were bullying her
In the case of brothers or sisters of different ages, parents often
tend to take the part of the younger one. Even if this tendency
is not there, the elder had, say, ten
units of love and affection before the younger was born, but
now, in the name of fairness, the children have five units each.
Nevertheless, the parents do not feel that they have decreased
the love and affection given the elder child to five units. They
are concerned only with being fair. If, for example, you give
only one unit of love and affection to the younger of two sisters
and nine to the elder, the latter will still feel that she is getting
less than before. If the parents do net recognize this, she will
feel discontented. But parents divide the love and affection they
give to two children fifty-fifty, and they think they are acting
fairly and have no intention of showing partiality. I feel that not
quite enough thought has been given to the matter. The
younger has never experienced a full ten units of love and
affection, so that whether she is given five units or only one,
she feels she has full measure. But the elder feels something is
lacking even when she is given eight or nine units. That is why
an elder child feels discontented after a younger one is born.
This discontent is felt in the body. Children live only by means of
getting attention. It is entirely different from the
case of the adult, for whom getting attention is no more than a
device like putting on make-up: for the child, attention is
something without which it cannot live; it is rather life itself. A
child may spring forth into the world, but if nobody pays it any
attention, it will die. So demanding attention is, in biological

terms, absolutely necessary. By getting attention, children can

eat, and by getting attention, they can live.
When a second child is born, the first child feels in its body that
the attention directed towards itself has grown less. In your
daughters case, she already, at the age of six and a half, hates
her little sister as someone who has stolen her own mother from
her, and she will feel a desire to bully her younger sister if the
opportunity presents itself. That is to say, your elder daughter
has reached the stage at which, little by little, she becomes able
to translate the kind of feeling I have spoken of into action. The
origin of this is, naturally, the demand to keep getting the same
amount of attention as before.
Children whatever family they come from treat their
brothers and sisters as nuisances. Indeed, I think one can say
their treating others as nuisances is more natural My first son,
too, when another child was born, said to me, Lets throw him
away, shall we, Papa? But at first he had been asking, Where
did he come from? Did he come from our old house? Did he
come on the train? Or did he come in a car? But after a little
while he was saying things like, Papa, lets throw him away,
shall we? He really meant it! Until then, he had monopolized
his parents attention, so that when something appeared that
drew away this attention, it was natural that he should have felt
discontented. That is why he said the things he did. I think a
mother, too, should undoubtedly be able to understand this kind
of feeling, because she bursts out with complaints if her
husband so much as glances in another direction
So when an elder daughter says, Id much rather things like
little sisters werent around; itd be better if she were dead, I
think that, for a woman, her sentiments must be readily
understandable. Therefore, at a time like this, I feel it would
definitely sound more natural to reply, Mm we could go ahead
and kill her, I suppose Or, Well, we could throw her away, I
suppose Even an adult woman may perhaps find herself in
much the same situation. For example, I suspect that when a
woman finds out her husband has a mistress, she definitely
thinks to herself, I wish she were dead! Even if her husband
doesnt have a mistress, I imagine that a woman who has to be
ceaselessly on her guard lest he should get one will readily
understand the meaning of that little girls words. Their

situations are similar, in that each is obliged to make continual

efforts to keep someones attention focused on her.
If you think about this kind of thing, is it not cruel to be
wondering how to deal with this child? Speaking as a man, I can
only reply that a broad-minded approach is better in this sort of
case. But if you yourself consider the possibility that you might
find yourself in a position where ideas occur to you like, Itd be
better if his mistress werent here, it would be better if she were
dead, then it is surely not dishonest to reply to a little girl of six
and a half years, Youre too young to be thinking things like
that, you know; when youre grown up you can think in that
way. If her mother had the breadth of mind to admit that
feelings such as we
have been talking about exist deep inside human beings, I
suspect that this child would definitely not say such things.
Because her mother doesnt have the breadth of mind to make
such an admission, the child speaks out without a qualm.
Another factor in the problem may be that the parents are
overly protective of the younger daughter. I suspect they
believe it is right to protect the smaller, and their protective
attitude is manifested directly. In some part of their minds they
probably feel that it is natural to protect the weaker. And the
person who is protected is weak. Indeed, one can say that being
weak is the result of being protected. But even the weaker of
two people can use the means of running away or mounting a
surprise attack, so that if the weaker is not protected, he or she
will not necessarily be weak.
There is a natural tendency to suppose that the weaker side
should be protected, but you should keep in mind that you can
make another weak by protecting him or her, and it is a good
idea to stop giving excessive protection. There are many cases
these days of people quickly resigning from their positions or
having a fit of the sulks
when something unpleasant happens, but this is no way to
shoulder responsibility. It is the act of a spoilt child who has not
lost the habit of seeking to be protected. At a number of
universities even at Tokyo University and the International
Christian University the university heads rapidly resigned at
the time of the student riots. I am astounded at their
shamelessness. From the point of view of an outsider, it is a
rather clever way of dealing with the matter. For the people who

remained behind, however, things were very troublesome. The

action of these university heads was nothing other than a
refusal of responsibility, though it seemed that they were
resigning in order to take responsibility. This manner of taking
responsibility is extraordinarily ambiguous, and I think that,
fundamentally, it is a custom that has developed as a result of a
way of living in which the weak are protected.
If you protect someone, he becomes weak. Push him away, and
he becomes strong. So it is wrong for parents to protect the
weaker daughter. The thinking of curbing the strong and siding
with the weak serves only to make the strong stronger, and
the weak weaker. These days, all sorts of preventive injections
are being given, penicillin is being used, and bacteria are being
killed. But the bacteria you intend to destroy gradually grow
stronger, and the human body you intend to help gradually
grows weaker. The nature of all living things is the same in this
In this case, if you dont weaken your younger daughter by
giving her excessive protection, the two-year gap between your
daughters will narrow. If you dont protect the younger daughter
excessively, the present stage will be passed through smoothly.
It really is true to say that there is too much protection of the
weak. When someone falls ill, other people take care of him and
protect him, and if he is suffering they give him painkilling
injections. In this way, doctors and people around the patient
all of them take solely the course of protecting weakness. They
do not think even once about the question why someone should
have developed an illness. If someones in pain, the proper
thing to do is surely to get rid of the pain and make the person
comfortable treatment is given solely in accordance with
this way of thinking. While
young people are forbidden to sniff paint thinner, adults abuse
painkillers. I find it strange, but the situation is in fact such that
everything possible is tried until the people around the patient
feel relieved. But what happens when this kind of thing is done
to people who are, at present, healthy? The body is thrown into
confusion if every day painkillers are administered and
intravenous feeding is provided. Nevertheless, dying people are
given even more of these things. Their bodies are cooled down
or warmed up, and oxygen is given to them. It is like throwing
into someones mouth cakes, steak, omelets and pieces of fish

all at once so that the person cannot tell which is which. It is

scarcely surprising that patients suffer.
Because of the worry that they themselves feel, the people who
are looking after a patient do all manner of things until they feel
a measure of satisfaction with themselves. They do not consider
the others body. They do these things for the sake of their own
ease of mind. If they are not doing something, they feel
anxious, and so they do this, that and the other and not,
perhaps, because they want to hasten the others
death. But acting in this way is what one might rightly call a
kind of lingering homicide. And if the patient himself is scared of
death and asks for all sorts of things to be done for him, he
deserves to be called a suicide. That is why fewer and fewer
people live until they achieve a natural death. People who die
naturally do not suffer at all, and they dont bother the people
around them. Nor do they seek the attention of the people
around them. Instead, they dislike other people seeing them,
they gradually fall asleep, and they die just like that. This is a
natural death. Cats and elephants disappear so that the place
where they die cannot be discovered. It is only human beings
who gather a crowd of people around them in order to make a
distressing spectacle of their dying. It is very odd.
Behind all the phenomena I have been describing lies the
assumption that the weak should be helped. If you really want
to bring up your children so that they develop soundly, you
should neither help the weaker nor curb the stronger. If
everything that a human being depends on is removed, he is
stronger than one might suppose. Human beings are weak only
because they put their
faith in something, depend on others, or lean on something.
So in the case of this child, rather than wondering what to do
and considering possible measures, it is better to keep at a
distance. But if the smaller one is so miserable that you cant
bear to look at her, and you still feel a desire to protect her
working within you, I recommend that you keep a pet animal
like a dog or a cat. If you have more than two children, each
child has the opportunity of venting its feelings on a younger
child all except for the youngest, who has nobody to vent his
feelings on; it is rather sad.


In actuality, however, the child who has no place to vent his

feelings becomes stronger. Even small children will grow
stronger simply as the result of not having a butt for their
feelings. If they are given no protection, they will grow even
But if you cannot wait and watch your child growing stronger
without doing anything, then it is a good idea to provide the
child with a butt on which it can vent its feelings, something
that is smaller than the child. For this, a cat or a dog is
sufficient. You can make a pet into a butt for everyone
to vent their feelings on. Again, you can make it an object of
love for everyone. Then, if, say, the elder of two daughters
recognizes that her parents are caring for the pet in the same
way they care for her younger sister, she will come to
understand the significance of her parents sharing out their
love. If she realizes this, she will start feeling love for the dog. If
feelings of love have been called forth, the desire to bully others
will disappear. Whether it is that she comes to love the dog like
her sister or that she comes to love her sister like the dog, I do
not know, but, whichever the case, the way of thinking that has
hitherto persisted in her will have changed.
But I suspect that mothers who ask questions like the one that
has been asked feel that children are lovable, whereas dogs are
not. If I am right, then such mothers feel that they could never
look after a dog. But in this kind of case, there is no need to
force yourself to pet the dog: you need only attend to its wants.
Before long, your children will begin to pet it, and until then you
have no alternative but to feed it. In this way, you create
something that the elder and younger sister may share in
petting. By means of this
kind of little thing, I think that the two sisters will pass through
this problematic stage. In many families, you notice, when
children get older, that the elder becomes easy-natured,
whereas the younger grows tougher. This is usually due to the
insufficiency of the protection given by the parents to the
second child. The second child has to look after himself, so that
he gradually grows tougher. At around the age of twenty, the
difference between two brothers becomes clear, and at the age
of thirty it will still be clear. But I think we can take the age of
ten as a standard: the two sisters in question are six and a half
and four and a bit, and so, after a couple of years, the younger

will start gradually becoming stronger. After two and a half

years, the elder sister will start becoming unable to stand up to
her younger sister. When this happens, you will have to protect
the elder more, but, if you want to avoid this, it would be better
if henceforth you were to treat your two daughters equally and
protect neither. I think this is the better way.
But although I have said you should protect neither, you must
treat them in
accordance with the fact that one is six and a half and the other
four and a bit. You shouldnt readily bear down on the bigger of
the two on the grounds that she is bigger. It is wrong, for
example, to say, youre the bigger, so you must share out
those sweets half and half with your little sister. The shares
should be in the proportion of six to the elder and four to the
younger. Again, with pocket money, you should share it out so
that the elder gets, say, 100 yen, whereas the younger gets
fifty. Or another good way is to say, Youre the bigger and you
know how to use money, so youll have to put up with only fifty
yen, but youre smaller and dont know how to use money well,
so that you can have 100 yen. Either way is good, but the root
of the matter is that it is necessary not to make life too easy for
the younger of the two.
If children have fits of the sulks or behave unreasonably and
cry, in every case it is because the parents are not good at
providing protection. You often see children lying on the ground
in front of a toy shop and wailing, Buy that! Children like these
have grasped their parents weak point. A good thing to do on
this kind of
occasion is to say to the child, You can lie here if you want to.
Im going off to see a film, and while I m there you can lie down
here. But dont get up till I return. And then you go off. If you
get up caught up in the problem of To buy, or not to buy, you,
too, will get upset and forget that you are in the position to
guide your child. You are squabbling with your child on the same
It is much the same in this case. The elder sister is saying
dreadful things to the younger one, and the mothers head is
filled with the thought that something has to be done and she
forgets that she is in the position to guide her children. What is
lacking is a method of bringing her child to an awareness of
what she is doing. The mother is trapped in the strange moral

perspective of the weaker must be protected. Of course, the

human instinct to protect the weaker side is not in itself wrong.
The human heart has this instinct, so that human beings have
been protecting the smaller and have prospered. But, viewed in
terms of the position of parents, if this instinct alone is too
strong, it is not a very good thing. It is no good if human beings
are dragged
around by their instincts.
The human heart often has workings that proceed of their own
accord. Even while you are giving somebody affectionate
treatment, a feeling of hatred may suddenly come over you;
you may be unable to do something you have determined to do;
or you may find that you have done, without realizing it,
something that you didnt want to do. As these examples show,
the human heart does things of its own accord. When the heart
uses the human being, mistakes may be made, and so human
beings have to maintain a position in which they are masters of
their hearts.
In the case of providing protection, you have once to achieve
the frame of mind in which, without offering protection, you are
able to simply watch; after that, you should move in the
direction of giving protection. To suppose that giving protection
is wrong, is far too one-sided a view. I should like you to adopt
the view that excessive protectiveness is wrong, and to take
care that you do not make someone weak by protecting him or

Childrens Demands
Question : When parents overlook their childrens demands, the
latter do all sorts of naughty things. What should be done in
such a case?
Answer: When we are speaking of childrens demands, there is,
first of all, the question as to what we recognize as demands.
You spoke about demands being overlooked, but unless we are
clear about what demands are, there can be no real
understanding. For example, when your younger son comes to
you with tears in his eyes and appeals to you with Please hit
my big brother, that is definitely a demand. He is attempting to
use his parents strength to make up for his own lack of
strength. It shows great cleverness on his part. If you
recognize this cleverness, say, Right, Ill give him a clout, and
then actually give elder son a clout, do you think you have met
your younger sons demand? Indubitably, the boy has shown
that he is clever, but would it not be better if his parents sought
to make this cleverness work along rather different lines, and, in
addition, demonstrated to the child the cleverness of his
parents? On occasions like this, it is not a bad idea to give
recognition to the childs cleverness by saying, Thats a clever
way off thinking; and to let him recognize himself that he has
clever ideas. It is, however, doubtful whether words like Please
hit my big brother should, as such, be realized as a demand of
the child.
It often happens that when guests are present, a child will make
a great racket or will ask in front of the guests for a piece of a
biscuit or a sweet. I imagine that many mothers must have had
the experience being embarrassed by their children taking
something that is intended for the guests. Can we regard this as
a demand on the part of the child or not?
The mother is concerned only with her guests, and forgets that
the child exists. Not
only that: she holds her child in check with, Be quiet! and,
Dont do that! For the child, it is distressing to be forgotten,
and so he shows off in front of his mother, makes a noise, and
gets scolded. When a child says, Give me a sweet in front of
guests, there is, within his behavior, the childs wisdom that he
wont be smacked in these circumstances. He feels secure and

comes before the guests; and then he bears off his prize. The
child thinks, in his childish way, that though he may be scolded
afterwards, he is quite safe now, and that at least while the
guests are present his mother wont chase after him. And he
acts accordingly.
In this kind of case, it is necessary to consider whether the child
really feels a demand to have something sweet or to make a
fuss. Of course, on a rainy day, when children are shut in a
room, they make a great noise, squabble among themselves
and break things; and they do this as a result of a demand felt
in the body. But in the case of showing off in order to get a
sweet and making a racket when guests are in the home, it is
not the result of a demand to eat something sweet or a demand
to make a noise. The child wants to draw his mothers
eyes to him, and he doesnt want to be forgotten. It is a
demand that his mother should not pay attention only to the
guests, but should give him due attention too.
When they scold their children, many mothers deliver a really
concentrated scolding. As a result, their children behave, more
than ever, in a way that merits a scolding. It is because they
feel a demand to draw their mothers attention, and the more a
mother gets angry, the more her child will do the same again.
In reality, though a child may do the same again and again, it is
not because he wants his mother to be angry with him, but
because of a demand to have his mothers attention.
Things like this happen for as long as the mothers attention is
directed elsewhere. Children may injure themselves at such a
time, or fall ill. Though I speak of a demand, it is not one of
which the child himself is aware; it is an unconscious demand.
And so it does not only manifest itself in the childs behavior,
but causes a variety of changes within the childs body. It often
happens that a child falls ill or unexpectedly injures itself. And
there are parents who will scold an injured child and
ask, Why on earth did you hurt yourself like that? But it is
because the attention a parent has given the child has been
insufficient. Even so, it is not that there are not ways of
compensating for this.
For example, when a child has, say, simply grazed his fingertip,
you should bandage up the whole finger, or the whole hand as
far as to the wrist. If you make a splendid show of winding the
bandage around his hand and then put his arm in a sling, the

child will feel satisfied. He will feel rather pleased to be injured,

and he will probably go around to everybody to. show off his
wounds,. If he does this, he will feel satisfied.
But, on the other hand, a child will become weakened as a
result of your recognizing a demand like this, and so
unconditionally meeting the demand involves problems. One
cannot say that unconditional acquiescence is a good thing. If
you regard a childs injuring himself as a demand for attention
and respond in an exaggerated way, the child may be satisfied,
but within him the tendency to seek sympathy from others by
showing off his weak points may become stronger, and parents
need to consider whether, by responding to this demand, they
may not make their child weaker. If they recognize this
possibility, they have to devise measures to avoid it.
Thus, the next problem is when to remove the bandage. After
counting to about fifteen, say, It must be better now. Lets
have a look at it ah, it needs a little more time. And again,
after five minutes, say, Now, lets have another look, shall we?
In the case of an injury that will take two or three days to heal
properly, you will implant in the childs mind the suggestion that
it really will heal in a matter of a few minutes. So, after counting
to fifteen, say, It must be better by now; and undo the
bandage and have a look; then say, Itll take a bit longer, and
bandage it up again. After five minutes, have another look at it.
And then to say, Its better now will not seem unreasonable.
Adults generally believe that once a bandage is put on, it will
have to be kept on for three or four days, but children dont
have this kind of knowledge, so that there is no need to abide
by what adults believe. A good way is to appeal to the childs
pride by saying, Now if it were Mummy, shed have
to keep the bandage on for three whole days, but twenty
minutes is all that is needed for you! And if it were Grandpa,
hed have to keep the bandage on for three whole months. The
older you are, the longer it takes, you know. Its because youre
so tough
There are by the way, lots of parents, even, who almost faint at
the sight of blood. Its not their blood, so its rather odd to feel
funny in this way, but there are parents like this. There was one
man who fainted when he saw that his wife had been injured.
After that, his little son injured himself and said, Its lucky

Daddys not here today. Things would be terrible if he were

here. But before then the child had himself made a great fuss
whenever he hurt himself. One day I asked him, Why are you
crying? But theres all this blood coming out, he replied. Try
blowing on it, I advised him. If you blow on it, itll stop, you
know. And I got him to blow on it, and the bleeding stopped.
He jumped about and shouted, Its stopped! Its stopped!
While he was doing this, he stopped thinking that blood was
something frightening, and instead began to think that his
father was a
bit of a cissy to be frightened of blood. After that, whenever he
was injured, he took care not to let his father know, and I
suspect that in the future his father will feel very proud of his
As this case shows, the more protective you are about your
childs physical condition, the more weak qualities are
encouraged in him. The more you bandage a child up, the more
he comes to fear blood, and the more he comes to fear injuries.
But when there is, within the body, an element of exhibitionism,
a child will feel a sense of relief if you bandage him up in a way
that is in excess of what is required. When you bandage a child
up in this way, it is to test his disposition to show off, and once
he is satisfied, it is very important that you should remove the
bandage. When a child feels dissatisfied with the attention he
gets, an injury may fester and take a long time to heal. If this
happens, a good thing to do is to compensate by having the
kindness to do yuki to him.
Consequently, it becomes necessary to find out where a childs
demand resides. You should see whether a child wants to have
attention or whether he is insisting that
he himself can bear the pain. When an injury is a big one, it is a
good idea to get the child to insist himself that he has the
strength to put up with the pain. For this, you should deal with
his injury in a simple way, and say, Thisll be enough, wont it?
Ordinarily, something rather more grand would be needed, but
youre tough, so; and you should leave it at that. But in the
case of a small injury, you can, by bandaging it up in an
exaggerated way, test his disposition to show off.
If parents possess the mental space to try to see what it is their
children are demanding, injuries will come to be of less

importance. When a child is injured, his mother tends to

exclaim, What have you done! Whatll we do if germs get in it?
Whatll we do if it festers? When you say this sort of thing, you
pay no regard to your childs sensibility. When a childs
exaggerated reaction to an injury is accepted in an exaggerated
way, the matter is blown up out of all proportion. I should like
you to be careful in this respect.
As the foregoing has, I hope, suggested, people often take a
sweeping view and regard everything as a demand on the part
of the child. But in reality one should, having set aside the
artifices and devices produced by the head, recognize as
demands only those aspects that derive from the instinct to
maintain the body. What I regard as childrens demands is
limited to desires that are necessary to maintaining the body.
When one is injured and feels pain, this is a demand on the part
of the body that the injured place should receive attention.
When a parents attention is directed elsewhere, a child makes a
fuss in order to draw his parents attention to him. If you
consider that a child needs someone to protect him, this, too, is
a natural demand, and it is, after all, a bodily demand.
Thus, if you suppose, when a child says, I want a sweet, that
he really does want a sweet, and reply, You can have some
after the guests have left, the child will feel insulted. And later,
unaware of what the child is feeling, the mother hands over a
sweet as if she were saying, There, Ive kept my promise.
There are parents who get angry with their child when he says,
I dont want it! and throws the sweet away. But the person
who is acting at his own convenience is not, I think, the child; it
is the parent.
Why not, at such a time, say, This is my son (or daughter)
he (or she) is, and introduce the child to the guest and get
him or her to greet the guest? It is much better to get the child
to greet the guest himself or herself. And then say, If you want
a cake or something, help yourself. I suspect that the child will
immediately give the idea up. Even though a child may take a
cake or whatever the first time you do this, the next time you
have a guest, I suspect your child will think he has to give a
greeting when he comes in. Once he has given a proper
greeting, he will become unable to misbehave himself. It is
because he has, as it were, said, I am here; and once this
demand has been recognized, that is sufficient.

Adults, too, retain the desire to say, I am here figuratively

speaking. Women go to the hairdressers to get a permanent
wave and sit there patiently with some extraordinary
contraption covering their heads. They undergo this tedious
experience so that their hair may be given a roasting, and if it
seems odd from the point of view of a man like me, it cannot be
helped. From the hairs point of view, what is being done to it is
an atrocious torture. No-one would
think that you become more beautiful in consequence of
roasting your finger, but women do this to their heads. Hair,
too, is a living thing there is life in it. Because it doesnt
speak, everybody cheerfully roasts it, but if it could speak it
would say it was facing a huge disaster. And in addition, women
plaster all kinds of make-up on themselves, and then they step
out of doors and say, What lovely weather it is today, isnt it?
As to why women do these odd things to themselves and
exchange greetings, it is because they all want to assert that
they exist. Having got married, there shouldnt be any need to
smother your face with powder. After all, you dont need to pull
the wool over mens eyes any more Why does a woman still
paint her face after marriage? It is because she wants to assert
her own existence.
And now its the turn of the man: he does some pointless thing
and puffs himself up with pride. I did this, that and the other,
he announces, but this is only the way that a man asserts his
own existence. Every man does this, asserting his own
existence, and makes it a part of his living in
society. So, looked at in another way, asserting their existence
is natural to human beings, and proof that they are not cripples
of some kind.
A little while ago, there was the case of a six-year-old boy who
collected photographs of naked women and stored a great
number beneath his bed. His mother discovered them, was
totally flabbergasted, and came flying to me. She was trembling
all over, and she asked, Whats the best thing to do? But I
found nothing unusual about the matter. Its the budding of
manhood, I told her. Hes proving to himself that hes not a
cripple, so you shouldnt worry. If it is not that, he simply has
an interest in womens bodies, and thats all there is to it. Or it
might have been that the women in the photographs resembled
his mother, and that was why he collected them. In any event,

his mother made a stupid, and peculiarly adult, association of

ideas, and so it was scarcely surprising that she was shocked.
But it is no different from a childs having a doll whose clothes
can be changed, and theres nothing odd about the matter at
all. The mother should have made a variety of dresses and put
them on the women in the photographs,
saying, If we put this dress on her, I wonder what itll look
like? A boy of six can do this sort of thing. There is no harm in
asking questions like: What kind of dress shall we put on this
one?, Which girl do you like best?, Wouldnt you like to get
married to a girl like this? When the mother acted in this way,
the boy soon stopped collecting such photographs.
Children do not have all sorts of knowledge like their parents,
and it is surely odd to look at matters in terms of adult
knowledge and to be shocked out of ones wits. A boy of fifteen
or sixteen did the same, and of course the mother came to me
in a state of high alarm. I said, Well, its now guaranteed that
your sons not a cripple, so theres nothing to be worried about,
is there?
In answer to questions as to what approach one should take in
recognizing a childs demands and how one should deal with
them, I can only say that unless you look at these demands and
consider them from a variety of angles, you will not be able to
respond in an appropriate way.


The Physiology of Rebellion

Question : I want to ask about a boy of five. He has a brother
two years older than himself, and he feels extremely
competitive towards him. If he wants something, he persists
and persists, without ever giving up, and if he doesnt get his
own way, he starts throwing anything that comes to hand and
acts violently. He throws things that frighten other people, like
chairs or scissors or hammers, and it looks as though he is
trying to force the people around him to do what he wants.
Finally, his elder brother cedes defeat, and this elder one is now
growing very passive.
The younger boy is unable to control his feelings, and if you try
to make him stop, he becomes even more rebellious. At the
kindergarten, he has to bear things, whatever they are, and
tension builds in him all day.
On a day when he has been under pressure, he will say the
most incomprehensible things for reasons you cant understand
as soon as I come to fetch him home, and he makes various
difficulties; and then he wants to go and pass water every ten
minutes. But when he is with friends, and his attention is
diverted, he completely forgets about behaving in this sort of
The other day, when he couldnt get his own way at the
kindergarten, he started throwing everything that came to hand
and attacked other children with an umbrella, and nobody could
control him. But as soon as he had stopped, he acted as though
nothing had happened. When I said something to him about it,
he admitted that hed done something wrong and readily
apologized without being told to do so.
He is a physically well-coordinated type, and has great physical
capacities. When he does incomprehensible things for no good
reason, how should I deal with it? When he is annoying others
or throwing things, should his parents come out and give him a
severe dressing down? Again, as a parent, should I regard all
this as stemming from selfishness?
Answer : In a word, this is not a question of selfishness, but
represents a failure of upbringing. A second child has
characteristics that are peculiar to the second child. You have to

understand these characteristics when bringing up a second

When a second boy is born, there is an elder brother who is
already being petted by everybody. This elder brother can act
with charm and so draw the attention of the people around him,
but the younger one can only cry and act in a way that gets him
in the bad graces of others. By crying again and again, and
through the loudness of his voice, the younger brother forcibly
draws the attention everyone pays to his elder brother towards
himself. It is for this reason that whatever the family the
gestures of the younger of two children are more pronounced.
Then, if the attention of the parents focuses on the younger
child, the elder wets the bed, or grows passive or in some way
shrunken. But if the parents attention remains focused on the
elder child, the younger, in order to announce his or her
presence, begins by wetting the bed, and then again and again
acts in ways that upset other people.
A great many of the children who are brought to me to be cured
of bed-wetting are second-born children. But when a second
child wets the bed, it is a matter of no importance: it results
from a demand to get attention from his parents. So, if parents
take no notice of the childs wetting his bed, it will soon stop.
Attention is provided most directly in a scolding. If you tell a
child, Its naughty to wet your bed, and take various
precautions, the childs demand for attention is ministered to,
and he wets the bed all the more. Children are always looking
for ways to get attention and it is along these ways that they
grow, so the more you pay a child attentions like these, the less
likely is a cure. So long as a child wets the bed, his mother
gives him attention. If, however, the attention he receives as a
result of wetting his bed grows less, he will break or throw away
something that is precious to his mother. His mother will be
enraged and scold him, and the child, because he has been
scolded, will do the same again.
When a second childs tendency to see more attention persists
for some time, the parents will, in the end, be pulled hither and
thither by his demands, and this is what has
happened in the case of this mother. When her son starts
throwing things, she rushes in a panic to stop him. It is exactly
the same as in the case of bed-wetting. I suspect that the
mother has rushed to stop her son from doing things or scolded

him on a number of occasions, and this kind of child has

resulted. It is not going too far to say that the parents have
been educating their childs subconscious in such a way that he
turns out like this. He throws something he is cautioned he is
stopped from doing it again he throws something again he is
stopped by acting in the way he does, the boy draws
attention to himself and is satisfied, and in the end throwing
things becomes a way of drawing his parents attention. Perhaps
this mother has once given her son an extremely severe
scolding. But by doing this, the kind of behavior we are talking
about is encouraged more and more, and now, I suspect, the
situation is such that there is no getting out of it.
Doing things like throwing anything that comes to hand is ugly
and silly. If you do nothing about a habit such as throwing
things at the dictate of the emotions, it could perhaps happen
that after a boy
reaches manhood, he kills someone because that other person
has got on his nerves. Growing up means becoming able to
control your emotions, and not thoughtlessly allowing yourself
to become upset is an acquirement necessary to your becoming
a full member of society. Consequently, parents definitely must
teach to their children the rules of living in society, and they
must guide their children so that they do not behave in the way
we have just heard about. But if you pick up only this idea and
try to teach it, it will result only in the childs getting special
attention. I think that teaching this kind of thing to children
severally must be difficult, but with two or three there is a social
world, and then teaching them that such and such an action is
ugly is probably not so hard. In this boys case, it seems that
having done all that he can do, he recognizes his own badness
and he definitely apologizes for what he has done, so that he
does have a certain awareness of social rules. But when he
wants attention from his parents, it is only this demand that all
of a sudden manifests itself. Because of this he does things like
throwing objects about. But even
at a time like this, you need to teach him only that his action is
The other day, one mother threw and broke the toy that her
child cared for most. The child was extremely cross. His mother
said, Mummys felt like crying, too, seven or eight times
because of what youve done. Afterwards the child stopped

throwing things, but before he finally stopped, he would pick up

something and ask, Can I throw this? If his mother said, Yes,
go ahead, he threw it. He did this no more than two or three
times, and then he stopped throwing things altogether.
Incidentally, the father of this family has the habit of throwing
things. It seems that he even throws chairs, and one day the
child threw a chair at his mother, not that it reached her. It
would be a very serious problem if, after missing his mother
with a chair, the child had chased after her, but it seems that he
did not do so. The father on occasion threw a chair at his wife,
and the boy was only imitating him. I dont think that there is
any malice in the childs heart; he does it because his father
does After he had scared his mother, he wanted her to be nice
to him. But his mother sees his action
as malicious. From the point of view of the child, however, it is
something that his father does, so that he doesnt think of it as
being particularly bad. So now he only throws chairs, and he has
completely stopped picking up his mothers things and throwing
them. It is because when something precious to him was thrown
on the floor and broken, he understood for the first time how
much a persons feelings can be hurt by such an action.
A child does not think that throwing things is as bad as his
parents feel it is. His throwing things is an explosion of the
excess energy within his body; it is simply that he wants to
throw things, and therefore he does so. He doesnt think it is
bad in the way his parents do. Consequently, it is very harsh to
scold a child for behaving in this way before you have taught
him that it is wrong. You have to teach him once, through his
own experience, that throwing things is wrong. If you do this, I
think that the child will come to understand that when he throws
something, both he and another are hurt and find themselves in
Again, if a child is throwing things with the intention of getting
his mothers attention,
he is indifferent as to the action, and so it is more effective to
take no notice while he is throwing things, and to scold him only
after he has finished. While he is throwing things, he is venting
out his physical energy, and however much you scold him at
such a time, it is no good. The more you try to stop him, the
more the demand to vent out energy mounts. You should say
something along the lines of Youve thrown so many things, but

you still havent hit me you havent even got near me. Its
because youre throwing heavy things. If you throw something
light, youll be able to hit even a distant mark. Why dont you
try hitting this cushion with that ball? You still havent hit it
youre still away from the mark. Its no good unless you hit it
right in the center, you know. Youll have to practice and
practice, however long it takes Then next morning you should
get him to practice. If he doesnt hit the target, say, Youre still
not very good at it, youre still not hitting it properly; and get
him to practice until he hits it. If he starts throwing other
things, you should tell him, You promised, and you must keep
to it; and get him to practice again and again until he throws
properly at
the target. If, in this way, you get your child to practice
throwing a ball or something else at a target, you will find,
generally, that the child loses the desire to throw things after
about ten days.
A child may throw things, but, considered in itself, throwing
things is not wrong. It is wrong to miss the mark. If he throws
without aiming at something, he will be indiscriminate as to
what he throws. Again, if he throws things in any direction, he
may well break something. So the best thing is to get him to
throw a ball at a cushion. And then, once he has become able to
do this successfully, you can let fall the idea: Youll be able to
play baseball now, wont you? And then you can get him to join
a baseball team, or you could teach him how to use a racquet
next and then let fall the idea: You can play tennis, too, now,
cant you? If you do this kind of thing, throwing things will
gradually take on a different significance for the child. Thus, you
should adopt the course of teaching him to throw at a mark in
connection with some kind of sporting activity.
As I listened to the question I was asked, my attention was
particularly drawn to the
problem as to why a child who himself recognizes that a certain
action is wrong and apologizes on his own initiative should so
suddenly lose control over himself. But this is not something
that happens only in the case of children: it happens with
adults, too. You come across people who after shouting at the
tops of their voices feel regret for what they have done, because
they feel it was wrong. Indeed, you often come across people


who, though they realize at the time they are doing something
wrong, cannot forbear from giving a scolding to someone else.
Merely as a result of holding themselves from passing water,
people grow restless and fidgety, and simply as a result of
feeling hungry, they grow irritable and touchy. In America, there
is something called psychosomatic medicine. It is a branch of
medicine that studies the various changes that occur as a result
of the minds influencing the body. But these people forget that
the states of the body have a variety of effects on the mind.
When you grow hungry, you become anxious and discouraged,
and the more you bear your hunger, the more irritable you
grow. Just as holding yourself back from passing water makes
you fidgety,
so the body affects the mind in various ways: the workings of
your stomach have to do with your likes and dislikes; the
workings of the urinary organs have to do with the spirit of
competition. The condition of each part of the body is reflected
in the mind in its own peculiar way.
There was one child who, once he had started crying, would cry
for as long as one or two hours. I had observed this child from
the time he was born, and he would always, after crying, pass
water. I dont know how many times he managed to wet me,
but through my providing sh (seitai guidance), his body came
to be ordered, and he stopped passing water in this way. He
would calm down once you got him to pass water. Get him to do
this, and he would stop crying. In this way, I came to
understand the connections between the workings of the urinary
organs, persistent crying, and obstinacy.
In those days, we had a thing called the Privy Council, and if a
bill was brought before this council, debate was invariably
extraordinarily protracted. The Privy Council was made up of old
men. All old men possess somewhere an obstinate streak, and
since this council was made up of old men, everything seized
up. Obstinacy means that you cant change direction because
your capacity for movement is poor. I realized that, naturally,
the same applies to the mind. When the urinary organs are not
functioning well, a person grows more and more obstinate, and
more and more emulous.
If we look at the matter in terms of taiheki, people who belong
to nejire-gata are obstinate and emulous. The body of this type
is such that the urinary system is easily affected, as in the case

of a cold, when the functioning of the kidneys and bladder

always deteriorates. Thus, you can readily imagine that
someone who has a chronic disorder of the urinary organs
grows stubborn, or indecisive, or unable to act on what he
thinks. Unless he plunges forwards furiously and does things
through brute force, he cannot do what he has in mind to do.
Even though he knows how to do something, he cant move
hand or foot, but when he does act, he makes a great hullabaloo
about it and tries to get everyone to take notice. You come
across individuals who, when many people are present, will do
extraordinary thing to get attention: such individuals all belong
to nejire-gata. A person like this will stretch his arms out as far
as he can and say, I caught a fish as big as this! Or hell say,
I saw a rat as big as this, and start talking about a yard-long
rat. One man I knew made a remark about looking towards the
far forests of Siberia from ManchuriaI asked, But from
whereabouts in Manchuria was it? Harbin, he replied, Im
talking about Harbin. And so I suggested, You might perhaps
be able to see the forests of Siberia if you stood on tiptoe, I
suppose? Of course not, he said. It was only a manner of
speaking. You could certainly call it a manner of speaking, but
he spoke of the forests as though he actually had seen them,
and I merely wondered whether you really could see them. As
you can understand, people who belong to nejire-gata
sometimes have a manner of speaking that is rather expansive,
and they have a tendency to be emulous . Even in the case of
people who do not belong to nejire-gata, tendencies like those
of this type will naturally develop if they have a disorder of the
urinary organs.
Though the boy about whom the question has been asked is
ordinarily calm, and understands things well, when his spirit of
emulation is aroused, and particularly when his body wants to
pass water but cant, he becomes incapable of understanding
things. Instead, according to his mother, he says
incomprehensible things, and then starts passing water at
frequent intervals. One may assume that he has a disorder of
the urinary system, and a body that tends towards nejire-gata.
Afterwards, he goes so far as to apologize, and therefore he
seriously recognizes himself that he has done something wrong.
But if you consider why he should explode in this way, I think it
better to suppose that it is not a question of the boys conscious

intentions, but that he behaves wildly as the result of the

demands of his body.
Or you might think about it in the following way: what is
expressed in his throwing things is the fact that his mothers
method of scolding leaves something to be desired. I suspect
that when the boy throws something at his elder brother, the
mother scolds him repeatedly with words like You mustnt
throw things! If, at such a time, the
mother were to pay no attention, he would stop behaving in this
way. But behind the fact that his behavior has become so
extreme that his mother doesnt know what to do is, perhaps,
the fact that he has become incapable of changing the course of
his feelings. He has come to understand by himself that certain
kinds of behavior are wrong. When he does something wrong in
spite of his knowing that it is wrong, it might be a good idea to
regard it as a somaticopsychic phenomenon.
Therefore, this problem cannot be solved only by saying in an
accusing manner, This childs bad and violent; at the same
time, the child himself is unable to do anything about his
behavior, In this case, if one corrected the childs body in the
way one corrects the body of someone who belongs to nejiregata, the tendency to take fire and explode if something
happens would disappear.
Of course, if, in this case, the parents make comparisons
between their two sons along the lines of The elder boys a
gentle child and he has a good understanding, but, on the
contrary, the younger is stubborn, and he doesnt understand
reason if
they do this, and influence the younger accordingly, then it is
difficult to bring about a change only by treating the childs body
in the way we treat the nejire-gata body. The mother should not
make comparisons between this boy and his elder brother. From
the point of view of the adult, it is natural that the younger child
should not be able to do whatever it might be so well as his
elder brother, because he is smaller; but from the point of view
of the child, it is an insult, and even though it is natural that his
abilities should be less than his brothers, because the latter is
older, a sense of inferiority arises in him. Looked at from the
side of the inferior, even a tiny difference arouses anger. There
are people who suffer from a sense of inferiority merely on
account of their noses being one millimeter too short. The more

minute ones regard, the more deeply are these meaningless

things felt, and this is due to our psychological measure of
matters. Try to observe peoples facial structures from an
airplane, and it doesnt make much difference whether they
have a facial structure or not. But because you see such things
close up, they take on a greater importance, and
you can even say whether the faces you see are good-looking or
not. If you get very close, you will start to worry about even
tinier aspects.
Not so long ago, there was a young woman who had determined
to marry a certain man. But one day she said, When I took his
hand, it felt somehow greasy, and suddenly I felt I didnt want
to be touched by him. I want to break off the match as soon as
possible. Without close contact, something like this, too, would
have meant nothing. If you looked at this man from an airplane,
you wouldnt notice that his palms were greasy. His family had
not noticed this, either. But this young woman thought that she
would be touched by him, as her husband, and suddenly the
idea upset her. It was through her sense of touch that she
became upset.
In this kind of case, people say, That kind of thing means
nothing. Theres nothing wrong with the rest of him, is there?
Nevertheless, if someone has a feeling of unpleasantness as a
result of touching the person with whom a match has been
made, it is wise to call the match off. I gave the advice: This
feeling wont go away for life,
so its better to call the match off. However much effort she
makes, and however many the devices she tries, her feeling of
distaste is not going to go away. This means that,
fundamentally, they are physically unsuited to each other, so
call it off. When I said this, almost everybody sympathized with
the man and criticized the woman. But I went on to say, A
repugnance that derives from the sense of touch is a very
fundamental feeling. It will dog your daughter for life, so you
should call the match off. At that, even her father finally
understood the significance of the matter, and agreed to the
idea of calling the match off. Something that is felt with the
body is absolutely certain.
In the case of the child in question, you should take into account
the fact that he may belong to nejire-gata. At times when he is
an excited state, his kidneys are disordered; when he is passing

water every ten minutes, his kidneys are not functioning as they
should. So the mother, rather than thinking of his behavior as
manifesting his mental state and trying to correct this, must
turn her attention to correcting the twisted state of his body.
Everybody supposes that a mental problem can be cured by
with the mind, or by means of words, and as a result bringing
up children is made difficult. But from the beginning mind and
body are one indivisible thing. They are not separate things.
People are neither ghosts nor machines. So it is wrong to divide
up the study of man into separate disciplines, such as
psychology and physiology. There is nobody who is divided up in
this way; a person is a single totality.
In dealing with a case like that of the boy in question, one
simply adopts the approach used in correcting nejire-gata, or
one corrects the disordered condition of the urinary organs. For
the rest, the mother should turn her attention to the child, or
she should teach him to find some other way of getting her
attention. At the age of five, a child begins to think that
behavior of the kind we have been talking about is not very
good. So in this case I think that the childs present behavior,
which derives from the demand to get his mothers attention,
will soon stop. And then, should he have, on occasion, this kind
of fit, it can be dealt with by correcting the condition of the
urinary organs.
If the mother who asked the question
knows how to do yuki, she should do yuki to both sides of the
childs lower back before he goes to sleep or after he has gone
to sleep, and then she should do yuki to the back of his head,
again on both sides. One thing more: before the child grows so
violently angry in the way that has been described, the crown of
the head will have become thrust upwards. So, before the child
sleeps, having done yuki to his lower back and the back of his
head, it is a good idea to do yuki to the crown of his head. If
you observe your childs body carefully, you will see that it has
periodic patterns. For example, there are ten-day cycles and
seven-day cycles, and when the peaks of these cycles coincide,
on, say, a Friday that is the fourth, fourteenth or twenty-fourth
of the month, the child will vent out the energy in his body. If
you can detect this pattern, then on the day before he is due to
vent out his energy, you should do yuki to him, and he will pass

through the next day without problem. The kind of behavior we

have been discussing has a tendency to manifest itself with a
regular frequency, and you should ascertain this pattern as soon
as possible.
If you continue to deal with your child in this way until he
reaches the age of seven, the tendency to behave in the way
you have described will completely disappear. Therefore, rather
than giving scoldings, it is more effective to correct the body
and to do yuki to the child. And it is better for the child.


The Tale-Bearing Disposition

Around the end of the war, I was living in a place of refuge to
which I had taken many city children. There was one child who
was disliked by everybody. She tells tales, so shes horrid,
they said. Shes a nasty little girl. Eventually, nobody, adult or
child, would pay any attention to what this child said. At that
time, I was organizing discussion meetings about bringing up
children at the local temple, and I took up the question of the
child who tells tales. Why does a child tell tales? I asked. By
means of telling tales, she wants to express her sense that her
parents do not recognize her feeling of loneliness. She is only a
child, and doesnt this urge to tell tales show wisdom on her
part? Moreover, hasnt the child grown up in such a way that
she tells tales? Havent the adults around her
brought her up to behave like this by accepting the tales she
bears? At this juncture, the thing that has to be done is for the
adults to examine themselves, and ask themselves whether
they have the right to accuse the child.
I spoke about this problem in a previous talk I gave, entitled
What Lies Prior to Scolding; I should like to quote a passage
from this talk:
It seems that Taes tale-bearing has become a problem, but it
is not only Tae who tells tales. In the adult world, too, there is a
great deal of tale-bearing. Rather than making the tale-bearing
itself a problem, one should inquire into the disposition that
gives rise to tale-bearing; unless one does this, one cannot deal
with the matter.
Every adult knows that telling tales is wrong, but, even so,
adults tell tales. So you may teach Tae that telling tales is
wrong, but you wont be able to make her stop merely by virtue
of doing this. Telling her that it is wrong is necessary, but it is
more necessary to guide her in such a way that she acts on
what she has been taught. All of us should think together about
a way of guiding Tae so that her disposition to tell tales
Why do people come to want to tell tales? By searching out
other peoples wrongdoings and making a great noise about
them, one only becomes ugly oneself, and one doesnt make

ones own life the least bit more attractive. Then why do people
waste their time by going about and telling tales? Perhaps it is
for the sake of profiting from the victims being looked askance
at by everybody else. It may be that the tale-bearer speaks
badly of others with the intention of appearing attractive
himself. When a wife says to her husband, Mrs. So-and-sos got
a patch of discolored skin in such and such a place or, Mrs. Soand-sos handwriting is appalling, what she wants to say is that
Mrs. So-and-so may have an attractive face, but shes stupid, or
that though she may look very fine, shes not a cultivated
person. As for why a wife should say such things, it is because
she has no confidence in herself. So the husband may listen to
such tale-telling without feeling concerned. If you look into the
heart of someone who tells tales, you cannot always say that
telling tales is wrong. It is a confession of a lack of confidence. A
person who
thinks his abilities are greater than someone elses will not
speak badly of this other even if he is an enemy. On the
contrary, he will go so far as to praise him.
If you look at it in this way, tale-bearing is not in itself wrong,
but you will rather feel sympathy for someone who cannot live
in peace of heart unless he or she tells tales about others. In the
case of Tae, unless you guide her in such a way that she gains
confidence in herself, there is no possibility of your stopping her
from telling tales if you only scold her for doing so. The problem
is not that of telling tales, it is that of the disposition which
wants to tell tales. If you do not guide the disposition and check
only the action, there will definitely be a reaction in the childs
sensibility. The disposition of the sensibility is made stronger
when it is restrained.
It is in the last two or three weeks that Taes tale-bearing has
started to grow worse and worse. If you determine the cause of
this, you can find out how to deal with it. If you carefully
consider Taes actions over the past two or three weeks and
analyze them, you will open up a road. Cast your minds back to
what happened two or three weeks
ago, and you will remember that all the children cleaned up the
main hall of the temple together. And after that they started to
tidy up their own rooms. Tae, like everybody else, set to and
tidied up her room. At that time her mother praised her by
saying, Youve made it much tidier than Yo has made his room.

The cause of Taes tale-bearing may lie somewhere about here.

Children are happy when they are praised by their parents, and
so they try to become what they have been recognized for.
If, when a child has tidied up her room, you say, You do like
everything neat and clean, dont you?, she will straightaway
become a neat person, and I expect she will tidy everything,
from the insides of closets to the entrance of the house. But if
you recognize only that she has tidied up her room, she will not
think of tidying up the corridor and the entrance, even though
she may be more enthusiastic about cleaning up her room.
Therefore it is natural that when she was given recognition for
having tidied up her room better than the other children had,
Tae should have become enthusiastic about tidying up things
better than the other children.
0nce a child becomes enthusiastic about tidying things up
better than other children, this frame of mind will. inevitably
develop into a competitive frame of mind, and if this latter
frame of mind grows, she will inevitably create in herself the
sense that there is opposition between herself and other
children, and she will begin acting in such away as to exclude
others. So it is not strange that Tae should have gone to the
trouble of making a mess in the entrance that Yo had so
carefully tidied up. It is not that Tae is innately bad. It is a
problem of the why she was given recognition.
Taes mother, however, didnt realize that her way of giving
recognition was inadequate, and she scolded her daughter with:
Youve messed up the entrance hall that Yo went to such
trouble to clean! As a result of this, Taes competitive spirit
was transformed into a feeling of antipathy towards Yo, and
because of this antipathy she put goats dung in Yos sandals.
This was clearly a reaction to being scolded, but her mother
went on to give her another scolding. I suspect that since then
Tae has believed that her mother gives recognition
only when Yo has tidied something up. And she has come to act
so as to win her mothers attention, by dirtying or tearing her
clothes, for example. Even though she did bad things, she did
them in order to make sure in her heart that she wasnt disliked
and in order to feel secure, but her mother gave no heed to this
at all, and instead scolded Tae yet again. As a result of this, I
suspect, Tae began to feel lonely, and she began clutching on to
other adults in order to win recognition of her existence from

everybody. But Tae had come to believe that she was inferior to
Yo, and so, through her excessive desire to have the concern of
others, she began telling tales.
Consequently, even though you try to check her tale-bearing,
the disposition to tell tales will not grow the slightest bit weaker.
Her mother should go back beyond the first scolding she gave,
and recognize Tae as a tidy girl. If Tae feels she is a tidy girl,
there is no problem of skill involved of being good or bad at
tidying things up; and so Tae will be able to do without her
sense of being in opposition to Yo. I hope that within a few days
everybody will be totally unconcerned about tale-bearing.
I had taken several families to this place of refuge, and it
transpired that the same action on the part of a child would
bring praise in one household, but would result in a scolding in
another. This kind of thing is confusing for children, and so I
organized discussion meetings every other night in order to
bring together the parents ideas. There I spoke on the subject
of My ideas of bringing up children. That was twenty-odd
years ago, but my ideas have not changed in any respect. Even
though the war is over and we now live in a different age, there
is nothing that needs to be changed. This is because I am
looking only at the way in which a child becomes healthy both in
body and in mind.
And in the case of the child we have just heard about, I also
think that those adults are unkind who make a fuss about a
childs tale-bearing and drive the child into a more and more
unhealthy frame of mind. To listen to the tales a child tells and
to take the act of telling tales at its face value is scarcely an
adult thing to do. Do not, therefore, listen to the tales a child
tells. But you should, nonetheless, recognize the disposition that
wants to tell tales, and think about
how this disposition may be guided in a more desirable
Tale-bearing has bad connotations, but it is not always a bad
thing. Various criminals are caught as a result of someones
telling tales. All sorts of things in this world are created by the
telling of tales. Rumors are a kind of tale-telling. Saying things
like, That restaurants very good, or, That restaurants
terrible is telling tales. Because these kinds of tales are told, a
shopkeeper who is confident of the quality of the things he sells
can without advertising hold his head high and feel no

worries. A shopkeeper who does not have confidence in the

things he sells feels trepidation even as he advertises his wares.
He feels trepidation because he knows people tell tales. If there
were no tale-telling, only wares that can be advertised would
become popular.
The things I have just been talking about are, in the end, the
effects of tale-telling. So tale-telling itself is not a bad thing.
Crying things about the town can be very useful. Because there
are what one might call town-criers, people recognize their
obligations to one another and mutually assist one another.
Were there no town-criers, you
might not know even what was happening next door. So taletelling is not a bad thing; it is the way it is used that may be
The child we heard about before I began talking, speaks ill of
others. By speaking ill of others, she thinks she will appear in a
better light. But it is the same in the case of adults. If a
husband praises a neighbors wife in front of his own wife, by
saying, Mrs. So-and-sos very perceptive, his wife may well
begin to look for this womans bad points and speak ill of her.
When she tells others something they dont know she feels that
her own faults have been completely swept away. When
someone else is praised, she feels as though she were being
criticized. As a result of entertaining feelings like these, she
comes to speak ill of others. Telling tales in order to make
excuses for oneself and searching out the faults of others are
wrong, but there is nothing better than telling tales for the
benefit of society. If everybody here would tell tales about
katsugen und to more people and get them to do it, I think
society would improve. And again, if everyone were more
enthusiastic about telling tales in order to help others
understand what taiheki is, we should no
longer see children being given pointless scoldings, people who
are made to waste their efforts, people who tire themselves out
as a result of excessive strain, and mismatched couples who
exhaust themselves by worrying about each other.
For example, the combination of taiheki within a group is
extremely important in daily life. There is, let us say, a group of
ten people who cannot attain even half the efficiency of a similar
group of ten, and still grow tired. It is because the combination
of taiheki in the group is not good.

Again, why is it that a certain child may put a great deal of

effort into studying something, but his performance in his
lessons does not improve? It is because the inclination of his
taiheki and the methods of teaching used are not compatible.
For example, a child who belongs to taiheki type 5 has a head
that readily understands explanations of the inductive kind, that
derive from the concrete aspects of something: Look, you can
see that this is like this, and so what happens is this. But if
such a child has a teacher who belongs to taiheki type I or 2 and
who gives only deductive explanations (Because
such-and-such is thus, x ensues), his marks will become poor.
A teacher like this does not give demonstrations in the case of
matters that would be understood if they were demonstrated,
and persists in giving purely intellectual explanations. But if
children who belong to taiheki types 5 and 8 see something, it is
easier for them to understand. There are ways of teaching
suited to different taiheki, but because these are not followed, it
often happens that children are made to expend useless efforts
and that adults conclude, according to their own lights, that
these children are stupid. I think that if people would study the
question of taiheki, this kind of thing would no longer happen. If
people knew about taiheki, it would be, of great benefit to
If it is the case that human beings have a tale-bearing
instinct, then I hope they will use it to broadcast good things
among society. We definitely cannot call this kind of talebearing wrong. So the initial disposition to tell tales and the
disposition that invented tale-bearing are good. What is wrong
is thinking of using tale-bearing for ones own ends, using it in
this way, and disclosing things that are unfavorable to
other people in order to make oneself appear in a good light.
That is all there is to the matter. This being the case, there
might, on the part of adults, be some consideration as to
whether there are not, perhaps, some ways whereby the talebearing disposition can be guided into better channels.
When this problem occurred in the place to which we had been
evacuated, what I taught, especially to the adults, concerned
what one might call angles of recognition.
Without their noticing it, a child develops in the direction of
what his parents recognize. This was manifested very clearly in

the case of the boys sumo wrestling. At that time, there was a
boy in the childrens sumo group who was the third strongest.
His parents, however, belonged to taiheki type 5, and in
consequence they were sensitive about profit and loss, and did
not comprehend the joy of simply wrestling. So they attached
importance to something that could be calculated: the ratio of
wins to losses. They made their son write in a diary the various
good things he had done everyday, as well as the various bad
things. And they got him to do one good deed a day. When I
remarked that only one good deed a
day was a bit on the mean side, they made him do ten. And so
it went on: they respected only those things they could see with
their own eyes. The enjoyment of sumo cannot be calculated,
and so they got their son to keep a record of his wins. The result
was that he came to do sumo solely in order to win. If a
stronger boy said, Come on, lets have a bout, to him, he
would get out of it, and he would fight only with boys weaker
than himself. When he and his opponent were evenly matched,
he would leap suddenly to the attack, or trip his opponent from
behind; he would use any means to win. Sumo wrestling is
enjoyable because one follows various rituals and then fights
fairly, but in his case there was no enjoyment. The
consequence? Before the boy realized it, the other children were
saying that he was a dirty fighter, and they no longer wanted to
wrestle with him. In this case, too, it was not that the child was
innately a dirty fighter. It was that his parents took account
only of wins and losses, and looked only at what was obvious. If
his parents had had the kind of sensibility that allowed them to
recognize things that were not concrete like
enjoyment or loneliness they would have understood the
loneliness of their son, who, without his intending it, made the
other children say, We shant play with him, and, Hes a dirty
fighter, and excluded himself from the group. But they did not
understand this. Of course, since they did not understand the
enjoyment of wrestling, they didnt understand loneliness,
either. They attached importance only to visible records, and
saw only wins and losses, profit and loss. Indeed, if this couple
were told, Youll make this much money if you do such-andsuch, they would act like a shot, without considering whether
what they were doing was good or bad. It may be that their son
had similar elements in his nature, but he had, as all children
do, a pure mind, and he came to act as he did as a result of his

parents tendencies. At least in the case of their sons sumo, this

aspect of their nature was too much to the fore. I asked this
couple to reflect on themselves; and, first of all, they started
trying to enjoy sumo. Once his parents had come to enjoy
things, whatever they were, the boy, too, naturally changed.
In this way, before parents scold a child
for telling tales or behaving unfairly to other children, there is a
problem that they, as parents, should think about.

Mothers who Vent their Anger Indiscriminately on their

Question : Im twenty six and I have two children. On a nice,
bright day, my mood is good, I enjoy my day, and my body
moves with ease, but on a miserable, cloudy day, I dont want
to do anything from the morning, and I have a tendency to be
ill-humored. Since I learnt how to do katsugen und in
September last year, my body has come to move more lightly,
and the weather doesnt pull me from side to side as it used to.
While listening to your lectures, I realized that the way I had
been dealing with my children was very wrong. I now make an
effort in my daily life to listen to my childrens demands, but
however hard I try, there are times when things dont go well.
The first child is a boy, and hes three years and nine months.
Even when he was
very small, he was constantly scurrying about here, there and
everywhere, and he wouldnt stay quiet for a second. Ive come
to think that someone like myself who was brought up as an
only child simply cant keep up with him. He does things I find
completely unimaginable, and at times I feel I just cant put up
with him. I think that having a child whose head isnt dull, but
works quickly and keenly, is a very lucky thing, but I cant help
feeling that my boy must have somewhere a very nervous side
to his temperament.
On a day when the weathers bad, if he gets up to only a little
mischief, or does something trivial like giving his little brother a
push and making him cry, I scold him again and again, and I
cant stop even though I know in my head its wrong. I feel Im
throwing out the violent energy in my body just like a volcano
erupting. If he goes out into the garden, I feel relieved and at
the same time feel sorry about what Ive done, but if he keeps
on staying with me, in the end I dont want to say even a word,
and even if he says something to me, I often dont give a reply.
In that case, after a while he starts trying to get in my good
graces. When
this happens, I feel ashamed to have pushed him into a corner,
and I feel sorry for him.


My mother has told me that Im coercive and selfish, and I think

shes right. Children are born whether they like it or not, and I
feel sorry that my son wasnt born to a better mother, and as I
think this I sometimes get hysterical, and I cant control myself.
What is a good way of dealing with this? My husband says I
speak very aggressively, and he doesnt like it, but I dont have
any intention of being like this.
Answer : The first thing to consider is the kind of body this
twenty-six-year-old mother has. She writes that her mood is
swayed by the weather, but perhaps it is not so much the
weather that has an effect on her mood, but humidity. Humidity
affects her body, and her body is such that its condition strongly
influences her feelings. If we ask what category of taiheki she
belongs to, the answer is that she belongs to zengo-gata, that is
to say, type 5 or 6.
Among people who belong to zengo-gata, there are many slim,
attractive women. This taiheki is an active one, and people
who belong to it feel things first within the body, rather than
through the workings of the head. Rather than acting in
accordance with what they have previously thought, they move
their bodies and come to think accordingly. Even when they
want to study, they switch on the wireless or the television, and
unless they study while doing something else at the same time,
they dont feel settled.
Similarly, in the case of people who belong to this taiheki, the
direct translation of a stimulus to the body into activity is very
rapid, whereas, where the head is concerned, the translation of
a stimulus into activity is extremely slow. Among people who
say they like climbing mountains or doing other adventurous
things, there are many who have the tendencies of type 5.
Unless they are doing something with their bodies, they feel
unsettled. This mother has very pronounced type-5 tendencies.
When a person who belongs to type 5 has an abundance of
energy, she cannot do without doing something. This state
makes her restless, and if her energy builds up even more, she
explodes, or lashes out indiscriminately at her child. Because
she unthinkingly
lashes out in an indiscriminate way at her child, differences in
age, length of life and experience do not come into play. This
woman tells us that she is twenty six and that her son is three
years, nine months, so that there should be a difference of

twenty two years between them. In actuality, though, the

difference is no more than two years.
Together with all of you, I should like to consider how one
should approach the case of a mother whose energy has a direct
and rapid effect on her body.
This mother has an abundance of this kind of latent energy.
Merely having energy that is latent in you means nothing, but if,
by means of your consciousness, you close off the outlets for it,
it gradually becomes compressed energy, and this combines
with action. Thus, whatever the action, a process of
compression is involved. The idea of doing something enters the
mind, ki gathers, energy becomes compressed, and only then
can you act.
Consequently, if you scold a child and tell him to do something
immediately, he is actually unable to do it. The other side of the
coin is that if a child is scared of being
given corporal punishment, he will do as he is told just like a
machine being switched on. Because he moves without having
mobilized his energies, he cannot act with his whole being. It is
because energy always passes through a process of
compression before issuing in action.
In the case of this mother, there is, within the process of the
dispersal of energy, something that leads to a kind of explosion.
It is because of this that she unthinkingly lashes out at her
child. Since she has a bodily problem of this nature, however
hard she tries to restrain by means of her will the energy that
wants to break out, there is a limit to what she can do; and
once this limit is exceeded, the energy breaks out all at once
and she finds herself lashing out at her child. In her head, she
knows that she shouldnt do this, that it is wrong, and so I think
you can understand that it is not a question of willful action. The
origin lies in a prior movement of energy.
Why does this mother, who is, after all, bringing up two children
and has other things to do as well, have such an excess of
energy? She acts impetuously, as is shown by the fact that she
speaks aggressively to
her husband, and by the fact that her mother has told her she is
coercive. We have said she acts, but it is not the kind of action
that she thinks about in her head. It is the manifestation of an

eruption of energy inside her, and it is necessary to consider

why she should have so much energy that she cannot control it.
People always suppose it is a good thing to train the heart to
strive, or to endure, but it happens that anger arises in the
human heart as a result of an explosion of physiological energy.
And then the person in question feels remorseful, but if one is
going to feel remorseful, it is better not to get angry.
Nevertheless, people get angry in spite of their intentions. Why
is this? Why should the human heart be beyond the control of
the will, and why should one unexpectedly find oneself doing
something that goes against ones conscious will? Why does
someone become unsettled or vent his or her anger in an
indiscriminate way? It is not only because of movements within
the human heart. The physiological energy I have been
speaking of is manifested both in the body and in the heart.
When a mother is hungry, she will tell a
child who merely asks her to fix some little thing not to bother
her. When her stomach is full, she will listen good-humoredly.
Whatever the child asks, if it is before she has eaten, she will
give a harsh reply. After she has eaten, she will deal with her
child in a good-humored way. If she is holding herself from
passing water, she will speak harshly even when she answers
the telephone. But it is not that she intends to be harsh. It is
because the energy in her body tends towards this at such
Of course, human activity involves the human heart, but rather
than the hearts moving of itself, in many cases its movements
are one of the ways in which physical energy is vented. If you
do not think, in this kind of case, in terms of the physiological
movement of the human heart, you will tend to think in terms of
somethings being a property of the heart and therefore to be
borne by the heart, of making a mental effort, of being able to
solve a problem in a psychological way so that a certain person
comes to behave in a temperate manner. But this doesnt work
in a great many cases. One cannot solve the problem we are
discussing, either, by looking at the mere fact that this
mother is venting her anger indiscriminately on her children. In
this, as in so many other cases, one cannot overlook the
manifestation of physiological activity in the human heart.

What is the best thing to do in this kind of case? One should

take into account bodily factors in dealing with the human heart.
For example, there are many people who say, Im weakwilled. But once someone who is really weak-willed fails to do
something, he will feel totally discouraged, and he will not have
the will to attempt it again. But someone who attempts
something he has previously failed to do and thinks he will have
another go in the knowledge that he has previously failed
someone like this, who sets to and attempts something, is not
weak-willed. Rather, he has a very strong will. Once when I said
this to someone who is like this, he replied, But what is the
will? The desire to attempt something arises, and you intend to
go through with it to the very end thats the will. But the
actual doing of something is another matter, isnt it?
The actual doing of something is a bodily problem. In essence, it
is a problem
of the locomotive system, and a problem of the spinal cord.
When the will is conveyed, there is an excitation of the spinal
cord, the striated muscles at the nerve-termini are prompted to
contract, and then action ensues. So strictly speaking we should
regard the will as extending as far as to the conveying of an
intention to do something to the spinal cord. Thereafter it is a
problem of the body. But if the condition of the spinal cord is
such that the excitation is dulled, the strength that is offered
does not reach so far as the nerve-termini. That is why an
intention is not translated into an action.
For example, someone might ask his wife, Would you make me
a cup of tea? She may think, Ive been asked, so I have to do
it right away. But she doesnt get to her feet. Why do I feel
that I just cant move? she asks herself. And then she says to
herself, Well, its too late. And in the end she doesnt lift a
finger. In a case like this, it is not that the person does not
intend to do something. This woman had every intention of
doing what she was asked to do, but energy did not gather so
as to move the body in accordance with her intentions.
Or the nerves that convey intentions to the locomotive system
were dulled. Or the nerves conveyed the intention properly, but
the muscles were stiff and didnt respond. One can think of any
number of reasons, but one definitely cannot say that such a
person is negligent, indolent or weak-willed. She had the

intention, she thought she was going to do what she had been
asked to do, but this was not translated into action. This being
the case, it is surely a problem of the body.
Thus, even in cases that are normally regarded as showing a
weakness of the will, one finds, if one considers them carefully,
that many of them do not involve a weakness of the will. So
long as a person is thinking of doing something, it is not that
there is no will to do it. A person who is really weak-willed
doesnt even have the will to do whatever it may be. A desire to
do such-and-such does not arise spontaneously in a person who
has been brought up by means of corporal punishment and
spiritual coercion: a person like this only waits to be ordered to
do something by someone else, and, doesnt think of doing it on
his own initiative. This is the way to castrate a
human being, and so it is wrong.
In general, if you carefully observe people who are said to be
weak-willed, the head may be slack, the lower back may be
stiff, or the locomotive system or the nerves that govern this
system may be dull. Though such a person may be sound in
limb, the heart I mean the physical organ may be weak, or
the stomach may not be functioning well. You will find in
surprisingly many cases that a so-called weakness of will is
directly connected with the workings of the body itself.
If, on the contrary, energy builds up excessively, it may happen
that an action is quickly accomplished at the prompting of a
mere velleity. One of my students said, Yes, and disappeared
like a flash as soon as I asked him to run an errand for me. And
then he phoned from the station and asked, Where am I
supposed to go? And what is it Im supposed to be doing?
People in whom energy constantly builds up cannot repress the
desire to do something, whatever it is, and as soon as this boy
was asked to do something, he developed a desire to do it and
rushed out. I think it was only when he was about to buy a
ticket that the question
Ah! Where am I supposed to go? sprang into his mind.
This kind of thing, too, comes under the rubric of sensitivity.
Though the mother in question suggests that her son is
sensitive and she is surely not mistaken in recognizing this
sensitivity which means that the body is beyond control cannot

really be called sensitivity. Human beings do not act only by

means of the mind, or heart, and there is a bodily aspect to
every action. When energy mounts, someone will begin
speaking in a loud voice without being aware of it. If someone is
hungry, what he is doing will seem bothersome. Someone who
is holding himself from passing water will forget to be polite. As
these examples show, the influence of physiological factors
cannot be avoided. If one does not fully recognize that
physiological functions like these have an effect on the mind, it
cannot be helped if bringing up children or controlling ones own
feelings should prove problematic.
It often happens that even as someone definitely intends to do
something, he is unable to do it, or that even when someone
intends not to get angry, he finds himself
losing his temper. If things like these are all to be blamed on
the heart, ones own heart simply cannot be relied on, and ones
own heart is ill-natured. Even while a woman is doing her best
to be womanly, she suddenly starts raging like a demon, and
then, just as abruptly, she forgets all about her anger and again
puts on a nicely decorous expression. She narrows her eyes and
scolds away like a machine gun, but as soon as she is told that
a guest has arrived, her face wreathes itself in smiles and she
murmurs polite nothings a monkey cant do a trick like this
even half so well. But however furious a woman is, she can
change just like that.
As to why a woman like this picks fights with her husband, it is
because the energy in her body makes her heart work in this
way. If it were only the heart that was involved, she would be
able to behave towards her husband in a good-natured way,
just as when she is with someone who is not a member of the
family. A child who is always getting up to mischief, too, knows
very well that a certain thing is wrong and that he shouldnt do
it, so why does he do it? It is because within his body there is
energy that creates in him an unbearable
desire to do it.
In order to deal with this sort of thing, one could think of
allowing the energy to be dispersed in some other way. For
instance, to shoulder responsibility is to dissipate energy. If you
get a child to do something that involves responsibility, or ask

him to do some task whereby a responsibility is discharged, his

excess energy will be dissipated. Even though physical exercise
may dissipate energy in a short while, before long energy will
build up even more. In actuality, therefore, this is not a way of
dissipating energy. One way to dissipate energy for a while is by
shouting in a loud voice or by carrying some heavy burden, but
the amount of energy dissipated by these means doesnt begin
to approach the amount that is dissipated by the shouldering of
some responsibility.
A child who is made to shoulder the responsibility for his own
future dissipates energy simply by virtue of the fact that he has
been made to shoulder this responsibility. It is because parents
take the responsibility that their children should take, and say,
Do this, dont do that, that children do not get rid of even a bit
of their energy.
And so children have more energy than they can deal with. It is
for this reason that the behavior of children who have
shouldered the responsibility for their own future themselves
from an early age and the behavior of children who let their
parents take all responsibility, even until their death, comes to
differ. So long as opportunities for dissipating excess energy in
large amounts are given over to the parents, it is only the
parents who get rid of their energy.
There are a variety of ways, besides taking responsibility, in
which energy can be made to dissipate in large amounts. In any
event, the question of the gathering and dispersal of the childs
energy should be brought into the education of the heart. Unless
you bring up a child so that you regard the way the body is used
as being one of the problems involved in educating the heart,
you cannot be said to be bringing up your child in a proper way.
Nevertheless, even if you take into account the bodys workings
in educating the heart, this is not yet a proper way of going
about the matter. I have always thought that the only true way
of education is to give direction to that which human
beings have within them from the beginning, from before their
birth, call it original purity of heart, or the subconscious, what
you will. I have always thought that education lies in preserving
this original quality as it is, so that it is not spoiled by
superfluous things; that education should issue in activity that is
in accordance with what is felt with a persons original purity of

heart. The
question of

body, the mind one cannot make that sort of

I call what I am talking about subconscious
In any event, I think it is odd to approach the
education by splitting things up into body, mind, etc.

A few days ago, I was discussing education with the principal of

a certain school. I found myself remarking, Its natural that
teachers should be looked down on more and more. They are
teaching technicians. and they dont think of helping their
students grow up. To put it in a nutshell, they merely serve
chopped up bits of knowledge to their pupils, and by doing this
they hope to win respect. Its all very odd. Since this is what
they are doing, one might think that a butcher deserves more
respect after all, he chops up meat, serves it to his
and provides something that has a more substantial value.
I went on to say that I thought teachers wouldnt be so looked
down on if they boldly seized the opportunity to give up the title
of educator and from the beginning had the honesty to say to
themselves, Im the sort of fellow who chops up knowledge and
purveys it, I offer only knowledge, and you cant expect
anything from me in the way of an unconscious influence on
others. And then, if people came to realize the blessings of
knowledge, perhaps teachers would also be esteemed. Meat
disappears when it is eaten, but when knowledge is used it
doesnt disappear, and if someone provides something that
doesnt disappear when used, people will definitely respect him.
So teachers should not have inordinate expectations, they
should not act overambitiously in the name of education, and
they should clearly recognize that they are choppers and
purveyors of knowledge. We should surely distinguish between
education that is for the sake of the childs growing up and
education that is for the sake of imparting knowledge. In the
end, my conclusion was that it was a good idea to distinguish
clearly between these two kinds of education, and to say that
education which imparts knowledge should be provided at
school, and education which is for the sake of the childs
development as a person should be provided within the family.
But, returning to our question, it may be that both mother and
child think of each other in much the same way: the one may

feel that he doesnt want such a hysterical mother, and the

other may feel that she doesnt want such a highly-strung child.
But one can, by means of education, bridge such differences
between the two. I started what we call subconscious
education because children cant choose their parents, and
parents cant choose their children.
This mothers suffering is not unnatural. The mistake she is
making is that she supposes she moves her own heart by means
of her heart, and she supposes that it is her childs heart that
makes him act in a hypersensitive way. But this is not so.
Behind the actions of both lie bodily workings. In both mother
and child, energy builds up and becomes compressed. Then it
solidifies, and attains a condition in which it is on the verge of
exploding. So long as energy is
being compressed, it keeps trying to vent itself out, but in this
case the energy solidifies, gradually becomes hard, and is stored
up inside, and then these two people behave very coldly, as
though they were resisting each other; the stage just before an
explosion has been reached. Even the slightest thing leads to an
explosion. This being the case, motivation is irrelevant.
Thus, if exits are stopped off when excess energy becomes
compressed and is about to break out, it solidifies, and this
leads to an explosion, that is to say, to misconduct. A child who
regularly behaves in a delinquent way will change simply as a
result of the removal of the solidified energy within his heart. If
one merely reprimands a child for misconduct without changing
what is deep inside him, it is useless. The same applies both in
the case of children and in the case of adults And I think we
should consider what it is that is deep inside this mother.
The conjugal life of human beings is different from the life of
other animals, in that they dont live together only to give birth
to children. Were giving birth to children the only consideration,
there would be a greater possibility of getting a sound child
by planting new children in a great many places. Human beings,
however, have an activity whereby they mutually regulate their
energies, and so it is unavoidable that children should be born.
But even though sexual desire is everywhere the same, the
human way is different from that of wild animals, which have a
mating season once or twice a year, I suspect that behind the
behavior we have heard about lies the fact that energy builds up

excessively because there is not enough of this kind of activity.

The husbands bottom needs to be kicked.
I think I have talked about this matter in one of my lectures on
yuki. It is a good thing to do yuki so that the buttocks are
pushed upwards. In the case of a loss of vigor in the sexual
functions, the buttocks have moved downwards and broadened,
both with men and with women. When someone gradually
begins to shorten his or her stride when walking and starts
toddling along, one concludes that his or her buttocks have
moved downwards. There is no problem in the case of someone
who uses his legs from the knees upwards when he walks, but
in someone who uses his legs from the knees downwards, there
is some
kind of obstruction. If you observe people walking, you can soon
recognize this. Here, when you enter the area where I do sh,
you have to take four or five steps, and I watch you doing it.
People walk with all kinds of postures and poses, but I can
quickly tell when and where someone dissipated his or her
energy, where there is an obstruction, and also how serious the
obstruction is.
I suspect that this womans husbands hipbones may have
moved downwards. A person who belongs to taiheki type 5 acts
quickly, and her husband cannot keep up. Particularly if he
belongs to jge-gata or has the tendencies of type 7, his actions
cannot keep pace with hers, even though he may understand
the matter in his head. This is especially true in the case of a
person whose hipbones have moved downwards or opened
outwards. Thus the tempo of the dissipation of energy in the
case of a man with a thick abdomen or with a long, thick neck
never keeps up with the tempo of a type-5 woman. If, in this
case, the husband belongs to another taiheki, then the problem
is probably due to his hipbones moving temporarily downwards.
So I think that teaching this mother how to do sh so as to
push up her husbands buttocks, and getting her to take this
responsibility, is far more important than explaining one at a
time all sorts of things to do with education and bringing up
Doing it is simple. You get your partner to lie down on his front,
and you do yuki as though pushing the buttocks upwards. Then
you should press between the second and third lumbar
vertebrae, that is, almost directly opposite the navel. Do this

several times, and the buttocks will move upwards. If you do as

Ive said, youll will recognize very clearly that your husband is a
man. This kind of thing will have a more direct effect on your
childs upbringing than anything else.
But in this case, the mother, too, is guilty of negligence. She
should arouse her husbands interest in her, get him to pay
attention to her, and show herself as an attractive person. If
you give attention to people and look at them carefully,
everybody is attractive in their own way. There is something
attractive even in harshness. Indeed, it is because there is this
kind of quality in her that this couple got married. But the
husband usually forgets this. It is very important that he should
be made to see it afresh, and be reminded of it.
It is natural that a couples interest in each other should last
about twenty years after their getting married. And it is natural
that after twenty years of marriage this interest should diminish.
It is because they get thoroughly used to each other. I think
that a couple who still have an interest in each other after thirty
years are pretty squalid. A couple have to create some other
aspect of interest in each other before this time. They have to
make good use of these thirty years so that each may retain
some attraction for the other, and so that each becomes unable
to live without the other. It is being negligent to just let things
take their course, to leave things as they are, and to expect that
after thirty years your attractive qualities will not have
disappeared. I make a point of saying this, because in the case
of ladies this kind of thing is very common. There are not a few
cases of men who are still capable of working not being able to
exert their full powers because they are saddled with wives who
have turned into old women.
You must make an effort towards each
other, and both of you must train yourselves so that even after
thirty years relations between you are still fresh. Not doing this
is what I mean by negligence. If you shut your eyes to your own
unattractive qualities, you have no right to put the blame on
your husband or criticize others. When the flowers in a vase in
the house wither, you throw them away, dont you? It is a futile
exercise to stick a bunch of withered flowers under someones
nose and say, Please smell the scent of these withered

But human beings can make flowers that do not wither and
cannot be lost. That is what attractiveness lies in. But to stick
under someones nose something that was attractive in youth
that is not what attractiveness consists in. If you vest yourself
in qualities that have been won through discipline and training,
in qualities that may be thought of as being indispensable
this becomes attractiveness.
Having heard this, some people, I suspect, will hasten to put on
a nice kimono and zealously polish their faces. But this is only
because they have nothing in their heads, and it is not what
being attractive means. Just after marriage a woman may
polish her face and a man may be enamored of this splendidly
polished face, but if there are not, within the grand movement
of life, delicate activities of the heart, things that were attractive
before the lapse of thirty years will not remain so. A man will
merely say, How pretty you are! You look like just like a doll!
And he will lose any further interest.
So you have to change your thinking in this connection. But
though you may manifest your attractive qualities, it will be
meaningless if your partners body is in poor shape. So I should
like you to think about using the method I have described, and
also about the road you will walk in the future.
In this case, the mother is not especially at fault, and even
though she shouts at her child, one can regard this as natural.
But she lacks the sense to keep her body in good trim. And she
definitely feels somewhere that the responsibility for supporting
the family lies with her husband, and she has no resolve to
shoulder the many responsibilities of life in society. She only
thinks that her husband has the responsibility to provide for the
family, and her state of mind is such
that she never calls to mind the responsibilities that she should
shoulder. Even if this is not the case, she has narrowed down
the responsibilities she should take upon herself, and she
probably remains unaware of this in her daily life. If she
shoulders her responsibilities in a proper way, she will probably
not reach the point of venting her anger indiscriminately on her
child, however much excess energy she has.
At the same time, she must work a change on her husband as
well. If she doesnt, theirs cannot be called a life in which each
manifests humanity to the other. Of course, the kind of life led

by such a couple naturally, and without their realizing it, has an

influence on their child, and so it is wrong to set questions like
these aside and think only of the upbringing of the child.
So this mother should reflect deeply on the fact that she has not
been shouldering her responsibilities. She should feel
responsibility for everything, whatever it is. The child may
behave badly, but so long as she regards him as being at fault,
she is not taking up her responsibility. If she thought it was the
fault of the parents, I suspect that a rather different attitude
would develop in
Nevertheless, we have these days what we call educationminded mamas who regard even the marks their children get
as being their own responsibility. It often happens that such
mothers get even more tired than their children when the latter
have to take examinations. If I remark to a woman like this,
Was the one who took the exam the mother, then?, she
reluctantly replies, Well, no, it wasnt If I then ask, But you
were the one who studied for the exam, I imagine?, she says,
I suppose you could say that. In this way, a mother takes on
too many responsibilities, and she takes away her childs
responsibilities and shoulders them as well. In a case such as
this, too, the person who is responsible for making a woman like
this is her husband.
But though it is wrong to have an immoderate sense of
responsibility, it is no good merely to leave children to their own
devices. What you should do in this case is shoulder the proper
amount of responsibility, educate your husband and make
yourself an attractive person. It is not enough only to moderate
the way in which you scold your child.

The Suppression of Demands and Childrens Illnesses

When a child is thought to be finicky about his food, a mother
will make great efforts to get him to eat certain things. I
suspect you get parents like this because of the tale about
General Nogi forcing his children to eat carrots, as though they
were cows or horses. But the natural demands of the body are
more to be respected than General Nogi. The body knows itself
very well. So if a child doesnt like carrots, theres no need to
try and force them down him. Nevertheless, a mother will take
the matter very seriously, try to get the child to eat whatever it
is, and say, Hes picky about his food. If you look at the face
of one of these cruel mothers, her eyes look fierce, and her
expression is an epitome of sourness.
Once, at a kindergarten in Nakanoshima, an inquiry was made
into the
relations between the children and their parents. If you ask
people to bend forwards and touch their toes, those with stiff
backs cant reach. But if you push their kneecaps downwards
two or three times, these people will soon become able to touch
their toes. As long as the kneecaps do not move readily, the
lower back remains inflexible. But give some help to the knees,
and the lower back becomes flexible. So people whose kneecaps
move smoothly act in accordance with the demands that arise
within them.
The headmaster of the kindergarten in Nakanoshima had
assumed that in every class the ratio between the children who
couldnt touch their toes and those who could would be about
the same. But in one class, thirty out of forty five children had
stiff lower backs. In another class, only two or three children
were in this condition. The headmaster felt this was very odd,
and determined to look into the question of the parents. But
before that he checked the teachers in charge of the various
classes and found that when the teacher was strict and
constantly finding fault, the children all had stiff lower backs. All
the classes where there were many children with stiff lower
had censorious teachers. In the case of classes where there
were only five or six children with stiff lower backs, one knew
that these children had carping parents. The headmaster

remarked, I never realized that the fault-finding of parents and

teachers had such a direct effect on childrens bodies.
Children whose mothers have an ill-humored expression on the
face all have stiff lower backs. However much other people may
say, Oh, shes lovely, a mother who is frightening in the eyes
of her child is making her childs lower back stiff. If you control
your childs actions with Dont do that! and, Do this!, a child
can easily develop asthma or autotoxaemia. When I glance at a
childs body and say, Ah, hes got asthma, hasnt he?, the
mother believes that Ive made a careful inspection of the childs
body, but in fact I have not. I think that whether a child is
sound or not is a problem involving the parents, and so I first of
all look at the mothers expression. And then, if her eyes move
in a fierce way, her face seems set, and she looks ill-tempered,
I say, Your child has asthma, I think.
In the case of a child whose mother claims he has no appetite,
you notice that
when the mother moves her eyes from side to side, one eye
moves more slowly than the other. So when I see a mother like
this, I say, Your child has a weak stomach. This kind of
mother will go on shouting at a child until it cries. But if I were
to say that the mother shouts at her child, she would find
excuses, and so first of all I educate her. I dont bother to make
the child sound, I educate its mother. Then the child naturally
becomes sound. The mothers responsibility is extremely great.
The arising of a demand to give vent to excess energy is a
physiological phenomenon, and when, as a result of suppressing
the desire to make a great racket, a child grows sullen and
abject, and as it were locks himself up in his house, it is
definitely not a psychological matter. Children who are sullen
and abject bear a sense of frustration within their bodies
because they cant do the things they want to do. Even though
they have this sense in them, they lock themselves up more and
While this condition is light, a child will strike affected poses and
put on airs, hold other children in contempt, wail at the top of
his voice over nothings, snivel to himself
and give himself sympathy, and indulge himself in his dreams.
But if the condition grows a little worse, the child will act so as

to gain recognition from his parents, he will make more appeals

and give voice to his grievances.
When the stage is reached in which the child remains silent and
locked up in himself, grievances he cannot give voice to are
expressed with his body, and appeals he cant make in words
manifest themselves in illnesses. Even so, if a child can make a
fuss about the suffering caused by an illness, excess energy is
still being vented as a result of the pleasure that derives from
making appeals. If after falling ill a child keeps silent, the
process whereby excess energy is got rid of leads in the
direction of making the illness more serious.
There are quite a few cases of chronic illness or a sickly
condition in children resulting from a childs being unable to
vent energy naturally on account of his parents frowns and
scoldings, or vanity and misconceptions. Looking only at the
childs body and thinking about a cure is not the right way to
deal with a case like this. The first thing you have to do is get
the child to
racket about and give vent to whats inside him, and put him on
the right track. Asthma or autotoxaemia in a child is not
necessarily a problem of the childs physical constitution. It is
not unusual for a grievance that is not recognized to be
translated into a cold. And within a child whose kidneys are
weak are hidden the symptoms of the chronic non-recognition of
a grievance.
So before thinking in terms of curing a childs body, adults
should examine their own attitudes, and they should consider
that because of their ideas they are acting in such a way as to
render the child unable to express its demands. It very often
happens that expressions like, Hes a well-behaved child, and,
Shes a clever child, suppress activity that is natural to the
child, and lead towards illness.
In the case of a certain small boy, a grievance is always
expressed in the form of asthma. If, before an asthmatic attack,
you recognize what he wants to be recognized, the matter will
be done with without his having an attack. It is too late if you
hurriedly recognize what the problem was when he is pressing
his demand by having an asthmatic fit. If through inattention
you fail

to notice what a child wants to be recognized, his sense of

grievance will not cease, whatever you do. Parents should pay
greater attention to their children.
Once, when the boy I have just been telling you about was
having a squabble with his younger brother, he gave way even
though he could have won, and lost. He wanted the fact that he
had given way to be recognized, but his mother only recognized
the fact that he had lost. It wont be long before he has a fit, I
told the mother, and next morning the signs that he was going
to have an asthmatic attack appeared. I was at the childs
bedside, and I casually described to his mother his action of the
other day, when he had given up the chance of victory. The
asthmatic attack did not transpire, and within one or two hours
the boy was perfectly all right. If, after he had recovered, his
mother had praised him for having given up a victory, he would
definitely have had another attack of asthma. It would have
come about because of a sense of grievance at his mothers
having noticed too late what he wanted recognized. Again, if the
mother had remarked to her son that the expected fit hadnt
occurred because of what I had said,
the boy would promptly have had a fit.
Human beings sometimes fall ill to cover their embarrassment.
Its hard to see the exaggerated coughing of an old man as an
excuse for his not being of any use to his young wife, but one
can readily understand that the illness of a student who has
failed an examination is an excuse when he says that because of
it he wasnt able to exert his full powers in the examination
room. Part of the reason why the boy I have just been speaking
of developed asthma was, of course, his physical constitution,
but the main reason was that he had suddenly been made to
control himself when his younger brother was born: he was the
eldest child and until then he had lived a pampered life as the
cynosure of his parents eyes. He knew that unless he fell ill he
would not get his parents attention.
Adults, too, sometimes feel that they would like to die or fall ill,
but with children feelings like these are rapidly translated into
reality. One of the reasons why a certain small girl developed
autotoxaemia was that she was being too often told things like,
Do this! and, Dont do it like that! Since being brought here
and being freed

from this kind of suppression, this girl hasnt had even one
further attack. Instead of using frowns and scoldings to
suppress the desire to behave in an unrestrained way, it is far
more effective to make use of the childs sensibility. But one
must be careful, for the adverse effects can be as great as the
beneficial ones.
Falling ill is still a physiological phenomenon, but a retrocessive
attack by a demand to act in an unrestrained way often distorts
the personality. When this happens, a child begins doing only
bad things. He knows that stealing and other actions are
reprehensible but nevertheless he does them and will make no
excuses when he is scolded, but will stay silent. Then he will
lock himself in the lavatory and weep quietly to himself. He will
not weep in front of other people. On the contrary, when faced
with a scolding, he will wear a completely unconcerned
expression. These reactions derive from a desire to be
pampered and a masochistic pleasure in being scolded. When
the personality has developed in this way, the body, too,
becomes distorted. But the child doesnt fall ill; he becomes
weak, easily tired, depressed. After this stage, the pathological
tendency that derives from
becomes clearer and clearer.

the suppression of demands



Taiheki* and the Acceptance of Scoldings

When inquiring into the sensibility, one is led to admit that one
cannot ignore such matters as the individuals experience and
degree of cultivation, but one realizes that the bodily problems
which underlie these things are more important. When her
stomach is not empty, the mother we have heard about does
not become irritated; and the child who does not belong to the
taiheki we call nejire-gata is less liable to grow sulky or defiant.
A child should know when its mother is busy. In the case we
have been told about, even the younger brother knows better
than to go near his mother when she is feeling irritable. But
though the elder brother understands this kind of thing very
well, he
insists on what he wants, and if what he wants is not granted,
he grows defiant. This is characteristic of the sensibility of the
person who belongs to taiheki type 8. A type-8 person cannot
think while he remains seated; his head works when he moves
When the muscles have tension in them, what we call the
muscle spindles send signals and stimulate the cerebrum. So,
for everybody, it is easier to think when one is moving about
than when one is supine; except, that is, in the case of taiheki
type 1: people who belong to this type work things out when
they are in a supine position.
But unless people who belong to types 7 and 8 move about,
they cant work things out. Unless they pace about or do
something, they cant think. In the case we have heard about,
the mother believes that one has to sit quietly when one
studies, and when her son moves about, she scolds him. After
he is scolded, he sits down. But then he feels restless again,
stands up and walks about, and again his mother becomes
irritated. In the end, her sense of irritation breaks out into
scolding and shouting, and then the
child starts throwing things about and swells up with rage Just
as he cant think without moving about, so he cant vent his
anger while he remains seated. He throws things, rips things

See appendix

apart, breaks things, and makes a mess. This provides his

mother with a good excuse for giving a scolding.
The child cannot separate off his sensibility. The sensibility is
something that coincides with the childs body. This being the
case, a mother should not coerce her child, and she should try
to make good use of her childs taiheki. This mother has a type3 sensibility. She cant be bothered to think. What she feels
precedes everything, and then this is translated into action.
This, too, is a bodily problem.
For reasons such as these, you cannot deal with the problems
posed by scolding and praising if you think only of the question
of method or technique. An understanding of the body and a
knowledge of taiheki are absolutely necessary. Just as a type-1
husbands words, which, by his standards, he feels are very
nice, are not comprehended by his type-3 wife, so in this case
the child is able to feel only the anger vented emotionally by his
mother. The significance
of a scolding is always lost on him, and in his heart only
defiance and resentment arise.
With a child who belongs to taiheki type 1, or jge-gata, you
must deliver a scolding in such a way as to make him think. If
he thinks things out for himself and realizes what was wrong, he
will soon change for the better. Forcing matters simply wont
work. If you hastily force the matter, the child will think that
your behavior demonstrates stupidity. A brief scolding will be
better understood. So that a scolding may be over quickly, it is
important that a mother should order things in her mind, and
speak in such a way that what she says is understood.
Type 2 is also jge-gata, but because the type-2 person is
passive, he wont consciously resist when he thinks a scolding is
unjustified. Instead, he will catch a cold, develop asthma, or
have a stomach upset. Though he doesnt resist, the scolding he
has received continues to rankle. A mother may believe that a
scolding, once given, is over, but it does not cease to rankle in
the scolded childs heart, and he broods over the matter. As a
result, he suddenly loses spirit, and at a time when his mother
has forgotten all about the
scolding, he falls ill.
A type-3 person doesnt take in a scolding through the intellect,
but through the emotions. Instead of taking in the other

persons actual words, the type-3 person directly senses the

feelings the other is trying to express. This kind of person is
more difficult to handle than the type-2 person, who broods
over what has been said. If you address his intellect, you may
scold him until your jaws ache, but he wont understand even a
tittle of what you are saying. If you scold with anger, the type-3
child will feel frightened; if with hatred, he will resist; if with
affection, he will presume on this affection. However kindly you
scold him with the intention of getting him to mend his ways,
your words will have absolutely no effect; the only result will be
that he indulges the sense of basking in your affection.
The type-4 child feels frightened and shrinks into himself when
scolded, and so he can hear only the tone of your voice. If you
try to get him to understand intellectually, he cries. And if you
scold him kindly, he cries, too. He cries until he thinks he has
won. You have to judge the tone and the
loudness of his crying, and you have to seize the right moment
to stop a scolding.
Its a little different in the case of type 5. Like type 7, type 5 is
active, and when something is pent inside a type-5 person, he
feels irritated and does something that involves risk. Doing
something for which he will be scolded or throwing away his
money for nothing is simply a way of giving vent to what is
inside him. Therefore, for as long as he has not vented what is
inside him, he will do things for which he has been scolded on
previous occasions. The type-7 person repeats an action for
which he has been scolded in order to show defiance, the type-5
person in order to take a risk. So he becomes ingenious at
finding ways of doing the same thing again and again, and he
doesnt put up spectacular opposition, as the type-7 person
does. Defiance has to be spectacular if it is to be of any use, but
the pleasure that derives from taking risks does not need the
spectacular into the bargain.
The way a type-5 person studies involves actively moving
about, and so as he studies he will do all sorts of things. He will
get on with his studies while creating a great racket: one
neednt mention the radio, but
hell even watch television, and if hes not doing that, hell play
cards. If he sits down to study, he becomes irritable and
depressed. The gap between his moods of depression and
elation is very great.

The type-6 person is quiet and very sparing of words. Even

when scolded he doesnt say a word, and one gets no reaction.
Because there is no response, ones scolding tends to be
excessive, and subsequently the child becomes depressed and
his respiratory system becomes disordered. Asthma is the
typical form this takes. After the type-6 child has been scolded
unreasonably, he has an asthmatic attack. And then, I imagine,
he has the pleasure of victory over his mother, who rushes to
look after him. This is very troublesome, and so long as you
dont understand about taiheki, it is going to continue.
Types 7 and 8 both act with the intention of winning or of not
losing. So they will show defiance over things that it seems very
odd to be defiant about. The type-8 person will behave in an
overbearing way as a result of feeling inferior, and if this is not
accepted, he will forget about his own advantage and
disadvantage and show
defiance. But the type-7 person is tougher, since he lacks these
feelings of inferiority.
The type-9 person is quick-moving and pertinacious, and his
intuition is good. The child who belongs to this type directly
senses what the person scolding him is feeling. Rather than
understanding the others words, he feels strongly what is in the
others heart. The type-9 person has the characteristic ability to
make himself grow through his imagination, and so it is
important that this should be taken into account when giving a
The type-10 person is large-hearted and has a gentle
disposition, but where the things he does are concerned, he is
stubborn. Only a very direct scolding is effective. You shouldnt
beat about the bush too much. And if you say too much, it wont
be taken to heart.
Type 11 feels a scolding in the body, but type 12 is insensitive.
However concentratedly a type-12 child is scolded, he remains
totally unaffected and makes no response. You may think he is
feeling it in his heart, but he doesnt feel it at all. While being
scolded, he behaves meekly, but he hasnt the slightest
intention of listening to

what is said. Scolding him is a waste of time. But if you choose

the occasion well, a scolding can be effective. It is important to
time a scolding well.


Things that Interrupt Growth

Since they are not grown up like adults, children are living
creatures that have within them a power for growth, making
them wholly incommensurable with adults. Therefore, there are
a number of things pertaining only to children that one has to
take into account. If when you give sh to a child you do not
take into account these peculiarities, and look at the child as
though it were a small adult, you will be missing the mark. First
of all, I think I shall speak about how one gives seitai guidance
to a child aged between naught and about four years old.
Shortly after being born, a babys powers of resistance are
extremely strong. It can stand up to a shock that would floor an
adult. The other day, there was a story in the newspaper about
an abandoned baby who
was left in a field under a broiling sun for three days; and it was
all right. The infants defenses, powers of resistance, call them
what you will, are stronger than you think. They are particularly
strong just after birth, and once it has started crying, a baby is
able to keep crying even for a whole day.
But, contrarily, a baby also has extremely vulnerable aspects. If,
for example, a child of about one year of age contracts
tuberculosis, the disease spreads through its body and before
long the child develops meningitis. This kind of tuberculosis is
called miliary tuberculosis, and meningitis poses the greatest
danger during the period until the age of one year and one or
two months is reached. Still, there are reasons for this. The
World Health Organization has warned Japan that the smallpox
vaccine it uses is the most harmful kind. It pointed to the fact
that though nobody dies of smallpox in Japan these days, there
are a great many deaths that result from the side-effects of the
vaccine that is intended to give protection against smallpox: a
rather contradictory state of affairs. The harmfulness of the
vaccine lies in the fact that it weakens the bodys defenses
against diseases of the brain
and against tuberculosis, and if tuberculosis is present when
someone is vaccinated, it takes a very definite turn for the
worse. There are many such cases, and the percentage of
children who develop meningitis after receiving a smallpox
vaccination is very high. Thus it is not simply a matter of

children dying as a result of the obvious side-effects of

vaccination. If you add the deaths that result from the indirect
harm caused by vaccination, the damage done becomes even
greater. As a result of research conducted for a great many
years throughout the world, it is known that vaccinating a child
under the age of a year is one of the most harmful things you
can do, but in Japan laws that were passed back in 1887 havent
been changed one iota. People have asked why this should be
so, but so far no corrective measure has been agreed on. Once
a certain course of action has been decided on with the passing
of a law or something, the Japanese tend to keep following what
is prescribed, whether it involves giving people poison or
medicine, whether it is good or bad. I suspect that this is why
situations like the one we have been talking of come about. In
any event, if a child is vaccinated
after the age of one, the harm is not so great, but if it is done
before the age of one, the harm is extremely great. On one
hand, a child is extremely strong because of the natural
defenses at work throughout its body, but on the other hand it
is very vulnerable and susceptible where certain things are
Something that requires particular attention in the case of the
child is the question of the skin. The same is true in the case of
the adult. The skin is not simply a leathery bag, it is directly
connected with physiological workings. The attempt has been
made to give vaccines in the form of injections and in various
other ways, but it turned out in the end that if the skin was not
involved, the effects were very much weaker; and in other
cases, too, it has been found that the skin has the special
function of creating immunity. If skin tuberculosis develops,
tuberculosis of the other organs will get better. Similarly, if skin
cancer develops, cancer in other organs will rapidly decrease. As
these examples show, the skin has the function of creating
immunity. Again, if after fasting someone pours water over
himself, he will have an access of energy. This shows that
things absorbed through the skin have a very great efficacy.
In addition, the skin has the function of reporting, in the form of
sensory changes, the condition of other organs, and this is of
great consequence in the case of children it has the important
function of getting rid of bodily heat. If, from our point of view,
we say what is characteristically involved in giving sh to

children, the first and most important consideration is this

function of the skin. When the weather gets warmer, the bodys
temperature goes up, and in order to get rid of the heat, the
body sweats. The body naturally sweats when its temperature
goes up in the case both of the adult and of the child. In the
case of the adult, whether there is a lot of sweating or a little,
the normal temperature remains safely between 36.5 and 37
degrees Centigrade (97.7 and 98.6 Fahrenheit). But in the
case of children, the bodys temperature will rise very rapidly
merely because they dont perspire properly. So if an adult has
a temperature of 38 degrees, you must assume that there is
some abnormality in the body. But in the case of a baby, it is
not necessary to suppose that it is ill or that its body is
disordered even if its temperature goes up to 38, 39 or 40
degrees. In most cases, it is best to ask whether the baby is
getting rid of bodily heat properly. When a child has a high
temperature, the first thing you must check is how the diffusion
of heat through the skin is proceeding.
There was one baby whose temperature rose to 39.2 or 39.3
degrees and wouldnt go down. I went round, and even though
it was summer, I found him clad in a thick woolen garment. I
asked the parents whether they used an air conditioner to cool
the room or something, but they said not. When I asked why,
then, they clothed their baby in that extraordinary way, they
replied that it was so he shouldnt get chilled. I had previously
said that one shouldnt let a baby get cold, and I suppose this
had lodged in the parents minds. But to put the matter more
accurately, a babys ability to adjust its bodily temperature is
weak, and so one shouldnt let a baby get either hot or cold.
Just as a small puddle easily freezes solid and easily melts
again, so a childs ability to adapt to heat and cold is weak. Until
a child is about three months old, the ability to stand up to
changes in the environment
around it is extremely strong, but after that this ability suddenly
grows weak. It is at its weakest around the age of one. Thus, it
often happens, with children aged between ten and fourteen or
fifteen months, that they develop a high temperature because
the dissipation of bodily heat is interrupted, and so they are
unable to perspire properly. That is why there are many cases of
a childs temperature going up to 38 or 39 degrees as in the
case I have just told you about.

This kind of thing doesnt happen only in summer. In winter,

too, there are children who catch colds because they have been
bundled up too much against the cold. You can get chilled in
many ways, but the worst is when you get chilled in the early
morning, especially when a cold draught comes from the
window, or from between the floorboards. Because of these
early-morning draughts there are many cases of peoples bodies
being chilled. So you need to find a way of stopping direct
There was one couple who took great care to protect their child
when he fell ill, but the childs temperature wouldnt come down.
The boy should have passed through his cold, the parents said,
but only his
temperature wouldnt come down, even though they had
warmed the back of his neck and he had sweated on a number
of occasions. This seemed odd to me, and so I went to see the
child. There he was with blankets and eiderdowns piled on top of
him, and his parents had taped over any gaps around the
windows and elsewhere through which draughts might come. In
addition, they had put a mosquito net over the boy, and spread
newspapers beneath the tatami matting on the floor. And there
on the stove was a kettle bubbling away and emitting great
clouds of steam. You had only to take one step inside the room
to feel stifled, it was so difficult to breathe.
When you come in from the outside, I said, its really stifling
in here. The airs horribly stale, so please open the window.
It cant be opened, they replied. Because its all taped up.
Only the air near the ceiling was moving. I told them to open
the door of the bedroom for a while, and this they did. Just that
was hardly sufficient to ventilate the room. Still, after twenty
minutes or so with the door open, the childs breathing became
a little easier, and after that had happened I closed
the door and began removing the childs coverings.
A child is not something that can adjust its own temperature
easily, I said. And you shouldnt think only of getting him to
wear things and covering him up.
As I spoke to them, I removed God knows how many blankets
to discover, finally, the child. He was looking like a ball, he had
so many layers of clothes on him. He was wearing something

like a padded jacket on top, and under that there was some kind
of padded material, then a woolen garment, and another woolen
garment altogether, there were seven or eight layers of
clothing. I removed all these layers, and after five minutes I
took the childs temperature. It was 37 degrees. Then I turned
off the stove, put a light garment on the boy, created conditions
in which he could maintain a temperature of between 36.5 and
37 degrees, and laid him on the bed. After that, there was no
high fever, and the boy completely recovered. Subsequently, his
parents remarked on how skillful I was, but it wasnt a question
of that. I merely made conditions such that they suited the
natural workings of the babys body. You may
concentratedly do yuki, but it will not make a child better so
long as you ignore the special characteristics of the child and
maintain conditions that dont suit it. In the case Ive just told
you of, the parents had been hard at work doing yuki, but you
have first of all to create sensible conditions that dont put a
burden on the babys body.
In the case of another child, the mother said, The babys
sweating, so Ill put him where theres a breeze blowing so that
he gets cool. She laid the baby down in a place where a breeze
was blowing, and the result was that the baby developed central
pneumonia and died. With central pneumonia, there is no fever
and no coughing: the baby simply dies.
However great a childs powers of resistance may be said to be,
these powers cannot stand up to a stimulus that is too extreme.
When a baby is not sweating, it doesnt matter if you expose it
to a breeze, but if you make a child sweat by putting lots of
clothes on it, then it is wrong to put it in a breezy place. What
you must do is, naturally, dress the child in clothes that are
right for the temperature at a given time, and then be careful
about ventilation and draughts.
Still, in the summer its a good idea to put a baby in a cool place
where the air circulates well, and in the winter its best to put a
baby in a warm place. In both seasons, a baby should be put in
a room where the temperature is comfortable for it.
When you take a baby outside with you, you must wrap it up
well; and when you come back inside the house again, you
should not leave the coverings on. When an adult comes inside,

he adapts himself to conditions inside by taking his overcoat off.

In the same way, a baby has to be adapted to conditions, but
because its a baby, people dont bother to do this. They are
wrong. And especially when a child is ill or something, people
tend to create conditions whereby the child is protected too
much and to maintain them at the cost of great effort; this
shouldnt be done.
In the case of a baby, the adjustment of bodily temperature by
means of the skin through perspiration, etc. does not
function so well. The skins workings improve with the
development of the nervous system. When, in the case of an
adult, the nervous system is not functioning well, his or her face
will bear an empty expression. The
reason why people often look puffy-faced when they get up is
because of the dullness of the nervous systems functioning; this
is also the reason for the slowness with which the dull-minded
persons face changes expression. In any event, you need to
give special consideration to the fact that the functions whereby
an infant dissipates bodily heat are duller than they are in the
case of the adult.
When a childs condition is abnormal in one way or another,
everybody cheeks its temperature. But when you check the
temperature, you must also take into account the childs ability
to dissipate bodily heat: the functioning of the skin. When one
takes into account these factors, one finds that in most cases a
childs running a temperature is due to the excessive protection
provided by its parents. It very often happens that a fever
persists because the functions of the skin whereby heat is
dissipated are prevented from working properly. More often
than not a fever is not directly connected with an illness. When
a child develops a fever, everybody tends to suppose it must be
seriously ill, but usually its temperature drops in a trice if one
removes superfluous clothes and
It is wrong to pile clothes on to a baby, and cool only the head
by one means or another. You must realize that the effect of
cooling is far greater in the case of a baby than in the case of an
adult. The babys skin readily contracts, and its functions are
dulled as a result of being cooled, and in consequence there are
many cases of persistent fever created. With a child, a fever is
not so closely linked with illness as it is in the case of an adult.

Instead, it is closely linked with the normal physiological

functioning of the body. Consequently, in the case of a fever,
you should assume at first that the childs physiological
condition is normal and think of what you should do to deal with
the fever. It will not be too late to think only subsequently in
terms of the fevers having developed because of an illness.
A primary-school child who had hit his head was brought to me.
He felt like vomiting, his temperature had risen to 39 degrees,
and his pulse was very slow. The symptoms showed very clearly
that there had been a shock to the brain. When I inquired, I was
told that he had hit his head the previous
day, and that his forehead was now higher and the shape of his
head had changed. I immediately began doing yuki. While I was
doing it, his pulse became faster. I felt relieved when this
happened without his breathing growing more rapid. When there
is a fever and the pulse rate is slow in comparison with the
breathing, you can call it a fever that derives from the head. But
one shouldnt feel relieved merely in consequence of an increase
in the pulse rate. You can first feel really relieved when the skin
starts relaxing. When this happens, the skin grows moist. A
childs skin should feel slightly moist when you put your hand on
it. A time when a childs skin is dry is a time to be careful.
In looking after a child, the thing peculiar to the child that you
must give the greatest consideration to is the functioning of the
skin. At times it is very dull, at other times it is very active.
When the skins functions are working, they are much stronger
than in the case of the adult. It is, for example, very seldom
that a child is tanned dark by the sun. With an adult, the duller
the workings of the skin, the more slowly the tan is lost, but if a
child aged four or
below becomes tanned, the tan is soon lost. In comparison with
the adult, the childs skin has special workings, and so, when
you give sh to a child, and when you are looking after one,
you have to pay special attention to the question of the skin. In
the same way, the childs nervous system has a special way of
functioning that is different from the adults. A child is not like
an adult, who has stopped growing and stays alive simply
through the force of inertia. A child is something that is selfmoving.
A child grows extremely rapidly, and within its development
there are large waves, as one might call them. The peak of

the first wave of growth is between eleven and thirteen months

after birth. The period when a child first begins to remember
words and to speak is the period when meningitis is most easily
contracted. This is also the period in which miliary tuberculosis
occurs and suddenly turns into meningitis. If a child aged
between eleven and thirteen months has contact with someone
who has tuberculosis and doesnt develop meningitis, you can
feel safe for the time being. The head of a baby aged between
eleven and thirteen months is developing extremely
rapidly, and the blood circulates strongly, so that tubercle bacilli
and all sorts of other things are transported to the brain.
This is the first peak in a childs growth; the next one comes
between the ages of three and four. At this time, the child easily
develops autotoxaemia or convulsions, and it often happens that
what should be a case of light food-poisoning unexpectedly
develops into autotoxaemia or convulsions. Disorders like these
are peculiar to the child. After one has become an adult, one no
longer develops such disorders. To put it another way, these
things are manifestations of bodily conditions that are peculiar
to the child, and so the question of illness is not involved.
Nevertheless, many children contract infantile dysentery or
some other contagious illness around this time, and also the
number of children of four or thereabouts who die after
contracting one of these illnesses is extremely great. The reason
is that the blood circulation is strong, and so the movement of
harmful agents through the blood vessels is rapid.
The next peak comes at the age of eight. When these peaks of
development occur, growth is suddenly concentrated in one
place or another, and those parts of the nervous system that
have to do with the place in question develop accordingly. When
the development of the nervous system is at its height, the
ability of the body to adapt itself to external conditions is at its
weakest. For this reason, extreme bodily changes are common
at this time, and a child readily develops convulsions and other
conditions, too.
The various infectious illnesses common in childhood are, if
caught during one of these peaks of development, extremely
serious, and the child passes through these illnesses poorly.
Thus, though it is the same body that is involved, there are
times when an illness is passed through extremely easily and
times when an illness proves very serious. Someones being

seriously ill does not necessarily entail that the illness itself is a
serious one, and one cannot predict that because an illness was
light, it will be light next time, too. It is very important, then, to
note these peaks of growth in the child and especially the
growth of the nervous system as they occur. If one doesnt
consider seitai guidance in relation to these waves, one cannot
be thought of as pursuing
the true road.
The capacity to see develops soon after birth, but the complete
development of the sexual organs takes twenty five or twenty
six years. Parts of a babys body grow rapidly, and parts grow
slowly. If you observe things carefully, you will see, for
example, that the arms grow and then the legs grow, and that
in the case of either the arms or the legs, it is the right side that
grows and then the left. In this way, everything changes part by
part and little by little, and each part moves towards the
completion of its development. It is not the case that after birth
a childs bodily form remains the same, every part growing
uniformly. Consequently, it is necessary to determine what the
tendencies of a childs growth are and to give sh accordingly.
The bodies of adults, though, are corpses of the past that are
merely living on, and so, if you give any adult, whoever he or
she is, much the same kind of sh, you wont be making any
serious mistake. After reaching the age of twenty two or twenty
three, one is already turned towards death and one is merely
continuing to live through the force of inertia; and so theres
little scope for fiddling about. Therefore, in
the case of the adult, you have to attend to the illness rather
than to the body.
But a child has a growing body and a growing life. The childs
body is being tempered by external stimuli, and it is being built
up in this way so as to be able to adapt to external conditions.
For example, when you go to the seaside, first your skin gets
red, then it feels sore, and after that it starts getting darker.
The next day, the skin will have already grown darker and the
pain will have stopped, so that rubbing in cream or treating your
skin in some other way because it is red is unnecessary. A
childs illness is a similar process, or you might think of it as an
abnormal condition deriving from the process of growth which is
trying to maintain the child in a normal condition. So a childs
illness is not something that is simply to be cured. It is

important that a child should go through these processes; that

is to say, it is important to allow the child to go through these
processes properly. The various changes a child undergoes are
not to be dealt with as in the case of the adult, by repairing
what has been broken, but they have to be dealt with, in a great
many respects, as processes of growth.
For example, the main reason for infertility in the female or
impotence in the male is that when the person in question was a
child, the process of passing through mumps was hindered.
When complications occur in the case of mumps in childhood,
inflammation of the testes or ovaries occurs. You will be
persuaded of this if you know that arrested development or
infertility in the adult may be cured by doing yuki to the parotid
glands. So when children have mumps, they will, as a result of
yuki being done to their parotid glands, develop bodies that do
not need to be assisted afterwards. This illness arises as a
process in the development of the sexual organs. Thus, a childs
body is always in the process of growing. The basis, of
managing the health of the child lies, in encouraging the childs
growth at all times, and, when growth comes to a standstill, in
giving seitai guidance so that growth continues smoothly.
When giving sh to children, ones main concerns are always
the skin and the nervous system. One needs to understand that
there is a close relationship between the skin and the
development of the nervous system, that the workings of the
system are subtly reflected in the skin, and that, as is not the
case with the adult, the skins changes are extremely sensitive.
If, in the case I spoke of earlier, it had been an adult who had
been virtually smothered in clothes, he would have sweated. But
a child will not sweat in this situation and will to an extent put
up with the heat. Nevertheless, the child will develop a fever
through its power to endure heat, and will disorder its body. And
if you try to cool the childs temperature at this stage, an
abnormal condition will subsequently manifest itself. Theres no
harm in loosening the clothes. a childs wearing so that its
temperature comes down. If you arrange things so as to
encourage sweating in the child, it will get rid of excess bodily
heat by means of its own strength, and its temperature will fall;
but if you do the kind of things that people tend to do in dealing
with an adults illness, such as cooling the childs head while
leaving it wrapped up, the childs body will be totally disordered.

In the case of children, there are many special aspects like

these, which do not have to be considered in the case of adults,
and so naturally the methods you use in giving
sh also differ. In brief, you have first of all to understand that
a child is not a small adult, and that giving a child half as much
treatment as you would give an adult is misconceived. In
addition, it is important to give seitai guidance from the point of
view that, in many cases, childrens illnesses are less illnesses
than manifestations of obstructions to growth. You might think
of these obstructions to growth, which manifest themselves as
illnesses, as joints on a bamboo, as stages that are passed
through so that growth may continue, and so it is wrong to say
that children wont fall ill if you take the precautions you might
take in the case of an adult. A child will fall ill despite the
precautions you take, and it may not fall ill if you dont take
precautions. Thus, the childs processes are different from the
adults, and so everyone should consider what I have been
talking of as the processes of a childs growth and deal with
children accordingly.
Thus, the various kinds of sh one gives to children should be
directed towards those places that should be growing more or
those places where growth has been obstructed, and not, as in
the case of the adult,
towards those places that are disordered. When, in the case of a
child, there is a disordered place and a place where growth is
obstructed, it is important to deal with the matter in such a way
that the disordered place automatically corrects itself without
being treated, as a result of the removal of the obstruction to
growth. Equally, it is a mistake to suppose that an adult can be
cured in the same way that a child is, by finding places that
havent developed properly and stimulating them. These places
will never change. Even though there is a part of an adults body
that is not properly developed, there is no room for one to
Still, there was a photographer with diabetes who came to me.
Young people dissipate their energy, I said, and so they dont
get diabetes. As one gets older, one grows less able to dissipate
energy. And so one gets something like diabetes, and excessive
nutrition is passed out in the urine. If you were a child, one
might stimulate places that werent developing properly, but in
your case I think it would be better to pull back, so to speak,

those places that have aged too quickly. If this is done, you
wont develop diabetes even though you take in
too much nutrition in that respect youll be like a child. Do
you agree with what I say, or disagree with it? If you agree, you
will get better
Of course I agree with you, he said, and then I reinvigorated
him a little.
After that, even though he didnt change his eating habits at all,
the sugar in his urine decreased. When he went to his doctor,
the sugar level in his body was measured. It had fallen hugely.
Its very nearly normal, the doctor said. I wonder why.
Perhaps its because youve kept strictly to the diet
Youre wrong, the photographer replied. Ive done the
complete opposite of keeping to a diet. I realized it was you who
gave me diabetes, and so I stopped doing everything you
And once he had said that, he immediately felt as though a load
had been taken from his shoulders, and he really did become as
fit as a fiddle.
But in fact things were not quite as I told you. There was a
place that had become shrunken, a place where there was an
obstruction. The photographer felt relieved because this
shrunken place was corrected,
and I suspect it was with the power produced by his sense of
relief that he confronted the doctor. So, even in the case of an
adult, if you remove an obstruction, it may happen that an
illness like diabetes gets better.
But particularly in the case of a child, you must ask yourself,
when, say, a child is irritable or cannot concentrate, whether
there is not some obstruction to growth somewhere. Again,
when a child is cross and loses its temper in an uncontrollable
way, you should rather think that growth is perhaps obstructed
somewhere in the body, and in the case of a crybaby you should
ask yourself whether the crying is a true expression of the
childs personality or whether it is due to an obstruction to
growth. Even though there is no illness, all sorts of changes will
occur simply as a result of there being an obstruction
somewhere in a childs body: the child will feel listless or
irritable, or it will pick fights, cry, be unable to concentrate or be
ill-tempered. If you are not good at perceiving as connected

changes like these and obstructions to growth, then you will not
be able to give proper seitai guidance to children.
When a child is depressed, retreats into itself for no reason, is
unable to say what it wants to say, and at school doesnt raise
its hand even though it knows the answer, the elasticity of some
part of the skin will be poor. If you restore the elasticity of this
place, these attitudes will disappear. And when a child is overly
shy, or passive, or slow to act, or cannot react immediately, you
should ask yourself whether the childs belly has contracted.
When a childs belly looks small, it means that the nervous
system has become over-sensitive in its development because
adults have been pernickety, telling the child what to do and
what not to do too much. When adults do this, a child becomes
indecisive, and the elasticity of the lower back is reduced. If, in
such a case, the lower back is stretched, a child who has
retreated into itself will grow cheerful, and a child who does not
do what it wants to do, will become able to make decisions. But
the belly will get larger than normal for a while before this
happens, and during this period, the child will revert to an
earlier, babyish stage. After that, the belly will return to its,
normal size.
If, when you check the resilience of a
childs belly, it is stiff, you need to consider whether there is not
a tendency in the child to be indecisive. And in the case of
restlessness, there is some kind of disorder in the urinary
system; if this happens, the nose will be affected or the throat
will hurt. And then the child will not be able to say with
conviction that such-and-such is so, and what it says at one
moment will be changed at the next. Certain children have very
strong imaginations; that is to say, they make up fabulous
stories. Making up stories comes naturally to children, but some
children go on and on, and, as they do so, their stories draw
closer to reality. A story about climbing up a beanstalk to the
sky is attractive, but when you repeat it every day, you begin to
feel that you cant go up to the sky quite so often, and so your
stories gradually draw closer to reality. And the closer to reality
they draw, the more they begin to resemble the lies of an adult.
And then people begin to think of such a child as a liar. But in
this kind of case, what has happened is that the twelfth thoracic
vertebra has become attached to the bone immediately below
it: the first lumbar vertebra. So if you adjust the place that is
not growing, or whose

growth is obstructed, the child will come to have a normal
When a child grows over-excited and wont go to sleep, or when
its excitement continues to mount however much its mother
tries to calm it down, the mother supposes that it is simply a
question of excessive playfulness. In fact, it is because there is
some obstruction to urination. The mother doesnt realize this.
If she would simply drag the child to the lavatory and get it to
pass water, the problem would be solved. If, however, the child
behaves like this all the time, it is because the tenth thoracic
vertebra is out of place. Do yuki to this vertebra, and the
problem will be over.
If you look at matters in this kind of way, you will realize that in
the case of over-excitedness, there is an abnormality in the
tenth thoracic vertebra; that in the case of a child whose
attention constantly wanders, there is an abnormality in the
sixth thoracic vertebra; and so on. Thus, merely by carefully
observing a certain childs behavior, you can recognize what is
wrong with it. And then you will come to see that if you correct
a certain place, the childs personality will change in such and
such a
Rather than thinking in terms of curing a disorder, one should
think of encouraging activity where it has been obstructed in a
part of the body that doesnt grow. As a result, a child will
naturally get better, even in the case of illness. And even a
distortion of the childs personality will disappear as a result of
the removal of an obstruction in the body. With an adult matters
are different, but in the case of a child, before thinking of
correcting places that are disordered, you should think first of
correcting obstructions to growth.
There are various peaks in growth. I spoke earlier of the
development of the nervous system. There is a peak in its
development. This happens not only in the case of the nervous
system: there is a peak in the growth of the sexual organs, the
stomach, the eyes, etc. So if you observe a childs appetite, for
example, you will see that the childs demands differ from one
time to another. But mothers try to force their children to eat
everything that is served, as adults do. If you do this, you
suppress the appetite with ideas, and then, when a child grows
up, he will not know what he wants

to eat or even whether he is hungry or not. People have actually
asked me whether they are hungry or whether they are in love
or not. If you continue to suppress your own demands, you will
come to be unable to understand what you want or what your
demands are.
There was one young man who announced in tones of great
gloom, My first love affair has ended in a break-up. Any woman
will do now, so long as shes a woman. And he straightaway
got himself engaged to the next woman who happened along.
His mother and elder sister came scurrying to me:
We think he must have gone a bit funny in the head. Hes got
engaged because he says it makes no difference now what
woman he marries. But is this a proper attitude for someone
whos going to get married to have?
It really is the proper attitude for someone whos going to get
married, I replied. When it comes to the person youre going
to marry, you can try to pick the best you can, but the best
doesnt amount to very much. Whoever you choose, it doesnt
really make a great deal of difference. If the other
person had three noses or one eye in the middle of the face,
then that would really be remarkable, but basically everybodys
the same. So theres nothing wrong if someone doesnt take a
decision like this very seriously. In fact, its the proper attitude
to take towards marriage. So his attitudes a perfectly proper
one. Please tell him I said that however much you pick and
choose, it doesnt make much difference, and that his attitude is
perfectly correct.
They told the young man this, and today I heard that he had
called off the engagement. Once his getting engaged was
recognized as being the right action to take, he soon called
things off. It seems a bit strange, but there is this side to
human beings. So why did he behave like that? This young man
has always acted so as to attract other peoples attention, and
he got engaged to be married simply to make an exhibition of
his petulance to his mother and sisters. In his case, growth is
still not complete, and even though he is twenty something,
there is still a place where growth is blocked. If this is corrected,
his personality will become normal. If this place is left as it is
and he is treated as though he were adult, it wont

But with children, in none of them is growth complete. Therefore
it is wrong to treat a child as an adult and scold and scold away
at him or her, giving reasons that even an adult wouldnt
understand if he heard them. If you try to cure a child of making
up stories as you might reprove an adult for telling a lie, it will
be of no avail. The effect will be contrary to what you intend,
and the child will learn only how to change stories into lies. In
this kind of case, if you try to ameliorate the stiffness around
the fourth thoracic vertebra, the child will stop telling lies. And
the stories he makes up wont be such whoppers, and hell make
up fewer of them. But if you do this too much, the child will
become timid. Timidity and truthfulness are at bottom the same
thing, as are timidity and seriousness. And when seriousness
becomes over-seriousness, this is a step towards becoming
faint-hearted. Desperate activity is the mark of the faint-hearted
Thus, human behavior has many aspects. Where children are
concerned, when a part of the body whose growth is not
complete has an influence on the body
or mind, you can take this into consideration and give sh
accordingly, or you can directly give sh to the part of the
body in question. There is a proper time to give sh in such
cases. One utilizes peaks in the waves of growth and gives sh
so that the disposition deriving from this or that organic system
is corrected, so that the personality is corrected, and so that the
body is corrected. In some cases, peaks in growth are obvious,
in others they are not, and so one has to make very careful
In giving seitai guidance to children, one never directly
addresses the abnormality itself. When there is an abnormality,
one doesnt treat the affected place. Instead, one should do yuki
to those places that are blocked or stagnant. A block first
manifests itself in the head.
There was one seventy-year-old man who had an apopleptic fit
that affected his head. His wife conscientiously did yuki to his
head, and every day she would report to me that the shape of
his head had changed in such and such a way. This wife had not
come to any lectures in the recent past, and since, presumably,
she didnt know how to

do yuki, I had thought that even if I told her where she should
put her hand, it wouldnt do any good. But it turned out that
long ago, before the war, she had attended some of our lectures
on yuki, and after that, if a neighbor had gallstones or an upset
liver, she would do yuki to him or her while someone went to
fetch the doctor. The neighbor would suddenly recover from the
bout of pain or fit of queasiness, and when the doctor came,
would answer the door himself or herself and tell the doctor that
he wasnt needed. Whether this woman stopped doing yuki
because she felt her hands should be treasured, people
recovered so quickly, or whether it was because she found
herself being summoned to help by everyone around, I dont
know, but she stopped coming to our meetings on yuki. After
hearing this from someone else, I came to think she must be
good at doing yuki.
Still, many years had passed since those days, and I wondered
whether she might have forgotten how to do yuki. But no: she
did it to her husband, and every day she would get in touch with
me. Once she said, This place has changed, and that place has,
changed, too. Peoples heads really do
change a lot, dont they? Yesterday, the crown of his head was
thrust out, but today its sunk down. Yesterday he complained
all day and got angry, but today hes calm. I imagine theres a
connection between his anger and the crown of his head being
thrust out, isnt there?
Yes, there is, I replied. Why did he get angry?
Someone upset him, she said.
With a condition like that, the worst possible thing you can do
is lose your temper. Who upset him, and how?
Well, she said. You see, my daughter-in-law said to him, Its
we whove got to take care of you, and your conditions not
something thats going to be cured soon. You know it, but even
though you know it, you still try to lord it over other people. He
absolutely boiled with rage.
Before that, too, there had been a time when the crown of his
head had been thrust up. At that time I had asked, Did he
throw something at someone? His wife had replied that he had
thrown an apple. It appeared that the apple had gone right
through all the layers of paper in the door of the closet and
lodged itself among the

mattresses. So I asked whether he had thrown anything
yesterday, too. She said he hadnt. And then she said, So there
is a connection between the third point of the head being thrust
out and his losing his temper.
When he is enraged but holds himself back, it becomes thrust
out, I said. When he can no longer contain himself, this point
becomes enlarged and he explodes.
As this story shows, the shape of the head is always changing.
These changes are all manifestations of activity such as I have
described, and the head has an extremely deep connection with
growth. Therefore, in the case of a baby, you must begin by
examining the head.
When someone is unable to summon up the will to do anything,
one side of the head has become completely sunken in. When
this happens, an adult, too, lacks the will to do anything. In the
case of a child, his parents may suppose that his head got like
that because he slept in a distorted position. But if a childs will
can be aroused, and he begins doing something on his own
initiative, in every case the childs head will become properly
rounded. So long as a
person depends on others, his head even after he becomes
adult will look as though someone has beaten a great dent in
the side of it.
When tension has persisted in the head for an excessively long
time, you will find that what we call the second points of the
head are slack. These can be found at the points of intersection
between an imaginary line running across the head, from the
front of one ear to the front of the other, and two imaginary
parallel lines running backwards over the head from the centers
of the eyes. If the condition doesnt right itself and the
excessive concentration of tension persists, the skin at these
two points will contract and grow stiff. These second points of
the head are connected with the correction of the excessive
concentration of tension.
When the back of a persons head is shrunken, that person
either has no emotions or his emotional life has not developed
any richness. So someone the back of whose head is completely
flat is subject to sudden emotional changes. His emotions are

not connected with the head, and because his emotions succeed
one another as an animals do, he suddenly alters. Among
criminals who suddenly turn on someone and injure him but
not among those who commit crimes that require intelligence
there are many whose heads are completely flat at the back. In
the case of people like this, the shrinkage at the fourth points of
the head is great.
Thus, the shape of the head is constantly changing. Even in the
case of people who are over seventy, the shape of the head
changes, and with children it changes a great deal more, so that
one has first of all to take into consideration changes in the
shape of the head when dealing with children. But in fact it is
too late after such a change has manifested itself. One has to
read how the head is going to change before a change occurs.
When you do yuki to someones head, you may find a place that
is slack and feels fatty or a place that feels dried up. This kind of
place on the head is linked with the lower abdomen. When there
is a stiff place in the lower abdomen, there is a place that is
slack on the head. But when the lower abdomen is slack, there
is a place on the head that has shrunk. Therefore, when there is
an abnormal spot on the head, it is important to
consider it in connection with the lower abdomen. So, when
giving yuki to children, whatever the place affected and
whatever the disorder, you should do yuki first to the head and
the lower abdomen. And through doing yuki, you should
examine the head and lower abdomen.
The bones of the adults head do not move so much as those of
a childs head. Nevertheless, when an adult hasnt slept well or
feels anxious about something, the point midway along the
lambdoidal suture, or, as we call it, the fifth point of the head, is
thrust out. At times when you dream a lot or your fatigue
doesnt disappear, the occipital bone drops down. If instead of
getting up at once when you wake, you go to sleep again, this
fifth point grows very slack. When the skin at this point is so
loose that it can be pinched and held between the fingers, there
is nobody whose sexual organs are functioning perfectly.
When the fourth points, at either side of the back of the head,
have shrunk, it shows that the functioning of the sexual organs
is not fully developed or is weak. And when a persons emotional

development is not normal, these points lack strength. When

fourth points become stiff, the lower back also becomes stiff,
and the personality grows stubborn.
Again, when the point midway along the coronal suture, or what
we call the third point of the head, becomes thrust out, the
ability to control the emotions is weakened. If you feel this point
when you are short-tempered, easily upset or irritable, you will
be able to see for yourself that it is thrust out. When you are
suppressing your emotions, holding yourself back from doing
something, or suppressing sexual desire, the third point will
become thrust out. If you try to suppress feelings of excited
expectation or hope, the same will happen. So this point doesnt
become thrust out in the case of a person who gets on and does
what he wants to do. If, however, someone wants to do
something but cant do it, then the third point will become
thrust out. Again, someone may look as though he is doing
exactly what he wants to do, but if the third point is thrust out,
he is not doing something that springs from his own desires. In
this, he is no different from someone who cannot do what he
wants to do.
If you are interested enough to observe
changes in the shape of peoples heads, you realize that this
activity is very eloquent: as eloquent as the expressions that
cross a face. You dont make detailed observations of someones
facial expression to determine the mental state he is in, but as
soon as you look at him, you recognize whether he is angry or
dejected. In the same way, if you touch the head, you
immediately recognize what kind of state a person is in. And
once youve grown accustomed to checking the head in this
way, you gradually come to see more and more.
There is a profound connection between the shape of the head
and a childs stage of growth. Around three months after birth,
certain differences between children, that are connected with
the cerebrum, become apparent. I carefully observe an infants
face, and when its attention is on me, I lick my lips. A bright
child will unconsciously imitate this action. The second time I do
this, the child will consciously imitate what I do. Once the baby
has started consciously imitating me, I give a whistle. The child
tries to do the same, but cant. A bright child will grow angry,

but a child that lacks spirit will become miserable. For as long as
a baby
does not imitate you as if it were your mirror image when you
do this kind of thing, it is not grown up enough to take in
changes in the external world. And if a baby cant imitate you
even after six months, you have to regard it as having a head
that is rather slow. In this kind of case, do yuki to the second
points of the head, and the child will soon start developing.
Again, when a child cant release an object he has grasped, the
third point of the head has become stiff. The thrusting out of the
third point is linked with the cerebrum, and when this thrusting
out occurs, the function of letting go of something that has
entered the cerebrum does not work well, either. The third point
becomes a problem when emotions are suppressed.
The fourth point of the head is connected with impulsive or
lively behavior, and, on the other hand, with gloomy moods that
are characterized by a combination of not caring and timidity.
By insouciance, I mean retiring into yourself and not confronting
reality. Everybody feels a bit timid when he confronts reality,
but there is something within the person who remains insouciant
that escapes.
We regard someone who is impulsive and self-centered as being
some kind of barbarian. But one cannot rightly accuse a child of
being impulsive and self-centered, for all children are like this.
So this does not mean that the fourth point of the head has
properly developed. Still, there is the kind of child you see
outside toyshops, hanging on to his mothers hand and bawling
his head off. This kind of child always has a well-developed
fourth point.
In any event, the bones of the head are constantly moving, and
the head does not always have the same shape. The muscles
change form even more sensitively, and in the case of children,
I should like you to check carefully the daily changes in the
shape of the head, as well as the changes in the muscles.


The word taiheki means bodily tendency. Seitai Kyokai
recognizes five categories, or -gata, of bodily tendencies, each
of which is divided into two types, one of which is more active
and one of which is more passive. There are also two anomalous
types, so that there are twelve types in all.
Bodily tendency refers primarily to the way in which energy is
compressed and dispersed. With odd-numbered types, energy is
compressed and vented out in a positive way, whereas with
even-numbered types energy is compressed and vented out in a
less positive way. Certain physical characteristics and qualities
of sensibility are associated with each type.
Each individual has his or her own peculiar characteristics, and
these are connected with the mixture of types within each
individual, for no individual is a pure type. Within every
individual, there are two or more dominating tendencies, one of
which will normally be predominant.
The five categories and twelve types are as follows:
jge-gata (lit. Upwards and downwards category) types 1
and 2 : compressed energy tends to be converted into cerebral
say-gata (lit. Leftwards and rightwards category) types 3
and 4: compressed energy tends to be converted into emotional
activity or into the activity of the digestive system.
zengo-gata (lit. Forwards and backwards category) types 5
and 6: compressed energy tends to be converted into physical
nejire-gata (lit. Twisted category) types 7 and 8 :
compressed energy tends to be converted into competitiveness.
kaihei-gata (Closing and opening category; in Japanese the
terms are reversed in
the interest of euphony) types 9 and 10: compressed energy
tends to be converted into sexual or other activity that is
connected with the preservation of the species.


type 11 (kabinhann, lit. hypersensitive response): the

whole sensibility is hypersensitive.
type 12 (hannchidon, lit. sluggish response): the whole
sensibility is dull.

By the Same Author

Human beings live by means of the extremely subtle,
autonomous activities of life. Nevertheless, many people these
days cannot bring themselves to realize this, and they suppose
that they cannot maintain their health unless they rely on
medicines and specialist techniques.
It is no exaggeration to say that, just as the regular use of
synthetic hormones inhibits the bodys own production of
hormones, the tendency of modern people to rely excessively on
medicines weakens those autonomous capacities that man
naturally possesses.
The author believes that it is necessary to revitalize the
autonomous capacities of the human body, and he recommends
a method of training the extrapyramidal system which is known
as katsugen und, as well as doing yuki. In this book, the
ways to practice these methods are explained in detail, and the
book provides a useful introduction to living in a seitai way.
The common cold is regarded as the root of all illness, or it is
dismissed as being of no account. From the point of view of
what is generally accepted, the title of this book may seem
rather odd, but the authors position is that a cold is not
something to be cured, but something to be passed through.
When the biased fatigue in a persons body and mind reaches
the limit, that person will, by means of the autonomic workings
of the body, catch a cold in order to regulate this fatigue.
The author does not regard a cold as a pathological condition,
but as a natural means whereby health is maintained. He argues
persuasively that if you do not disturb the natural process that
is a cold, the body becomes renewed after a cold, rather like a
snake that has sloughed its skin.
The authors very original concept of passing through an
illness, which derives from his own understanding of natural
processes, has the power to change our modern way of thinking
concerning illness, which is that it should be fought against.

ISBN 4-915417-02-6 C0275 P2500E