Power of Three!

Hitting stick for bell is called “Shu-moku鐘木” in Japanese.  “Shu” means “to strike or to toll” and “Moku” means “wood.”  This wooden stick here had been broken and I asked uncle Mo if he could fix it.


On father’s day, there was a surprise gift.   Uncle Mo brought a brand-new “Shumoku”. I was very grateful to know that three masters who dedicated themselves to build a hall of compassion at Lawaii, made this beautiful "Shumoku" from unused cedar at Lawaii.  My sincerest appreciation goes to Master Tohta Mizuguchi, Ray Nitta, Mo Seiler, and Lawai International Center! Thank you so much.


In English, they say two heads are better than one…..but I think three is better than two and three masters are better than two masters, which reminded me a famous story of "three arrows."


During the period of Warring Kingdoms in Japan, there was a warlord named, Mōri Motonari (1497-1571) who had three sons. When his sons were about to be independent, Motonari summoned them altogether and in front of them he showed some arrows. First, he gave an arrow to each son and ask them to snap the arrow. After each one was able to snap the arrow, then Motonari asked each to snap three arrows at one time. They tried but couldn’t snap three at all. Motonari emphasized the importance of three working together and said, one arrow could be broken easily but three arrows held together could not.

I do believe the new Shumoku made by three masters has a very strong life and will be used for another century to come.


Interestingly, "two heads are better than one” is usually translated as “San nin yoreba monju no chie” in Japanese, meaning , “If three people get together, it will worth the wisdom of Monju Bodhisattva."  


日本には、「3人寄れば文殊の知恵」という諺がありますが、英語では、「Two heads are better than one」といいます。一人よりも二人、頭が一つよりも二つある方が、断然心強いという意味になりますが、「3」という数字には、仏教でいう三宝、あるいはキリスト教でも三位一体、など洋の東西を問わず、強さと安定の二つの意味があると思います。



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