chapter  4
13 Pages

The Law of Harmonious Flow

To make the stream of human intercourse flow gently is the supreme goal here. Nobody is allowed to stand on his own right, much less fight for it. Conflicts must be submitted for mediation and are solved by compromise. Justice is praised, but its pursuit is deemed inappropriate if the peace of the community is thereby threatened. To avoid friction seems to be more important than to eradicate evil. One of the articles of the Legacy of Ieyasu says: "The law may upset reason, but reason may never upset the law . . . The law may be used to confound reason, but reason must certainly not be used to overthrow the law." According to another article it is forbidden to alter "a faulty regulation if, through inadvertency, it has been allowed to remain in force during fifty years."1 Continuity and wont are of greater importance than what is right and just. There is no idea more alien to this mode of life than the Heraclitean teaching that war is the father of all things.