three warriors meditating from the film Cherry Bushido
3 Helpful Maxims to Live by from the film The Cherry Bushido

With the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic, our life has forever changed. Inundated by the flood of information from media reports and social media posts, we find ourselves constantly living in fear that we may fall ill, lose our job, not be able to see our loved ones, or in the worst-case scenario, lose our own life. To help us overcome these anxious times, the film, The Cherry Bushido, presents us with 3 maxims for maintaining a solid, constructive, and positive attitude in this ever-changing world.

The Cherry Bushido Movie Poster

1. Live each day as if it were your last.

This is probably one of the most essential and powerful maxims introduced in the film, The Cherry Bushido. To live by this maxim, ask yourself the following questions when you wake each morning: “How should I live today if my life were to end tonight? What is it that I need to do? What is it that I will regret not having done?” In other words, create your own bucket list and write down all the things you would like to achieve before you die. Then as you live your day, keep asking yourself, “Am I making the right choices? Am I being true to myself? Am I really living the life I am supposed to live?”

If you knew you were going to die at the end of the day, you would probably finish your most important work, meet the people you really want to meet, and tell your family and friends how much you love them.

But many of us are deluded into thinking our life will last forever, and we put things off till the last minute or look away from truths that make us feel uncomfortable. We never know when our life will end. But if we live every day in a way that leaves us with no regrets, we will live a full and spiritually worthy life, no matter how long our physical form may last.

In the film, The Cherry Bushido, Satoshi Takayama puts this very nicely.

“As we have eternal life, what’s important is not whether we live or die, but what we accomplish in life.”

2. The way you think of yourself determines your future.

How often do we come to the realization that our thoughts can really change our life, future, world… in fact, everything?

If you think about it, almost everything that human beings have created sprang from a simple idea. So before getting yourself trapped in a box called “despair,” why not think of an idea that can change your life and your world for the better?

We human beings are essentially spiritual beings. We dwell in the physical body for a limited time, but after we accumulate experiences, knowledge, and wisdom here, we return to the spirit world. There, it is what we think that becomes who we are. What are the thoughts that are occupying your mind right now? Is it a selfish desire, frustration, discontent? Or is it generosity, selflessness, or understanding?

If you honestly and earnestly examine your thoughts, you will be able to find your true self and the future that your thoughts will lead you to.

Our everyday thoughts determine the course of our life, but in critical moments in life, it is our strong determination and belief that can open a new path. In the film The Cherry Bushido, when Japan is faced with threats of annihilation from its neighbor country, Shizuka offers a young patriot, Ryotaro, these inspiriting words: “Your courage can change your destiny. Your strong belief can open up a new path.” Heartened by Shizuka’s words, Ryotaro finds the courage to do his part to save their country.

Remember, too, that it is your intention that counts. If you truly believe that your cause is right and true, that it will bring happiness to the greatest number of people, and that it will change the world for the better, then all you need is to act with courage and wholehearted sincerity. Your thoughts will move the hearts of others, who will then want to help you accomplish your goals.

3. “To find courage, prepare for death. Only then, the path will open before you.”

In his renowned U.S. presidential inauguration speech, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” To conquer fear, all we need to do is to face it squarely and fiercely.

What many of us fear the most is probably death. Even if we believe in the afterlife, it is difficult to overcome the fear of losing our life, friends, family, house, work—everything that comes with living. But it is when we want to protect ourselves that our fear grows. So, when you feel fear kicking in, trying to stop you from doing “the right thing,” ask yourself what it is that you’re trying to protect.

Just like Shizuka in the film, we are all here for a purpose, and everything that happens around us happens for a reason. What is presented to us is actually asking us to make a choice. Are you going to give in to fear that does not in fact really exist, or are you going to rise above your fear to open a new path?

Most of the time, you already know what the right decision is. You just need to take the courage to put it into action.

Finding Hope

As of February 1, 2022, more than 5.6 million deaths from COVID 19 have been reported worldwide, a devastating number that suggests a global state of emergency. As we struggle to overcome this crisis, it is my hope that the three maxims introduced in this article will help you find the courage and resolve to live your fullest life during these turbulent and uncertain times.

The Cherry Bushido will be released in limited theaters in North America this March.

The Cherry Bushido Coming to Playhouse 7 – Laemmle Pasadena March 25th

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