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The Wisdom of Ogai is a collection of inspiring and thought provoking maxims by Meiji era literary genius Mori Ogai, adapted into modern language by one of Japan’s most beloved scholars, Hiroshi Deguchi.

Though Ogai received fame and praise for his work as both a writer and service member, his private life was anything but smooth sailing. From love, marriage, divorce, in-laws and the government, Ogai was constantly at odds with a neverending stream of conflict and trouble. Well acquainted with the taste of defeat, Ogai experienced numerous failures throughout his career. However, no matter how many times he fell down, Ogai always managed to overcome hardship thanks to his strong willed nature and preserverence.

Maxims featured in The Wisdom of Ogai come from the three works Chie bukuro (Pearls of Wisdom), Shinto-go (Words of the Heart) and Kei-go (Words of Wisdom), the first two of which were based upon German Philosopher Adolph Friherr Knigge’s On Human Relations. Providing practical advice on how to handle a wide variety of social situations and deal with different types of people, Ogai’s work is filled with concrete advice on the ins and outs of life.


Chapter 1. Wisdom on Life

Chapter 2. Principles for Getting Along With Others

Chapter 3. Making Marriage Work

Chapter 4. Getting Along with Your Children

Chapter 5. How to Deal with Women

Chapter 6. The Secret to Successful Social Relationships

Chapter 7. Tips on Conversation

Chapter 8. What to Remember When Writing Letters

Chapter 9. On Friendship

Chapter 10. On Enemies

Chapter 11. How to be Highly Employable

Chapter 12. How to Get Along with Different Types of People

About the Author

Ogai Mori

Born in 1862 in present day Shimane Prefecture, Ogai graduated from the Tokyo University Medical department, later studying abroad in Germany as part of his service as an army surgeon. Some of his most famous works include The Dancing Girl, Sansho the Steward, The Abe Clan and The Boat on the Takase River.

Hiroshi Deguchi

Deguchi is an author and a visiting professor at Hiroshima Jogakuin University, as well as an advisor for the International Standard Competency Test on Logical Thinking and for the Kibou Nippon Voter’s Association. Frequently appearing on television and radio nationwide, Deguchi has earned the title “professor people most want to take a class from.” Penning titles such as Genji Monogatari ga omoshiroi hodo wakaru (Chukei Publishing Company) and Kyokasho de wa oshiete kurenai nihon no meisaku (Softbank Creative Group), his books have sold over 6 million copies nationwide.

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