Tsutomureba kanarazu tassu (Striving surely results in achieving)
The meaning of 力必達 (Tsutomureba kanarazu tassu: Striving surely results in achieving.)
The Essential Point: When we keep making efforts toward a goal, we will surely be able to achieve it.
“Striving surely results in achieving” expresses the understanding for reaching the goal of cultivation. The Doctrine of the Mean1 says, in Chapter 20, “If it is something another person achieves by one effort, I will make 100 efforts, and if it is something another person achieves by 10 efforts, I will make 1000 efforts. By continuing to repeat this approach, even what is unknown will surely become clear, and even one who is weak will surely become strong. “This classic statement is thought to be summarized in the words here. These words have something in common also with such sayings as “Suiteki sekisen2” (water drops wear through stone) and the expression “Heaven helps those who help themselves” from Samuel Smiles (1812-1904). No doubt these are admonishing us to rely on our own strength and exert ourselves. Another passage says that “Even slugs with their slow movement will eventually, if they keep moving forward, reach the tip of the pole.”
Kakuzo Morimoto, “Kano sensei kigo no goku no kaisetsu (18)” [Explanation of Phrases in the Calligraphy of Professor Kano (18)] in Judo 23:11 (1952)
1. One of the Four Books of Confucian teaching. It propounds the unity of Heaven and Man. It is thought to be the work of Zisi, a grandson of Confucius.
2. An expression of the notion that even a small force, if applied over and over cumulatively, exerts great force. The meaning is that even drops of water, if they continue falling on the same spot, will eventually be able to open a hole in stone.