Sarumono-wa Owazu (Kitarumono-wa Kobamazu)



 “Sarumono-wa Owazu” means “I do not pursue those who go away.” This expression comes originally from Mencius. “Do not try to bring someone back to you when he wants to leave you.” Usually this comes with another expression which goes, “Kitarumono-wa Kobamazu,” which means “I never refuse those who come.” When they are used in a set, it means “It makes no difference to me whether they desert me or stand by me.” Let people do whatever they want to. It is said that this expression was the motto of Mencius when he taught students.

 In Edo Period (1603 – 1868), Yoshida Shoin ( had this motto when he taught. Naoe Kanetsugu (1559 – 1620) also had this motto although he was a samurai lord of the family called Naoe, not a teacher unlike Mencius or Yoshida (


 (The Picture of Yoshida Shoin)


(Naoe Kanetsugu)

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  Interestingly enough, Peter F. Drucker ( – the founder of modern management – became a big trend in Japan last year. His management and leadership theories featured this concept – “Sarumono-wa Owazu (I do not pursue those who go away).”