The source that popularized this pictorialÂ maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famousÂ TÅshÅ-gÅ« shrine inÂ NikkÅ,Â Japan. The philosophy, however, probably originally came to Japan with aÂ Tendai–Buddhist legend, from China in the 8th century (Nara Period).
InÂ Chinese, a similar phrase exists in theÂ Analects of Confucius: “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety” (éžç¦®å‹¿è¦–ï¼Œ éžç¦®å‹¿è½ï¼Œéžç¦®å‹¿è¨€ï¼Œ éžç¦®å‹¿å‹•). It may be that this phrase was shortened and simplified after it was brought into Japan.
morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree: a good teacher; good health.
of high quality; excellent.
right; proper; fit: It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
well-behaved: a good child.
morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.
harmful; injurious: evil laws.
characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.
due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation.
marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.