“He who climbs the ladder must begin at the bottom.”
Ittetsu Takeda had some very powerful quotes in the anime as well as the manga. The man who worked hard to make Karasuno what it had become and developing into a much more powerful team than they could have imagined.
The one who brought Coach Ukai to train them, the one who organized their trainingscamp and beside being their teacher he is their greatest supporter.
While his presence might not be seen immediately, at the most crucial time he is the one who gives his students analogies, metaphors and quotes which reflect their current state and make them realize what they are actually capable of.
Today’s quote is just one of his many powerful and yet inspiring quotes, “he who climbs the ladder must begin at the bottom.”
A very visual, simple yet deep sentence if you look closer.
Imagine standing in front of a ladder and trying to climb it, simply said it makes sense that if you want to climb a ladder, you obviously have to start at the bottom.
Sadly not always.
Let’s take this step by step.
“He who climbs the ladder”, can refer to anyone. It could mean you, it could mean me and it could mean anyone else in the Haikyuu universe. Like any other human we strive for goals and dreams, we have aspirations and most of us work hard to get there.
We pressure ourselves to push forward and yet sometimes there is just that moment where everything seems to stop all of a sudden. It’s stuck. No matter how much you work everything is standing still and you are seeing no progress.
At least not when you are observing things from a distanced perspective, because no matter how hard you work there will always be progress even if one might not see it at the moment.
And here comes the climbing part.
To climb means to ascend to a certain level, moving up and especially climbing can be viewed as a tiresome process of ascending, because the word climb compared to fly or walk is always connected with labour.
Also climbing means to start from a lower place and reach a higher one, unlike other words that could have been used in that context indicating the resulting evolvement of the person doing it.
Did you ever climb a hill or a tree and felt like it was a tiresome yet rewarding task when you have reached your destination?
Yes, that’s climbing and that’s why it fits so very well in this quote because Takeda is describing the hard and long process of developing which consumes a lot of energy and is indeed tiresome, but if you reach your destination that you have climbed it will sure feel rewarding to stand at the top.
Leading us right to the latter part of the sentence.
“must start at the bottom”, obvious and simple, right?
Yes, but actually no.
The thing is seen from a viewer’s perspective it might be self-evident but being in that very situation it might not always seem so easy and simple.
We always hear it, may it be from parents, teachers or other people who might have a slight mentor role in our lives, that no one is born a master.
You could say it is indeed only natural to go through a certain process to become a master or even close to it, but did you ever find yourself in a situation where you simply lost yourself in the whole development and work part, forgetting that what you are doing is a path to that what you want to become and not the goal itself?
Humans tend to rush things, just like we are eager to develop as quickly as we can, we forget that we all have to start from a point and work slowly our way up.
It doesn’t go from one day to the other, sometimes it can take months or even years to see progress or the light at the end of the tunnel.
And that is what Takeda is trying to tell us, the one who wants to accomplish and reach something must not forget that the person has to start from the bottom.
Just like someone climbing a ladder obviously has to start from the bottom to reach the top.
Which is actually another hint, a little parallelism even.
Starting at the bottom, is what Takeda is saying telling us that in this story those characters have a starting point and still need to climb their way up, it’s just the beginning of a long tiresome path that will be rewarding.
On the other hand, season four is called To the Top, which indicates that what Takeda already hinted, the path climbed through the ladder to reach the top.
Which doesn’t go only for the character in Haikyuu, but for us as well.
In this time and age we rush things and want to see results as quickly as possible, and if we don’t we will be slumped and frustrated even though some things need a little bit more time to show their results. Just like anyone else, every single person needs to start at the bottom, we all start at the same point.
But we differ, some people may climb faster others may take their time but at the end everyone will climb the ladder with their best effort and abilities to reach the top.