Sanshirō couldn't let the man go unchallenged. "Japan is marching toward eminence."
"Japan is headed for ruin," the man stated calmly. -- Such a statement would be met with blows in Kumamoto. Or worse yet, with charges of treason. Sanshirō had grown up in a world with no tolerance for such thinking. It occurred to him that this man, taking advantage of his youth, might well be playing him for a fool. The man displayed his signature grin, but his words were calm and deliberate. Sanshirō didn't know what to make of him, so he retreated into silence.
The man continued. "Tōkyō is larger than Kumamoto. Japan is larger than Tōkyō. But larger than all ..." The man paused and looked at Sanshirō to see that he was following. "Larger than all are the thoughts in your head. Don't ever make them subservient. Blind devotion to Japan won't serve her, it will only lead to her downfall."
When he heard these words, Sanshirō felt how distant he was from Kumamoto. At the same time, it dawned on him how docile he'd been in his life there.
That evening Sanshirō arrived in Tōkyō. The man with the mustache went his way, having never offered his name. Sanshirō, assuming such men were commonplace in Tōkyō, hadn't bothered to ask.