Category Archives: Appropriation

Naihanchi of Tomari-te

There is a interesting detail to Nagamine Shōshin sensei‘s Naihanchi, which has rarely been adressed, if ever. Namely, each step in this kata is performed with the leg raise referred to as nami-gashi (lit. returning wave). This continuous nami-gashi is … Continue reading

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Kensei

Kensei refers to a kendō practitioner who was called “Saint of the Sword” (kensei 剣聖) during the Shōwa period (1926–1989). However, it is not an official title established by the Dai Nippon Butokukai or the All Japan Kendo Federation. It … Continue reading

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The Mother of All Enbu Taikai

Expressions such aus budōsai, enbukai, enbu taikai etc. are regularly seen in Okinawa karate and kobudo today. They are derivates of an original terminology used in 1895 at what is now known as Kyōto Meet. Okinawans were dispatched to the … Continue reading

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Two wheels of a cart

Japan has a unique culture called budō, that is, martial arts with distinctive characteristics rooted in Japanese history, including methods, concepts, and terminology.   Today I read about a phrase in WEB HIDEN and thought, “Oh, I have heard this … Continue reading

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Appropriation of Aphorisms etc.

Japanese calligraphy sometimes uses four-character idiomatic phrases (yojijukugo 四字熟語). These are compound phrases consisting of four kanji used for idiomatic expressions the meaning of which are usually not directly inferred from the individual characters used. A few examples appropriated into … Continue reading

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Re-evaluation on “A Devil’s hand, a Buddha’s heart”

Once when asked for a brief definition of a good karate person, Nagamine Shōshin (1907-1997) quoted: Kisshu busshin 鬼手佛心: A demon’s hand, a saint’s heart. Note: Kisshu busshin is the Sino-Japanese reading of the Kanji. In native Japanese reading it … Continue reading

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