loudenvier, on Oct 31 2008, 02:48 PM, said:
Yes! I see this all the time... Most don't really know the real roots of their arts... Most will ask you this: "But didn't Jiu-Jitsu came before Judo?", and that sort of thing, when I try to state that Judo is the forefather of BJJ...
And Jiu-Jitsu IS the correct way to write it... I mean, if you are referring to the martial art evolved by the Gracies... Jiu-Jitsu is how it is spelled in every single Portuguese dictionary... The name of the art, Jiu-Jitsu, which the whole world but Braz(s)il call Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, should be written with 'i' before the 'u'... There's no such thing as Brazilian Ju-Jutsu... Ju-Jutsu does not exist in any Portuguese dictionary.
But if you say that a traditional japanese school of jiu-jitsu is good or bad... I guess you should write that as ju-jutsu...
Kyto-ryu jiu-jitsu should send shivers down everyone spine!!!
PTNippon is correct, and so is Jonesy.
The only 100% correct way to write the term is 柔術 or じゅうじゅつ. Unfortunately, most people who are not Japanese, may struggle with that. The correct romanization is: jūjutsu
Many people, however, do not know how to put the macron on the first 'u', thus may write just 'jujutsu' or 'juujutsu'.
The term 'jiu'jitsu' is wrong, no doubt about it, whether it is Portuguese or French. What we often see happen then, is that people who are not Japanese linguists (I am) go look it up in a dictionary, where they find also or perhaps even solely the word 'jiu-jitsu'. They draw from that the erroneous conclusion that the term would be correct. Why is this conclusion erroneous ?
We typically use a dictionary to verify how a word needs to be written. Usually this works out well as dictionaries are 'pretty' reliable for that; however, dictionaries really are not meant for that purpose, although it is what most people use them for. Unlike what people think, a dictionary does NOT prescribe how a word needs to be used; a dictionary has the purpose of registering ... how a word IS being used, regardless of whether that use is correct or not. That is a major difference. Grammar and Correct Usage books prescribe how a word needs to be used and written, NOT a dictionary.
There are many, many errors in dictionaries, particularly involving foreign loan words. The correct transcription, that is romanization should be 'jūjutsu', and that is what also the Portuguese dictionary SHOULD contain.
To take it a step further, even the Kenkyusha, one of the Japanese's leading dictionaries contains the word 'jiu-jitsu'. Why is that ? Wouldn't a Japanese dictionary know how the word is properly used ? Of course they do, that is why if you look up 'jūjutsu' it will be in there as proper way of writing the word, but ... the dictionary also contains the wrong word 'jiu-jitsu' because it IS being used despite being wrong, and that is what a dictionary needs to do: register the use of words irrespective of whether they are right or wrong.
For a native speaker of Japanese like PTNippon, insisting like you do that 'jiu-jitsu' would be correct is absurd, because he immediately knows that what you are saying is in fact 柔実 or 柔日 or 柔實, all three which have an absurd meaning. He knows that it is something completely different from 柔術 (jūjutsu
Moreover, think of this for a second. Can you understand how absurd it is for him who is native speaker of Japanese having to argue about what is correct in Japanese with people who not only are not native speakers or Japanese, but also have no academic degree in Japanese or no native fluency in Japanese.
While you may think the same applies to you regarding Portuguese, the situation is no identical. PTNippon-sensei is nor arguing about Portuguese, but about the original Japanese word, which is what the English, German, French and Portuguese dictionaries are really referring to, the Japanese words as unfortunately also incorrectly in use by other languages. In German they even had weird transcriptions such as "Dschiu-Dschitsu"
. If you find Portuguese books written by Portuguese or Brazilian Japanese linguists or professors of Japanese, you'll see that they will be aware of those errors in Portuguese or other language dictionaries and write it correctly. Sorry, but that is how it is.
I explained before on this forum that the error goes back to when the word was introduced in the English language, presumably on April 29th of 1892 by Takashima Shidachi from the Yōshin-ryu jūjutsu, who became secretary to the Japanese Bank in London. That day he gave the first ever recorded dissemination about jūjutsu in a Western country. He held a lecture at the occasion of the first meeting of the English Japan Society
. It was also published, and the publication misspelled jūjutsu as jiu-jitsu, for understandable reasons, as the man was not fluent in English. I believe that E.J. Harrison, who was a journalist, may have been present at that meeting, and he became fascinated by the topic and went to Japan in 1897. Because that source introduced something that people were not familiar with there did not exist any way for cross-referencing, and people adopted the term assuming that was how it was written. This is how the error occurred, and this quite innocent feat in the end became responsible for infecting most other languages with the erroneous term.
Even Kano, unsure at the time, initially in printed work used 'ju-jitsu' and even 'jiudo'. If you think about it, it is completely nonsensical to write 'judo' but 'jiu-jitsu', because their first syllable should be identical; so how can someone write 'ju' in one word but 'jiu' in the other ? That does not make sense.
Although the Takashima Shidachi event in 1892 is the first officially recorded event and publication, some etymological dictionaries even suggest that the word originally entered the English language in 1875 and correctly. However, the term then was simply not understood and did not become widespread until Shidachi's lecture that used the wrong spelling.
I cannot for the life of me find the 1892 article in my office or on my computer (I know I have it in a file which I do not have present here), and perhaps Joe Svinth might know if it is electronically available online anywhere.
This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 31 October 2008 - 06:21 PM