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Was Kano shihan religious? Was judo his alternative? Rate Topic: -----

#16 User is offline   Y-Chromosome 

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 09:35 PM

View Postdustymars, on Jun 26 2009, 01:36 PM, said:

Jita Kyoei is difficult for weaterners to grap anyway.


Can you elaborate on that, because it seems like a fairly simple concept to me? Obviously I'm looking at it divorced from the social context that Kano lived in but is it necessary to over-dramatize these things? Was this intended to be an esoteric principle or a statement of a fairly basic and straightforward social contract?
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#17 User is offline   dustymars 

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:01 PM

View PostY-Chromosome, on Jun 26 2009, 09:35 PM, said:

Can you elaborate on that, because it seems like a fairly simple concept to me? Obviously I'm looking at it divorced from the social context that Kano lived in but is it necessary to over-dramatize these things? Was this intended to be an esoteric principle or a statement of a fairly basic and straightforward social contract?


Sometimes my words come out like platitudes, or worse still as a retired sage. :lol: Simple things have a habit of becoming complex when we examine them closely. As a scientist by trade I trust nothing until it is verified and verified by peer review. Then I only believe half of it. But physical science is much simpler than the mental stats of a human mind; the philosophy in Martial Arts is an acquired through years of practice and not so much in a theoretical sense. Kano sensei spoke, in a round about way, that teaching was a way for one to learn. In that process he understood that the process of teaching and learning that it was a benefit not only to the students, but to oneself as well. So, the two axioms compliment each other: "maximum efficiency and minimum effort" and “welfare and benefit to the world” go hand in hand -- as it is taught in Japan.

I find it difficult to find parallel thought or teachings in the western world. Wow, I really should have stuck to simple things! I find it is easier to teach a person to scratch his or her nose than to tell someone this stuff! Something about having grown up in their world, as I was only in my early twenties then, something of their philosophy stuck but I could never quite describe it. But, since I was not raised there it is even harder to define. -_-

"over-dramatize" is a good phrase for some of the misguided philosophy I hear bandered about the Judo world.

This post has been edited by dustymars: 26 June 2009 - 10:03 PM

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#18 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:19 AM

View PostTaigyo, on Jun 27 2009, 12:44 AM, said:

I think there is a bit of a problem with differences in the concept of religion. It is an adequate metaphor to express how serious someone is about something, however it is not a true equivalent. Most Christian varieties (especially the evangelical types one finds very often in America) do not have the concept of "practice" that one finds in Buddhisim or other eastern religions. They are more focused on faith and worship, than actions. I have no idea if Kano sensei was religious or not, but Judo in comparison to the Koryu, is very non-religious. Koryu dojo almost universally have a small shrine in the kamiza, they often have a particular shrine or temple that they are associated with, and might incorportate Shinto or Buddhist concepts (some very esoteric) in their teachings, and more often than not attribute their origins to some sort of divine intervention or inspiration. The methodology of Eastern Religion, focused practice, meditation, etc. seems to have extended from a purely religious application, to permeate everyday life. I was recently told a story by an elderly martial artist of his experinces as a temporary worker on a highway crew while he was in college. The permanent workers were highly disgusted with him and the other part-timers because they were not able to shovel dirt into a perfectly square space, or fill a truck, perfectly level and even using only their shovels with no tamping or adjustment. These men were focused, they put themselves into their work even though they were "merely" ditch diggers.


I think you raise very good points.

If one adds the number of buddhists in Japan to the number of shintoists, one ends up with a number far larger than the population of Japan. Thus many people are buddhist and shintoist at the same time, and ceremonies belonging to either are chosen depending on the event. Not too many weddings are buddhist, and not too many funerals are shintoist. There is a reason for that. So, clearly there is a different conceptualization. After all, I do not know too many people who are at the same time Roman Catholics and Muslims.
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#19 User is offline   Randell 

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 01:58 AM

A topic to dwell on.

My first and only response is too ask you to clarify "religious" and then i may be able to give you my viewpoint.
It is better to strike a blow with a crooked stick than to spend the rest of your life trying to straighten the darn thing out!!!
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#20 User is offline   dustymars 

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 09:08 PM

BTW, Jigoro Kano sensei became impatient with me doing his portrait and it was never quite finished. I painted this when he was in his middle ages, and I was a yut. :P Actually, the photo messed up the colors and the image is not like the painting. I did this for Rick Mertens many Moons ago. I quickly established a Kano religion not unlike sensei religion.

This post has been edited by dustymars: 28 June 2009 - 09:12 PM

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#21 User is offline   redcarded 

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:30 AM

mmm....well, as far as all i've read Kano was typical in being Japanese with Buhddist/Shinto customs and traditions.
Judo as religion? this has been dealt with, hashed and rehashed so many times my brain hurts just thinking about it.

In terms of ethics and Judo there are certainly different ways of thinking about our art. The Lowest level just see's it as an activity, a series of techniques and movements. Then as a way to perfect ourselves and how we interact with those around us and then finally how we can give back and help other. Not everyone is going to get through all of these layers, but that doesn't mean that it isn't worthwhile.

Mutual Welfare, trust, respect and caring are important when you are throwing, choking and doing techniques to possibly break peoples limbs. Finding the efficient way, the way that maximizes outcome for effort of providing mutual welfare/growth/happiness provides an ethical foundation that as far as I've seen I haven't seen in any other sport or hobby like fixing cars or collecting stamps
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#22 User is online   NBK 

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 07:10 AM

Actually, it seems that any number of culturally challenged folks have equated bowing in judo with religion, but seemingly no one has directly addressed the spirituality, or lack thereof, of Kano shihan.

He seemed to have had some consideration for organized religion, but there's not much that sticks in my memory about his private or public observance of any particular religion.


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#23 User is offline   Jihef 

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:24 AM

View PostFed_Arrestler, on Jun 26 2009, 05:27 PM, said:

It still begs a question. For some people, bowling, civil war re-enactment, or collecting barbie dolls or old blues records is a way of life. You and I might find it odd that someone would devote so much time and energy to something we find trivial but I see no real harm in it. Most folks engaged in such hobbies, even to an obsessive degree, prefer the company of like minded people but I rarely find any implication that they believe themselves morally or ethically superior or that their habits improve the world around them.

If we agree that Judo is not religion, there are some that seem to believe that as a "way of life" it is still a system of moral development. As such, is it effective?


There is nothing trivial in old Blues records.
<_<
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#24 User is offline   dustymars 

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:08 AM

View PostJihef, on Jun 29 2009, 08:24 AM, said:

There is nothing trivial in old Blues records.
<_<


You got that straight. If the guy does not understnad the Blues, he needs help!
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#25 User is offline   aiyotsu 

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:49 AM

Hi all, The symbol Kano chose for Kodokan Judo is clearly Shinto. Ngaaoka was given a highest level Shinto funeral in a service having been designed for Kanos mother(Presumably under Kano's direction). Judo had it's first home in a temple. Do is synonimous with Tao. Kano lectured his students at length from the Tao te Ching of Lao Tse and other Chinese classics, as did Mifune. To me many of the concepts of Judo and it's root arts are couched in Shinto. Zen and Taosist terms. I cosider this to be more than just Kano having been a product of his social environment. Kano was a thoughful and deliberte man who chose words and names and symbols very carefully. That he believed enlightenment would come from vigourous, repetitive training in attack and defence does not make him less religious just more profound. I believe Judo has a deep and strong spiritual undercurrent that is not seperable from it's well known mottos of efficiency and justice nor from it's founder Kano Shihan.
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#26 User is offline   Tim Neal 

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 02:07 AM

View Postaiyotsu, on Jul 26 2009, 09:49 AM, said:

Hi all, The symbol Kano chose for Kodokan Judo is clearly Shinto. Ngaaoka was given a highest level Shinto funeral in a service having been designed for Kanos mother(Presumably under Kano's direction). Judo had it's first home in a temple. Do is synonimous with Tao. Kano lectured his students at length from the Tao te Ching of Lao Tse and other Chinese classics, as did Mifune. To me many of the concepts of Judo and it's root arts are couched in Shinto. Zen and Taosist terms. I cosider this to be more than just Kano having been a product of his social environment. Kano was a thoughful and deliberte man who chose words and names and symbols very carefully. That he believed enlightenment would come from vigourous, repetitive training in attack and defence does not make him less religious just more profound. I believe Judo has a deep and strong spiritual undercurrent that is not seperable from it's well known mottos of efficiency and justice nor from it's founder Kano Shihan.


You also have to understand spirituality as it is practiced in Japan,many symbols here are Shinto but there is little philosophy in Shintoism,no central text and no Shinto morals . One book that explains this quite well is The Enigma of Japanese Power by Van Wolferen
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#27 User is offline   redcarded 

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 03:12 AM

Just to play devils advocate........

"Judo had it's first home in a temple."
It could have just been that it was a hall that was available and tolerant enough to put up with them. I used to train in a Salvation Army Hall, although I don't think any of the members were members of that church, or Judo related to the Salvation Army.

"Do is synonimous with Tao."
Well, the character actually mean street, Way or path. Hence its use in any art that also can be used to achieve a psychological/ethical/spiritual education beyond the merely physical. Hence, tea ceremony, calligraphy, sword fighting, flower arrangment also use that character. In Japan it can be used independantly of Chinese Taoism.

"Kano lectured his students at length from the Tao te Ching of Lao Tse and other Chinese classics,"
Kano studied philosophy and Chinese literature at Tokyo university. At that time Chinese philosophy underpinned many aspects of Japanese society, neo-confucionism was the prefered philosophy of the recently defunct Tokugawa Bakufu. I'm not surprised that he used that same language and undertstanding in his lectures to Judoka.
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#28 User is offline   aiyotsu 

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 05:54 AM

View PostTim Neal, on Jul 26 2009, 02:07 PM, said:

You also have to understand spirituality as it is practiced in Japan,many symbols here are Shinto but there is little philosophy in Shintoism,no central text and no Shinto morals . One book that explains this quite well is The Enigma of Japanese Power by Van Wolferen
Thank you for that. By religious I do not mean a structured religion i.e catholcisim etc. I have some idea of the thrust of Shinto. I can and will learn more. I still think it went to the heart of the phlosopy of Kano. I think it was in turn, overlayed by Taoist philosopy. aiyotsu
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#29 User is offline   aiyotsu 

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 06:07 AM

View Postredcarded, on Jul 26 2009, 03:12 PM, said:

Just to play devils advocate........

"Judo had it's first home in a temple."
It could have just been that it was a hall that was available and tolerant enough to put up with them. I used to train in a Salvation Army Hall, although I don't think any of the members were members of that church, or Judo related to the Salvation Army.

"Do is synonimous with Tao."
Well, the character actually mean street, Way or path. Hence its use in any art that also can be used to achieve a psychological/ethical/spiritual education beyond the merely physical. Hence, tea ceremony, calligraphy, sword fighting, flower arrangment also use that character. In Japan it can be used independantly of Chinese Taoism.

"Kano lectured his students at length from the Tao te Ching of Lao Tse and other Chinese classics,"
Kano studied philosophy and Chinese literature at Tokyo university. At that time Chinese philosophy underpinned many aspects of Japanese society, neo-confucionism was the prefered philosophy of the recently defunct Tokugawa Bakufu. I'm not surprised that he used that same language and undertstanding in his lectures to Judoka.
I am quite sure what you say is right. Nevertheless Japanese friends of non martial art littery background have expressed to me that in judo it is not the way but THE way and is seen as the Tao. He did not just use the jargon in vouge but lectured at length on principles from the Tao te Ching. aiyotsu
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#30 User is online   NBK 

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 06:51 AM

Now the thread is on the right track.....

Any particular sources for the statement "Kano lectured his students at length from the Tao te Ching of Lao Tse and other Chinese classics, as did Mifune."

Thanks!


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