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Nicholas Eschenbruch
12-31-2008, 09:56 AM
Hi everybody,

I dont know Japanese and would appreciate some help in cultural and linguistic matters:

I have for some time been intrigued by the notion of plum blossom in Zen, e.g. in Dogen's Shobogenzo. John Steven's „Secret Teachings of Aikido“ quotes O-Sensei as referring to plum blossom as well, I seem to remember, and it has some biographical relevance in my aikido training.

So here are my questions:

The Japanese word for plum seems to be "baike"? Which is the kanji? And the word and kanji for blossom?

Would it make sense in Japanese to name an aikido dojo „Plum Blossom Dojo“, or would that have political, social or erotic double meanings one should be aware of, or even rather avoid? (I am thinking of the sakura kai or the like)

Does anybody know what the actual biological plum referred to in the Zen tradition is? Same as ours? Different Asian type? Anybody know its Latin name?

Thanks a lot for the help, and best wishes for your life and training in 2009

Nicholas

Ron Tisdale
12-31-2008, 10:16 AM
Look up references to sho, chiku, bai. From John Steven's perspective as he told it to me, the bai refers to the plum flower as it blossoms...think of the fingers of the hand extending with ki.

Or so I remember it, anyway... ;)

Best,
Ron

Erick Mead
12-31-2008, 10:34 AM
O-Sensei as referring to plum blossom as well, I seem to remember, and it has some biographical relevance in my aikido training.

So here are my questions:

The Japanese word for plum seems to be "baike"? Which is the kanji? And the word and kanji for blossom? 梅暦umegoyomi (lit. "plum calendar" for plum blossoms as a sign of impending spring; or 寒梅 kanbai Lit. "cold plum" referring to the tree that does the blossoming in winter.

Does anybody know what the actual biological plum referred to in the Zen tradition is? Same as ours? Different Asian type? Anybody know its Latin name? More like an apricot than the red or black plum we get in the States. Prunus mume.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
12-31-2008, 10:52 AM
Ron, Erick,
thank you very much, these are useful hints and I will follow them up.

Best

N

JohnSeavitt
02-21-2009, 02:16 PM
There's also ~plum blossom as:

此花 (konohana)
好文木 (koubunboku)
花の兄 (hana no ani)

John

Charles Hill
02-22-2009, 01:37 AM
Ahhh, they are blooming right now, here at the foot of Mt. Fuji. A most wonderful smell!