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Dan Jones
01-02-2004, 09:52 PM
This is a request for assistance from the members more educated in Japanese than me.

I'm looking for the Japanese equivalent for 'Spirit Forging Dojo' or 'Spirit Forging School' (jyuku).

I've been unable to come up with something more than a homonym that is understandable to my Japanese friends without seeing the kanji.

Rich Stephens
01-03-2004, 11:42 AM
I'd like to help but would like some clarification. Are you looking for a Japanese phrase that matches the English for "spirit forging" or do you already have a kanji that means that? If the latter, is this kanji the same one as used for the Japanese word "jyuku" you mentioned? I know the character used for jyuku that are private tutoring schools that children go to in the afternoon after they get out of regular school. We usually call these "cram schools" in English. I believe that kanji is m@(hope your system will display kanji). I hadn't heard any translation of this kanji as "spirit forging" however nor any use of it in connection to a dojo, so I'm a bit confused.

But with a bit of clarification I think I can help and if I can't, I can always turn to the living dictionary I keep handy, ha! (my Japanese wife!)

FWIW, there is a term Kikou (C) used in martial arts that can be translated as "spirit cultivating", or more commonly as breath control or breathing exercises.


Dan Jones
01-03-2004, 03:15 PM
Thanks Rich.

Unfortunately, your kanji is not coming through, but that's ok; once I get the wording, I think I can get the kanji that corresponds.

The difficulty I have is I can't seem to find an interpretation of 'Spirit Forging Dojo', or something similar, that makes sense as a stand-alone. That is - without seeing the kanji for clarification, does name make sense?

The concept I want to capture is that like forging a blade, we must practice techniques over and over with commitment. By doing so, we are not just developing technical ability, but spiritual strength as well.

My first effort was 'Tanshin Dojo', but I was told this was not easily interpreted as 'Heart Forging' without seeing the kanji.

My second attempt was 'Tanren Dojo' but I wasn't sure it captured the aspect of Heart or Spirit. It seemed, to me, to interpret simply as 'Forging Dojo'.

Lastly, I considered Seishin Tanren Dojo. The jury is still out on that one. What do you think?

The word jyuku was suggested as a more appropriate word than dojo because it would acknowledge that the projects we undertake to assist in the community help our development of spirit, but they are outside the traditional training in a 'dojo'. I am open to other's opinions of the use of that word verses the more traditional use of 'dojo'.

Dan Jones
01-07-2004, 08:39 AM
Maybe I should have spent more time learning Japanese before starting Aikido.

Another suggestion was made that Ren Shin Kan would express the meaning. Now I'm thinking "Joe's Aikido" is simple and easy to understand.

Plus I heard that Juku was a more traditional name for a dojo that allows only serious, committed students to practice.

Ron Tisdale
01-07-2004, 09:46 AM
I think Tanren is a good choice, though another might be based on shugyo (severe, harsh training).


Jack Simpson
01-07-2004, 11:43 AM

Did a quick web search and saw Seishin Tanren translated as "spirit-forging". It was in an interesting article on Furyu about "Fudoshin" (the link is below). Fudoshin might also be a cool alternative. As you're in Cananda, you probably know already that Fran Turner's dojo is called Shugyo. We took the easy way out: "direction State aikikai". Good luck and have fun.

Best Regards

Jack Simpson :ai: Western Maryland Aikikai (http://www.westernmarylandaikikai.org)


Jack Simpson
01-07-2004, 11:45 AM
sure wish there was a spell check, that should be "Canada", eh.



01-07-2004, 01:16 PM
I'm looking for the Japanese equivalent for 'Spirit Forging Dojo' or 'Spirit Forging School' (jyuku).
I don't have it in front of me, but I think Dave Lowry's excellent Sword and Brush might have this in it.) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1570621128/qid=1073506046//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i0_xgl14/103-3384595-0085438?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)
Did a quick web search and saw Seishin Tanren translated as "spirit-forging".
"Seishin". Hmm. You might want to run this by some Jpn before adopting it. Well-intentioned copying of second language stuff can be ridiculous. You see idiotic English on tee-shirts, shopping bags, and even products everyday there (sports drink Pocari Sweat (sic) is the most famous.) "Seishin" might have militaristic overtones to the Jpn ear (if this would concern you).

I mentioned to a journalist friend in Jp once that I did aikido and she curled her lip: "There are so many rightists in BUDO! It's really disgusting." Here we think BUDO and BUSHIDO are honored traditions; there, they bring back unhappy memories of deprivation, suffering, and death. The Jpn government appropriated BUDO to teach young men SEISHIN to meet death like fanatics. There might be a taint to the term. I don't know. (Then again, some Jpn sensei might be quite content with those connotations...)

Dan Jones
01-07-2004, 11:14 PM
Thank you, everyone, for the feedback. The comments about the tee-shirts are exactly why I sought this feedback. I'll follow up on the furyu.com link and D. Lowry's book. His are always good reading.

I also checked the Florida Aikikai website. I thought I recognized it. Bernath Sensei was here some years ago to conduct a seminar. I still remember how instructive it was.