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Old 12-11-2010, 03:22 AM   #1
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Doka of the day 10 December 2010

The Pine, the Bamboo, and the Plum.
The make up of Ki that we are training to purify
From where do they arise?
The Water and Fire of the change in the self.

Morihei Ueshiba

I like this doka. The reference to the elements of fire and water echoes Miyamoto Musashi in the Book of Five Rings. I talked about these elements in in a blog post on Takeda Shingen's motto: wind forest fire mountain

I wondered about the significance of the pine, the bamboo and the plum and Carina Reinhardt kindly sent me a quote from O Sensei and an interesting link to a Shaolin Kempo page.

Study the teachings of the pine tree, the bamboo, and the plum blossom. The pine is evergreen, firmly rooted, and venerable. The bamboo is strong, resilient, unbreakable. The plum blossom is hardy, fragrant, and elegant.
O Sensei, The Art of Peace

Sho (Matsuda): Pine
Evergreens live long, young, and healthy lives. The pine symbolizes faithful friendship which resists all trials. The pine represents the religion of Taoism. The Japanese people use pine needles for ornaments on Christmas and New Year.
Chiku (Take): Bamboo
Bamboo represents Honesty. When you cut into bamboo, you find emptiness inside. Nothing evil is hidden within. Also, Kosho Ryu practitioners remain ever empty, and open to additional knowledge, never becoming full of themselves and their accomplishments. The bamboo is the symbol of the application of discipline and the man who remains loyal in all events. Bamboo represents the Japanese religion of Buddhism.
Bai (Baika): Plum Flower
The Japanese plum flower stands for beauty, nobility, and courage. This is because the plum flower puts forth blossoms while the snow is still on the ground. The plum tree flowers before all the others. The Japanese people love the plum fruit. They especially eat plums when they are sick. Plum represents the Japanese religion of Shintoism

Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu (Hawaiian Shaolin Kempo)

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats

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