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Old 05-14-2011, 07:52 PM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,004
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Re: "Art of Peace" Kanji

Hello,

I second Josh Reyer's question. Are you looking for an acceptable Japanese phrase to use as a dojo name or sign, for example?

Here in Hiroshima, the accepted term for 'peace' is 'heiwa' 平和. 'World peace', for example, is 世界平和: 'sekai heiwa' and 平和大通り'heiwa o doori' is the wide avenue that runs through the centre of the city. In English this is Peace Boulevard. There are a large number of enterprises and movements that include 平和 in the name, so there is not much exclusivity. However, as far as I know, there are no local martial arts dojo that use heiwa in their names.

I checked 平和の道 'heiwa no michi' (the way of peace) in Japanese on Google and received 21 million hits. Of course, one sense in which this term can be understood, a way to achieving a state as yet unachieved, would require 平和への道. In Hiroshima,however, 平和の道 is much more down to earth: it is a route that people can take to visit the various buildings and monuments to do with the atomic bombing. The name on the paving stones in English, however, is the seemingly more elegant 'Promenade of Peace'.

I have not ever checked all the references in Morihei Ueshiba's writings (published in Japanese) to see whether he ever uses the word heiwa. In the writings that I have checked, the word is usually 和合 wagou, as Jun stated, where gou is the same character as 合 ai in aikido. The problem with the translations of Prof Stevens is that he never gives or cites the original Japanese texts.

In modern Japanese, the meanings given of wagou are yawaragiau-koto 和らぎ合うこと (using the Japanese kun readings of the same characters): to soften and blend; mazeawaseru-koto 混ぜ合わせること: to compound this and that, to mix together, to mingle or blend (as in the blending of colours or sounds).

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

P A Goldsbury
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