View Single Post
Old 07-01-2011, 03:12 AM   #17
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,219
Re: Shugyo: Mindfully Train

Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
Thanks for the lesson Peter. I think it's important when we use Japanese terms to do it properly. There's lots of information carried in Japanese terms that gets lost without educated, fluent people that also know the technical meanings to speak up. Those of us that aren't fluent often have misused terms so long that we make up our own meanings (or our teachers, instructors, and seniors have passed on the westernized common meanings) and much valuable meaning has gotten lost. There are even Japanese terms that native speakers/budo practitioners of different budo lineage use differently. Very confusing to many of us to say the least.

Thanks again and please continue (those of you that know) to help educate us.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
Hello Chuck,

Thank you.

Before I came to live here, I never applied to aikido the language / linguistics studies I was pursuing at university. However, seeing the terms you have grown accustomed to using in the dojo embedded in a living, changing, evolving, language culture gives one a certain sensitivity, if nothing else. This becomes especially intense when you are teaching language studies to Japanese students in their own language. It is here that the various preferences, intuitions of the native speaker become most evident (to me as the non-native, in this case).

One of the most striking instances of this was discovering what omote and ura mean. Sure, we use the words to define two ways of executing ikkajo or ikkyou, for example, but I learned the meaning of the terms, not in the dojo, but in the university, where I was part of a large and complex living language community. The terms were never, ever used, but I learned exactly what they meant.

As for shugyou, Morihei Ueshiba appears to have used shugyou and renshuu interchangeably. I myself have learned this by reading him in Japanese, but those non-Japanese who believe that renshuu and shugyou have quite distinct meanings are perhaps not aware of this.

As usual, Dr Seiser has written a good, provocative, column.

Best wishes,


P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote