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Old 09-02-2011, 07:04 PM   #22
Andrew S
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Dojo: Kenshinkai Dojos
Location: Tokorozawa
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 103
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 19

I appologize for the lateness of this post - I have been without regular access for several months.

The Case of Judo
In the case of judo, some of my Japanese acquaintances regret the fact that judo has become so internationalized that it is no longer recognizable as a Japanese martial art. They equate the internationalization of judo with its development as a ‘western' sport. The angst of Jigoro Kano concerning the participation of judo in the revived Olympic Games is sometimes cited here, as an example of the danger that the quintessentially Japanese nature of the art has been lost because of ‘western-style' competitions with referees and judges, in which the Japanese contestants are often defeated. (The Japanese term for such competitions is shiai [試合], in contrast to kyoso [競争], which has the wider meaning of general striving or rivalry.) The mere equating of modern judo with sport is not the main issue here, for it is quite possible to conceive of judo as a form of jacketed wrestling entirely shorn of Japanese terms except for the name of the sport. What is at issue is the apparent loss of another kind of judo, more closely related to its jujutsu parent, which retains its Japanese essence. However, when explanations are sought for what this essence consists in, there is a tendency to rely on concepts such as the ‘spirit' [精神] of ‘budo' [武道], both of which terms are considered impossible to translate from Japanese into another language.
I've seen written on the whiteboard in a junior high school budojo "World judo is sport; Japanese judo is traditional culture". And whenever there is a world judo competition, the local media is quick to describe the Japanese team as being 正統 judo.
Ironic how Kano was against judo as a means of nationalism - the Kodokan dojo apparently had no kamidana until after his death, and he was possibly against the idea of judo as an Olympic sport.

The 正統 concept seems to be based on blood (look at the number of Japanese former Olympic medalists who have moved on to pro-wrestling, K1 and the like) rather than on following in the ideals of the founder.

It is not hard to find more examples of Japanese self-adoration or nationalism in budo: practitioners of the prefered martial style of right-wingers and yakuza - Kyokushin karate - have a hard time dealing with the fact that their founder was an ethnic Korean born near Pusan. Official Kyokushin history places Oyama (his adopted Japanese name) as Tokyo.

And let us not forget that while "budo" is a compulsory part of the junior high school PE cirriculum, it is generally limited to a couple of weeks of either judo or kendo, in its competitive form. Hardly any room for grounding in 武道精神, except for teaching that "Japanese judo is traditional culture..."

Warning: Do not bend, fold or otherwise abuse... until we get to the dojo..

合気道研心会 Aikido Kenshinkai
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