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Old 11-01-2012, 11:01 PM   #7
Josh Lerner
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Location: Renton, WA
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 80
Re: When did the word "Aiki" first appear?

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Being a non-Japanese speaking person, I really wouldn't know where to start looking for this, but I'm very curious. When did the word "Aiki" first appear in usage in the Japanese language, and in what context?

I have seen people write that "Aiki no jutsu" appears as early as teh 12th century. I have also heard that Takeda Sokaku basically came up with the word to describe what he was doing. Are there any old records that show early usage of the word? Has it only been used to relate to martial arts?

I was speaking with a friend of mine who has a degree Chinese literature. He told me that as far as he knows, the combination of and are not common in old Chinese literature, and thinks it must be the advent of the Japanese.

Anyways, I'm interested in some scholarly answers, we have all "heard this" and "heard that" but how early can the combination of those Kana be found, in what contexts and what source's can be sited? Thanks!
Hi Chris,

I've posted this here before, and it has nothing to do with martial arts, but the earliest known useage of the compound "aiki" in Chinese that I am aware of is in early Daoist texts that use the term to refer to parts of religious rituals that involve sexual intercourse. I'm not sure on dates, but I think the term shows up in the Mawangdui texts from the 2nd century BC, or at the latest in some later Han dynasty texts from the 1st or 2nd century AD. The meaning being "to join the qi".

Many Daoist medical practices, including some sexual practices, were transmitted to Japan via a 10th century text known as the Ishinpō. I'm not sure if that exact term is in that text, though.

For What It's Worth.

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