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Old 08-06-2003, 10:31 AM   #10
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Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
The misconception of "budo"?

I was going to start a new thread on this, but I see someone already started.

I'm neither a linguist nor an anthropologist nor a historian, but I really need to ask the following question, what does "budou" (") really mean? I look up the dictionary by Taishukan and, as usual, it translates to "martial (military) arts". Some disagree and say it should translate to "martial way" because of the "dou" (") part which translates to "the way", but that is not the point that I want to discuss here.

What does the word "martial" actually mean? I look it up again in a dictionary (Merriam-Webster) and it does mean anything that has to do with the military. I look up the word military, and it actually points to the Japanese word "gun" (R). So I look up for the word martial, and it points to the Japanese word "kaigen" (), but even this word actually means "be on guard".

So does "budou", or it's earlier counterpart "bujutsu" (p), translates to the art of war? Well the word for war is actually "tatakai" (), sounds like the word for fighting (") but different kanji. The word "jutsu" (p) on the other hand does translate to art or technique. I couldn't see "budo" translated as the "art of war" or the "way of war".

Does "budou" translates to the art (way) of self-defense? The word for self-defense in Japanese is actually "ji-ei" (q). Perhaps this is actually the closest one I could think of that closely resembles my perception of "budo".

The kanji "bu" () consists of two parts:
1. The top part, according to the dictionary, is actually either "hoko" () that translates to halberd or "igurumi" (T) that translates to arrow with weighted cord. Basically, it means weapon (arms).
2. The bottom part is "tome" (~) which could translate to stop.
Let's split them up, top to bottom, they'll read "hoko-dome" (~). Putting it this way, the word could mean "stop arms" or "to stop arms". Could "bu" be translated this way?

In conclusion, "budou", in my opinion, translates to "the martial way" only because it's use during war times. It has become a jargon that identifies itself to "martial arts" or "the art of self-defense". Therefore "budou", from my point of view, translates to "the way of stopping arms" which could then be taken as "the way of non-aggression" or "the way of peace".

What do you think?

Last edited by Thalib : 08-06-2003 at 10:46 AM.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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