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Old 08-07-2003, 06:35 PM   #21
Thalib's Avatar
Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
(after reading Goldsbury-han's post)

Peter Goldsbury wrote:
(i) What was the original meaning of the word in Japanese? Presumably it was the same as the Chinese meaning (the measurement of a man's footstep). There are many Japanese kun readings of the word: 'ato', 'shinogu', 'take' (as in 'takemusu'), being just a few.
(ii) What was the Chinese-derived meaning of the word? Again, the Chinese reading is wu and this was taken over as BU or MU. The meaning must have evolved, as with any other word in a living language.
(iii) What is the meaning in present-day Japanese? Here the 'peaceful' meaning, described above, might be quite plausible as a recent possibility, since the Tokugawa period ushered in an end to the wars that had plagued Japan for many centuries earlier. The samurai, or bushi (m: the first character is the same) had little to do but administer estates, write letters and practise the martial arts. The only problem is that it does not appear in the dictionary and it would be a linguistic mistake to isolate this later hypothetical meaning as the "real" meaning of the word.
I see, according to his observation that the the "bu" kanji has evolved from "advancing with halberd" to "stopping the halberd". I believe it's the same way how the country has evolved from war-time to peace-time.

The answer is not black nor white, not right or wrong. It's just how one perceives it.

Last edited by Thalib : 08-07-2003 at 06:44 PM.

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