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Old 01-25-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
Fred L
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meaning of "osu"

I recently started training at a Yoshinkan dojo. They frequently use the term "osu" for al sorts of things like "hello", "thank you", etc. Their explanation to me was that the word is not used in conversational japanese, and that it is similar to the "hooyah!" used by marines. Can any of you guys elaborate?

thanks

Fred
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:23 PM   #2
odudog
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Re: meaning of "osu"

The real meaning of osu is push. But it is also used as slang as hooray as you posted as well as yes, understand, got it, OK, hello, etc... What ever the context of the conversation is, if you say osu, it will mean what ever the answer should be. However, don't say it in an Aikikai dojo for we don't use it. I found that out the hard way at Aikikai Honbu dojo. My previous style used the word and I had thought that all Aikido used it.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:37 PM   #3
Ron Tisdale
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Re: meaning of "osu"

It is considered rather rude outside of most "tough guy" contexts. You'll see it in men's university clubs (judo, some kendo I hear, etc), the Yoshinkan, some karate dojo, places like that. There are some good posts on www.e-budo.com and an old article by Robert Mustard on alt-rec.martial-arts or one of those news groups. I'd have to search for it myself now...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:45 PM   #4
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Ohayo gozaimasu - Generally, "Good morning", but really a kind of generic greeting, particularly in certain industries where it is used at any time of the day.
Ohayossu - Shortened version of above.
Owasu - Shortened version of above.
O(s)su - Shortened version of above. Often used by young men as a greeting to each other and in manly pursuits (budo, sports, etc) as multipurpose sound of acknowledgment. There are a number of variations, like "Ussu!" and "Wiisu!"

Technically, there are no official kanji for it, since it's contracted word. However, 押忍 (characters for "push" and "endurance") are often used unofficially.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:48 PM   #5
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Ohayo gozaimasu - Generally, "Good morning", but really a kind of generic greeting, particularly in certain industries where it is used at any time of the day.
And regions, too. Up here in Miyagi, it seems to be the normal greeting for the first time you see someone in a day.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
xuzen
 
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Yosinkan peepul no very breit, limited vocabulari..... so Osu use make easy everything.

Osu!

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
SteveTrinkle
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Maybe (just for fun) check out some cool Yakuza films! Especially with Beat Takeshi - great stuff!

(Hello Ron, hope all's well)

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Old 01-26-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
Eric Joyce
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Re: meaning of "osu"

From my Yoshinkan days, my teacher told me it meant s strong budo salutation.

Odudog, what do you mean you found out the "hard way" when you used the word Osu in the presence of the Aikikai?

Eric Joyce
Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:14 PM   #9
odudog
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Re: meaning of "osu"

I used it the first time I was at the Aikikai Honbu dojo within a few minutes of being in the building. The guy I used it on just happened to have come out of the office in which Doshu was located in. The guy stopped me and told me politely yet in a stern manner that osu was for Karate, this is Aikido, so no osu. I thought I was doing the right thing but it seems like I just made a fool of myself.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:10 PM   #10
Eric Joyce
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Quote:
Mike Braxton wrote: View Post
I used it the first time I was at the Aikikai Honbu dojo within a few minutes of being in the building. The guy I used it on just happened to have come out of the office in which Doshu was located in. The guy stopped me and told me politely yet in a stern manner that osu was for Karate, this is Aikido, so no osu. I thought I was doing the right thing but it seems like I just made a fool of myself.
Oh I see. Well, you were doing what you thought was the right thing. His state regarding "Osu is for karate" was a bit myopic. But, when in Rome...

Eric Joyce
Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:55 AM   #11
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Ohayo gozaimasu - Generally, "Good morning", but really a kind of generic greeting, particularly in certain industries where it is used at any time of the day.
Ohayossu - Shortened version of above.
Owasu - Shortened version of above.
O(s)su - Shortened version of above. Often used by young men as a greeting to each other and in manly pursuits (budo, sports, etc) as multipurpose sound of acknowledgment. There are a number of variations, like "Ussu!" and "Wiisu!"

Technically, there are no official kanji for it, since it's contracted word. However, 押忍 (characters for "push" and "endurance") are often used unofficially.
Interesting.
I thought it was abbreviated "onegai shimasu".

Oh well, just one more think I got wrong

peace and love

Jo
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:06 PM   #12
akiy
 
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Here's an old thread discussing this topic:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1998

Also, here's a link to 24fightingchickens.com that discusses the term and its use in karate:

http://www.24fightingchickens.com/20...-usage-of-osu/

-- Jun

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:43 PM   #13
Ron Tisdale
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Re: meaning of "osu"

I remember that thread! Just too lazy to look it up...Thanks Jun!

B,
R (Vipi?!?)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:02 PM   #14
Fred L
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Great links.

Osu!

Fred
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:13 AM   #15
Rupert Atkinson
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Quote:
Jo Duncan wrote: View Post
Interesting.
I thought it was abbreviated "onegai shimasu".
Oh well, just one more think I got wrong
Jo
I think you got it right.

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Old 02-01-2008, 05:05 AM   #16
KamiKaze_Evolution
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Osu = ohayo gozaimasu + onegai shimasu
and "be patience with myself and others"

I am Yoshinkan folk too!

KamiKaze
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:26 PM   #17
Rocky Izumi
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Re: meaning of "osu"

I asked my Shihan about this since he doesn't like the term even though he comes from Karate. I have to apologize to some since I had incorrectly put down in another writing somewhere else that it was a short version of some things like Ohio Gozaimasu. That is, at least, what I had learned earlier.

However, after inquiring with my Shihan and my father, I learned that the term and its written form (which gives the real meaning) in Japanese is as in Push. The term was apparently used by a group of people undergoing pioneer training for resettlement of Manchuria by Japanese. These people were, by some accounts, close to fanatical racist fascists, at least they seem to have some connection with those types of people. That is why my parents and my Shihan never liked people using the term, I guess. It brings back the ideals of the fascists according to my father. The term was used to expound the idea that they will push through any problems like Gambatte. So Sensei would say, Gambatte, and the student would say Osu! I was told not to be so impolite when I used Osu so instead, I used Gamabri Masu or just Hai.

Knowing where it comes from, I won't let my students or people attending my seminars use it. I don't need a bunch of fanatical racist fascist type people in my classes. Hai is fine enough for my students and me.

Rock
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:46 PM   #18
Michael Hackett
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Re: meaning of "osu"

I've never heard the term used, and I wouldn't know "osu" from an old shoe, but I am reminded of the way we Californians can use the word "dude". A friend of mine and I had a great time with "dude" in staff meetings and the like - we were both executive level members of a governmental agency and we enjoyed quite a chuckle out of using the word to express almost any emotion. Those around us probably thought we were louts too.

Michael
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:35 AM   #19
Walker
 
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Every time I hear "osu" Salt N Pepa cranks up the beat in my head:

Ah, push it - push it good
Ah, push it - push it real good
Ah, push it - push it good
Ah, push it - p-push it real good

Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby
Oooh, baby, baby
B-baby, baby

-Doug Walker
光道館 高村派新道楊心流
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:49 AM   #20
xuzen
 
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Re: meaning of "osu"

Quote:
Anthony Wong wrote: View Post
Osu = ohayo gozaimasu + onegai shimasu
and "be patience with myself and others"

I am Yoshinkan folk too!
That is also the same explaination I have been told... from another Yoshi-Orge (TM)/

Boon.

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Old 02-04-2008, 05:40 AM   #21
SeiserL
 
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Re: meaning of "osu"

I had heard it used as a greeting between warriors.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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