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Old 06-16-2005, 09:41 AM   #51
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Osu!

As posted earlier, it tends to be used as a 'contraction' in normal use outside of the dojo environment. Within the university judo clubs (specifically wihere Gozo Shioda went to school) its used as a kind of macho greating. Within Yoshinkan aikido, the link to the article that Robert Mustard Sensei wrote is the best context for its use.

I try not to use it outside of the dojo context...someone Japanese would probably find it quite rude unless you know them well...and maybe even then.

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 06-16-2005, 11:51 PM   #52
Ryan Bigelow
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Re: Osu!

As far as I can tell, the Kanji listed earlier (osu/shinobu) is ateji, characters that reflect the pronunciation of the word, but bear no reflection to its meaning or origins. An example would be the kanji for coffee, which can still be seen on some (older) coffee shops. The ateji for osu(and this statement I'm basing on the opinions of the Japanese guys who work with me) is mostly seen in Manga, where that type of melodramatic "manly" wording is appreciated. Specifically, and I cant remember the name (or I should say, the guys around here couldn't remember the name) that ateji was used in a Karate manga that used to be quite popular.
Osu isn't listed in the Electronic Kojien (a widely used Japanese dictionary). I found it on an Internet dictionary with the definition "a casual greeting between friendly males"
Cheers
Ryan.
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Old 06-17-2005, 02:44 AM   #53
siwilson
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Re: Osu!

It does not matter what the average Japanese uses "osu" for. The Yoshinkan, some Judo, Katate and other sports clubs say "OSU" in the context Mustard Sensei quoted. A word with a hell of a lot of respect in it.

Si

Osu!
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Old 06-17-2005, 03:04 AM   #54
maikerus
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Re: Osu!

Well said Si...I was trying to figure out how to get that point across and you did it most eloquently.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:10 AM   #55
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Osu!

I owe the board an apology...I have given wrong information on the book where I saw the word osu defined. It was NOT Dave Lowry's book, it was a book by Rui Umezawa, called 'Empty Hand', published by WeatherHill in 1998. It is a book about japanese phrases associated with Karate and the martial arts. When it refers to osu it uses the characters for blade and heart, and gives the meanings:

a pledge to endure
to push
to control
to suppress

Right element = hand
left element = to push

I know squat all about kanji, and a former instructor has the book...so I got the info over the phone. Here is a link to the book.

http://www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/di...=9780834804180

My apologies for the mis-information!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-21-2005, 01:25 AM   #56
Ryan Bigelow
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Re: Osu!

QUOTE=Ryan Bigelow] The ateji for osu(and this statement I'm basing on the opinions of the Japanese guys who work with me) is mostly seen in Manga, where that type of melodramatic "manly" wording is appreciated.

Where I put "wording" in the above post I should have written "kanji". I was trying to get across why those particular characters were chosen as ateji . I didn't mean to imply that "Osu" isn't a great word or that it isn't appreciated outside of manga, just that dramatic ateji are VERY popular in manga.

The statement that it doesn't matter what the average Japanese person thinks about "osu" struck me as odd. Maybe the poster meant in reference to this particular thread, though that would still be inaccurate. If "osu" has a deep connotation of respect in your dojo, thats excellent and probably reflects a underlying sense of respect throughout the dojo which is even better. But that in no way does that imply that every other meaning is for the word is wrong. I would think that if your truly interested in knowing what the word means then you would start with trying to find out what the word means in 95 percent of the cases. Not what it means in a singular specialized locale. Just my two cents
Ryan
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Old 06-22-2005, 04:52 PM   #57
siwilson
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Re: Osu!

Quote:
Ryan Bigelow wrote:
Where I put "wording" in the above post I should have written "kanji". I was trying to get across why those particular characters were chosen as ateji . I didn't mean to imply that "Osu" isn't a great word or that it isn't appreciated outside of manga, just that dramatic ateji are VERY popular in manga.

The statement that it doesn't matter what the average Japanese person thinks about "osu" struck me as odd. Maybe the poster meant in reference to this particular thread, though that would still be inaccurate. If "osu" has a deep connotation of respect in your dojo, thats excellent and probably reflects a underlying sense of respect throughout the dojo which is even better. But that in no way does that imply that every other meaning is for the word is wrong. I would think that if your truly interested in knowing what the word means then you would start with trying to find out what the word means in 95 percent of the cases. Not what it means in a singular specialized locale. Just my two cents
Ryan
Just like in English, Japanese has words that sound the same but have different meanings.

Fair and Fare for example.

Ai and Ai ... Love/Together/Mutually/Fellow/Joint/Associate/Accomplice/Indigo!

The "OSU!" in the dojo has nothing in common with the "osu" in the street. So 95% of use can mean something else, but if it is out of context for all of us speaking in the other 5%..........

In reality it is the difference between Apples and Broccoli!

Osu!
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Old 06-23-2005, 03:54 PM   #58
JohnSeavitt
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Re: Osu!

One of the good things about the internet is archives. This subject has been done to death over on iaido-l over the years; one comment on it is at <http://listserv.uoguelph.ca/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9912&L=iaido-l&P=R2251&D=0&F=P&H=0&I=-3&O=T&T=0>.

I'd certainly agree that one does as the dojo does - if you like being there; still, I do get worried when folks start making stuff up whole cloth. Having spent plenty of time in Yoshinkan dojos (back when Kushida-sensei was Yoshinkan), I don't argue that there's <some> value. However, making too much out of it (and making up definitions) seems unnecessary.

John
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Old 06-24-2005, 10:34 AM   #59
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Osu!

Agreed...making stuff up seems silly. What was Kushida Sensei's take on the meaning? Who do you think is making things up?

Best,
Ron (disclaimer; my instructor was uchideshi with Kushida Sensei for some time, so I am not unfamiliar with the school)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:29 AM   #60
siwilson
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Re: Osu!

John,

Who is making stuff up?

Osu!
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:47 PM   #61
JohnSeavitt
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Re: Osu!

Ron -

Sorry for the delay -- it took some digging. From the urggh 1987 AYANA student handbook glossary:

"Osu: Hello!, Goodbye!, Have a nice day!, Thank you! You're welcome!, etc. A strong, positive budo salutation."

The only other mentions in the book are: "Upon entering the dojo, when you see the instructor, greet him or her by bowing and saying "Osu.!"" and an admonition to use only a silent bow during testing (no "Osu").

Kushida-sensei, at the time, was <quite> keen to have us "Osu" with enthusiasm upon the entrance and exit of instructors, and upon correction in class (or wherever that sort of thing seemed appropriate). Louder was obviously better.

John
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:05 PM   #62
maikerus
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Re: Osu!

Quote:
John Seavitt wrote:
"Osu: Hello!, Goodbye!, Have a nice day!, Thank you! You're welcome!, etc. A strong, positive budo salutation."

The only other mentions in the book are: "Upon entering the dojo, when you see the instructor, greet him or her by bowing and saying "Osu.!"" and an admonition to use only a silent bow during testing (no "Osu").

Kushida-sensei, at the time, was <quite> keen to have us "Osu" with enthusiasm upon the entrance and exit of instructors, and upon correction in class (or wherever that sort of thing seemed appropriate). Louder was obviously better.
The feeling and time of usage is still the same at Yoshinkan hombu and (hopefully ) at most Yoshinkan dojos. I think the definitions above are basically to show when it can be used...not necessarily a direct translation.

The added benefit of learning the kanji comes from living in Japan...one of my senior Japanese students takes it upon himself to show new Japanese students the correct kanji when they join the dojo, since it is not in common use in Japan.

FWIW,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:10 PM   #63
JohnSeavitt
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Re: Osu!

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
The feeling and time of usage is still the same at Yoshinkan hombu and (hopefully ) at most Yoshinkan dojos.
I left Michigan for graduate school just before Kushida-sensei transitioned to his current organization. I remember training a few times with Shioda-sensei during visits, and the lot of us being admonished to remember to "Osu!" with lots of energy.

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
I think the definitions above are basically to show when it can be used...not necessarily a direct translation.
Absolutely. It's my impression that while the etymology isn't entirely certain, there's no reason to believe that rendering 'osu' with the osu/nin characters is correct (with the contraction theory fairly popular though admittedly not certain). Further, I think (particularly for Westerns using it as a second language) a lot of the colloquialisms and more philosphical concepts are most usefully thought about in their usage, as opposed to their literal meaning, neh? (just an observation, not being argumentative). Anyway, I cite the old handbook since I've seen the push/endure connection made in some Yoshinakan circles on occasion. Kushida-sensei never explained it that way (in my presence, of course) in conversation (nor in the book). Obviously, though, I don't imagine it was any sort of definitive language guide or anything.


John "osu!" (hey, I'm out of practice ...)

Last edited by JohnSeavitt : 06-28-2005 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 06-28-2005, 04:53 PM   #64
siwilson
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Re: Osu!

Quote:
John Seavitt wrote:
....there's no reason to believe that rendering 'osu' with the osu/nin characters is correct....
There's no reason to believe that rendering 'osu' with the osu/nin characters is incorrect!

Osu!
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Old 06-28-2005, 05:24 PM   #65
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Osu!

And my own instructor *has* used the connotation to 'push' or 'endure'...and he is also japanese, trained at the hombu, and trained with Kushida Sensei. Not to mention that the sources in this thread that have given those meanings either trained extensively in japan, were japanese themselves, or even both.

I still don't see people making things up...

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-28-2005, 07:22 PM   #66
maikerus
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Re: Osu!

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
And my own instructor *has* used the connotation to 'push' or 'endure'...and he is also japanese, trained at the hombu, and trained with Kushida Sensei. Not to mention that the sources in this thread that have given those meanings either trained extensively in japan, were japanese themselves, or even both.

I still don't see people making things up...

Best,
Ron
I never knew about the kanji or the meaning until Robert Sensei explained it to me one day between classes. He wrote that article for the IYAF magazine the next day, so maybe I had some small part to do with it

However, since then other Japanese Aikido people who do know know Robert Sensei have shown me the kanji, or shown other students the kanji, so I expect that it didn't start with Robert Sensei making stuff up.

Osu!

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 06-28-2005, 08:59 PM   #67
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Re: Osu!

From a Japanese friend who used to do Yoshinkan in Japan:

1 Osu is Aisatu (Greeting) <konnnichiwa, onegaishimasu, arigatougozaimasu etc.> but it is not a real word. (This is what I think it means in 99% of cases).

2 Also, Osu can also mean <Osarerukotonaku taeshinobu>. (From the kanji - this is new to me, and might be the osu you are talking about - meaning, you are right and I am wrong).

(Words in brackets my comments)

Nothing like a good discussion if you learn something. But, I think most Japanese, in any dojo, will understand Osu as (1), not (2). Go ask and see and try to prove me wrong - just don't load the question.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 06-28-2005 at 09:04 PM.

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Old 06-29-2005, 08:34 AM   #68
Tom54
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Re: Osu!

As it is indicated in the post before, Osu is a word that was used inside the Takushoku university martial arts club and it is originally a shortened form for "Ohayogozaimasu", I think.

It is a almost a custom that many schools, universities have their own greetings, many of them are informal shortenings , and many are just words that are sometime weird today.

Students of a famous girl highschool in Tokio use the word "Gokigenyo" as greetings, what is extremley strange and old fashioned in todays Japan, well but it seems that it is part of their identity.

In my university dorm, the word "chioos" was used as greetings, the original word was "Konnichiwa desu"(this word itself is incorrect as Japanese, but it is "tradition").
A german student once asked me whether this greeting came from the german "Tschuess" which is also used as a greeting among friends somewhat like just saying "by" in english or "salut" in french instead of the formal "au revoir".

The word "Osu" gained social acceptance with the rise of full contact karate(Kyokushinkai karate) in Japan, the founder of this style Ooyama masutatsu was a graduate from the Takushoku university.

As all fullcontact karate schools are derivations of Kyokushinkaikarate(there are few exeptions), the word Osu aquired wide acceptancy inside the martial arts world in Japan.But non contact or light contact karate schoos(sometimes called the "traditionalists") deteste the word Osu(except the students of Takushoku university).

the "Kanji" meanings of "Osu" , "oshite taeshinobu(to push ourselves to endure any hardship, in training or in our daily lives) is clearly an Ateji and has no authentic meanign in Japanese.

But as Kyokushinkai karate and Ooyama masutatsu aquired nationwide fame in japan during the 70ties, this two kanji (and their meanings) gained also some "authenticy" inside the martial art world.Part of the reason is that this word became widespread because of the manga "Karate baka ichidai", a legendary manga story about "Mas Ooyama".

In the aikido world, Yoshinkan and their derivations use the word Osu simply because Shioda sensei was a graduate from the Takushoku university.Well, of course you could change that but it's just "tradition".

Osu!!
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Old 06-29-2005, 08:38 AM   #69
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Osu!

I agree with one and two...one is the generic use of the word in most of japanese society. That doesn't negate it's use in martial art in general or in the yoshinkan in particular. Really, this is getting rather silly...Michael is in Japan right now, trained at the hombu, knows Mustard Sensei and the chief instructors, I've posted a reference from a japanese national separate from the yoshinkan....how much evidence do you want?

Ron (shrug)

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Old 06-29-2005, 08:39 AM   #70
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Osu!

Oh, and Osu! Yawata san, good to see you here again.

Ron

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Old 06-29-2005, 08:44 AM   #71
Tom54
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Re: Osu!

Hello Tisdale san!

Good to see you!
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Old 06-29-2005, 10:09 AM   #72
siwilson
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Re: Osu!

Context, context, context!!!!!!

The word can sound the same, but it is the meaning given to that word that is important.

Remember all the meanings for "Ai", and I forgot "harmony".

Osu is to push ourselves to endure any hardship to Yoshinkandoka, but you are, so why do you argue? You are of course free to follow different meaning if you want, but that is the Yoshinkan definition.

AFAIK - English Yoshinkan Bloke!

Osu!
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:55 PM   #73
JohnSeavitt
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Re: Osu!

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
That doesn't negate it's use in martial art in general or in the yoshinkan in particular. Really, this is getting rather silly ...
Ron (shrug)
Heh ... agreed. No worries here; Friday's always been clear on this, though I might have better said it was my impression that it was a newer colloquialism, as opposed to the unfortunate 'made up' wording.

John
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:17 PM   #74
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Re: Osu!

All I know is that my sensei (old school japanese guy) doesn't like it at all. He has gone off on several people for using it. I think if I said it to him he would immediately start beating me! He says that the word is very confruntational and he views it as a direct threat. I think it came from his dealings with the yakuza back in Japan. He was always in fights with them and they used this word quite frequently.
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:30 PM   #75
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Osu!

You are correct; outside of the proper context, that word *would* be *very* rude. But that does not negate it's use *in* the proper context.

When I lived in Kenya they had a slang greeting 'vipi' and the response was 'fiti'. It meant 'which way are you' and the response meant 'I am fit'. So one day, I walk into my friends house and see his father. So I say 'vipi' and he looks at me like I'm a nut, then shrugs his shoulders, smiles, and says 'fiti', then walks away shaking his head. My friend almost dropped dead...apparently, this type of slang would NEVER be used by someone my age to someone old enough to be my father. Boy, did I feel stupid...

Best,
Ron

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