Bushido (the Way of Warrior) is the traditional code of Japanese samurai (ancient warriors). According to Inazo Nitobe (1862 to 1933), the author of The Way of Warrior: the Soul of Japan, Bushido consists of 8 virtues: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control. In modern days, some of the concepts of Bushido have been handed down to the masters of the Japanese swordsmanship including Kendo (the Japanese fencing), which is practiced to improve concentration and to cultivate awareness of the Japanese ancient culture and its traditions.
The purpose of this Bushido Culture program at Budokuden is to learn and appreciate the Bushido history, culture, traditions, customs, manners and etiquette as well as various terminologies and concepts associated with Bushido. The class participants will also learn Japanese zen and zazen concepts through demonstrations, practices, and applications, leading to the mind and body harmonization mastered by the samurai.
Class Schedule: Saturday 9 – 10 AM
Formats: Seminars, lectures, demonstrations
Instructors: Taro Ariga Kendo Kyoshi 7 Dan
- Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe
- Hagakure: The Way of The Samurai by Tsunetomo Yamamoto
- Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto
Bushido Culture Terminologies:
The following is the list of some of the traditional and cultural concepts the program participants are expected to learn.
Fudou-shin (Immovable Mind)
A state of mind which is not moved or distracted by anything; a flexible state of mind able to respond to various changing situations. Fudo-shin is the mind that has met all challenges of life, and has attained a state of complete composure and fearlessness. In Feudal Japan, Fudoshin was manifested in the Samurai’s unquestionable demonstration of courage, and determination to face difficulty, danger, pain, and even death, without fear. As the great Japanese swordsman Tsukahara Bokuden said: “Mental calmness, not skill, is the sign of a matured samurai.”
Koken-Chiai (To know love through crossing swords)
This is one of the most difficult concepts to understand yet the single most important idea for the foundation of the Way of the Sword. It is the desire to achieve mutual understanding and betterment of humanity through sword training.
Ma (Negative Space)
The space of distance between two objects, events or times. An important and distinctive concept focusing awareness on time and space; the term which expresses this concept. For the ancient samurai, Ma refers to the critical distance between opponents, a point at which forces are essentially neutral, but where anything can happen.
Mokuso is mediation performed before the training in the Seiza position. The purpose of Mokuso is to clear one’s mind – which came from the Japanese zen concept of mindlessness. From the Seiza position, one must sit up straight, chin pulled slightly in, mouth and eyes closed, and breathe naturally through the nose.
Reiho (Strict Behavioral Code for Swordsman)
There are numerous behavioral codes of the samurai era which have descended to the present Kendo masters. The samurai practiced Reiho to show their respect to the others and to avoid any conflict. The class participants will understand and practice some of the basic codes. There are hundreds of such codes practiced by the ancient samurai, which even today many of the Kendo masters believe so essential to master the Japanese fencing.
Seiza (Kneeling Position)
Seiza is the traditional Japanese seated position, which is a kneeling position where people sit on the floor directly. During the zen meditation, the class participants will maintain the tradition of seiza.
Shin-ki-ryoku-itai (Unification of mind, spirit and technique)
The Shin (a heart able to predict an opponent’s action through a state of mindless), guides one’s Ki (the dynamic mental state of one’s spirit) which in turn dictates one’s Ryoku (physical actions in the form of technique). When these three elements, Shin, Ki and Ryoku are brought together in a simultaneously harmonized fashion it is called Shin-ki-ryoku-itai. This unity of mind, spirit and technique is a prerequisite to dominating a match and enables an immediate strike.
Shu-ha-ri (Obey, Detach, Leave)
A teaching which explains the levels of training. Shu is the level where one obeys the principles of one’s master and learns them solidly. Ha is the level where one adds one’s own ideas to what one learned in the previous level and develops one’s technique. Ri is the level where one rises above what one learned in the previous two levels, further develops one’s technique and establishes a new personal style.
A weakness of the mind caused by astonishment, fear, doubt or hesitation. Also a weakness in one’s action or posture which results from losing control of the center.
Suki provide an opening for attack by one’s opponent.
Za rei (Bow in Seiza position)
Za rei is performed by the samurai to show one’s respect to others. From the seiza position, have your hands in front of your knees and then slowly and quietly lower your head. Pause a while. Then slowly lift your head up and back to the right-up position. When you place your hands in front of your knees, make a triangle by the index fingers and thumbs of both hands.
Zan-shin (Remaining Mind)
The body posture and state of mind in which even after striking, one is alert and ready to respond instantly to any counterattack by the opponent. Zanshin is the state in which, after striking with full power and without hesitation, one faces the opponent with full spirit and with the ability to respond naturally.
Learn History, Philosophy, Tradition, and Culture of Japanese Samurai.
JOIN OUR PROGRAM ABOUT BUSHIDO (THE WAY OF WARRIOR) CULTURE, TRADITIONS, HISTORY, AND PHILOSOPHY. YOU WILL ALSO LEARN “ZEN” PHILOSOPHY, A JAPANESE FORM OF BUDDHISM, AND EXPERIENCE “ZAZEN”, AN ANCIENT FORM OF MEDITATION.
- BASIC 8 VIRTUES OF BUSHIDO (RECTITUDE, COURAGE, BENEVOLENCE, BENEVOLENCE, POLITENESS, SINCERITY, HONOR, LOYALTY AND SELF-CONTROL)
- HISTORY, TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS OF SAMURAI
- PRINCIPLES OF ZEN AND ZAZEN
- FORMS, TECHNIQUES, APPLICATIONS
- THE MIND AND BODY HARMONY
THESE CLASSES ARE OPEN TO NOT ONLY THE STUDENTS OF MARTIAL ARTS BUT ALSO THOSE WHO DO NOT PHYSICALLY PRACTICE ANY OF THE MARTIAL ARTS.
NOTE THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM IS NOT INTENDED FOR:
- ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES;
- LEARN THE ACTUAL TECHNIQUES OF MARTIAL ARTS;
- PRACTICE THE ACTUAL MARTIAL ARTS FORMS; OR
- TAKE SPECIFIC MARTIAL ARTS EXAMS OR TESTS
INSTEAD OF PHYSICAL EXERCISES, THIS PROGRAM IS GIVEN MAINLY IN THE FORM OF SEMINARS, DEMONSTRATIONS, LECTURES, ETC. THE PROGRAM IS OPEN TO ANY PERSON WHO IS INTERESTED IN LEARNING THE UNDERLYING PHILOSOPHY, HISTORY, CULTURE AND TRADITION OF THE JAPANESE SWORDSMANSHIP.