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  • eric
    started a topic Theories of kendo

    Theories of kendo

    Alright,

    We have recieved acceptance to hold a university credited class in kendo and I am putting together a coursepack of readings and such for the class. I have come across a phenomenal discussion of Hagakure and the Cult of Death that I am going to include. It is by Eiko Ikegami out of the book The Taming of the Samurai on Harvard University Press. The article describes and discusses how Hagakure was written after samurai were no longer working and how this book has influenced Japan's society, positively and negatively. My question for discussion is how you view this book in part as a comment on Japan and kendo. I know this thread has been arounnd before but I am more interested in the conceptions behind it. If you have any suggestions for further readings of this type please let me know. The coursepack is complete but I am always looking for interesting reads. Thanks for the time. Cheers!

  • Charlie
    replied
    By the way, found some articles in English at Tokitsu.com! None on kendo, though. *frown*

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  • Usagi San
    replied
    Originally posted by Charlie
    Man, I would love to read this, but I don't speak a bit of French. Would you happen to know if he has been translated into English?
    The book "Ki and the way to the martial arts" you can find it in amazon, the articles I think, (everything in the site points that way) they we'll be available in english soon. But the book man, the book is amazing.

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  • Hisham
    replied
    Originally posted by Charlie
    Man, I would love to read this, but I don't speak a bit of French. Would you happen to know if he has been translated into English?
    Check this out:http://www.indology.net/cgi-bin/amaz...tsu&mode=books

    Leave a comment:


  • eric
    replied
    thanks

    Thanks for the link to the book. Also, the concept that was mentioned about Hagakure is extremely relevant in a class discussion because everyone has different interpretations. I was very interested in the slighty different topic of the reaction to it ect... Thanks for the great discussion. I am always interested to read as much as possible. Thanks again to everyone. Keep it up. Cheers!

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  • Charlie
    replied
    Originally posted by Usagi San
    His name is Kenji Tokitsu and he is 5th or 6th dan in karate. BUT in all his writtings, and he has a lot, he allways pays a great deal of time and attention to kendo, wich he considers THE modern martial art by excelence.
    Man, I would love to read this, but I don't speak a bit of French. Would you happen to know if he has been translated into English?

    Leave a comment:


  • Kaoru
    replied
    Hi Eric-san,

    A good person to ask about this, would be Hyaku-sensei. As for "the Book of Five Rings" he's really the best talk to and ask about it, since he knows so much about Musashi. He'll give a good idea about Hagakure too, I am sure.

    I have read all of Hagakure. This book is full of little lessons about life. When you read each little passage, try to work out what he really is talking about in each one. They aren't just plain tales, though some appear to be. What you could do in the class perhaps, is take some of those passages and discuss them and their meaning in class. No one interpretation a person comes up with will be the exact answer, but each person can learn from another's interpretation of the passage. I think the book was written just as a guide for Samurai in day to day living and proper behavior and meant for a person work out the meaning of the passages that are a bit more esoteric than others, by themselves. A lot can be learned from this book, even today. Oh, and William Scott Wilson's translation is the best published "Hagakure" book out there right now. If you ask on e-budo, that's what you'll get told.

    Good luck!

    Kaoru

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  • mark
    replied
    Usagi San, thanks for the link. It really looks interesting. I look froward to searching for his writtings.
    Take care,
    mark

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  • Hisham
    replied
    Usagi san has done well to mention Mr Kenji Tokitsu,his thoughts in on many aspects of budo are very interesting and enlightening , i used to read his articles in a french mag called "Karate Bushido".Anyway as Usagi san suggested in his post ,i highly recommend taking a look at Mr Tokitsu s writings.

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  • Usagi San
    replied
    Altough you said your list is complete you also mentioned that you like to read new things, right? I don't know if you ever read this one, but I find it amazing. It's called "Ki and the way to the martial arts". It was written by a japanese sociologist (???) who lived in france for some twenty five years or more.

    His name is Kenji Tokitsu and he is 5th or 6th dan in karate. BUT in all his writtings, and he has a lot, he allways pays a great deal of time and attention to kendo, wich he considers THE modern martial art by excelence.

    One of the most interesting things about Mr. Tokitsu is that he writes in french, eliminating like that the big barrier of the japanese/english translation, that sometimes (most of the times) can be found in conceptual writtings about budo.

    If your french is ok you can read parts of his books and articles about kendo in http://www.tokitsu.com/fr/decouvrir/articles/kendo/

    Hope you like it, the book, I mean.

    Leave a comment:


  • eric
    replied
    black ships

    I feel that this article leads to a discussion on multiple things. One being the distinction between "sport" kendo and anything else. It also allows for the discussion on the differences of kendo around the world and the questions of relevance on Olympic participation. This article is extremely relevant due to the time it was written in and the topics that are discussed. Kendo World, the magazine and website, continues to amaze me at the amount of intelligent highly respected authors that they are able to have contribute. Cheers!

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  • shotoblogger
    replied
    Thanks for posting that class list. How does the Black Ships of Kendo article fit in?

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  • eric
    replied
    sorry

    The class is going to be at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI starting in January 05.

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  • eric
    replied
    contents

    I would be happy too. The course pack is a mix of practical and philosophical readings.

    1. Japanese Sword Arts FAQ by Neil Gendzwill

    2. Beginning Reigi- sheet on basic rules of the dojo compiled by me

    3. Selecting and preparing Shinai- Again compiled sheet on shinai

    4. Rogers, John M. Arts of War in Times of Peace, Swordsmanship in Honcho Bugei Shoden, Chapter 5. Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 45, No 4(winter, 1990) 413-447

    5. Kendo Terms and Translations- Compiled terms

    6. Bennet, Alexander. Korea-The Black ships of Kendo.. Article that appeared on this site, if the author and Kendo World will allow permissions.

    7. Ikegami, Eiko. Hagakure: The Cult of Death and Honorific Inidividuality. The Taming of the Samurai. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, 1995. 278-298


    If anyone would like reasonings on choices please let me know, or if you have any comments they are always welcome. Cheers!

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  • shotoblogger
    replied
    Originally posted by eric
    The coursepack is complete but I am always looking for interesting reads.
    A book that was stolen from our university library was an overview of pan-Asian martial arts published in maybe the '70s. In the section on traditional Japanese arts, it included an interview with the headmaster of Katori Shinto-ryu (or whatever that school is, I never remember...) who really poo-pooed Hagakure. In particular, what I remember is his criticism of its comments on death. He said it has given westerners a wrong impression of real bushido, which is much more concerned with service than preparation for death.

    Also interesting (only from an historical perspective) is Yukio Mishima's commentary on Hagakure called "The Way of the Samurai: Yukio Mishima on Hagakure in Modern Life"

    Eric, can you post the contents of your coursepack. I'd be interested to see what it is. Also, what university? Thanks.

    Leave a comment:

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