Budo World

The 1st BAMIS International Forum—Budō SymposiumInvestigating the possibilities of body and bind integrated science in budō~Learning from Kanō Jigoro‘s achievements to consider the present~

III. The Body and Mind Problem Seen in Kanō’s Jūdō

Sōgawa Tsuneo (Waseda University)

Kanō Jigoro’s style of jūdō and his views on the body and mind were best summed up in his 1889 lecture titled “The General and Educational Benefits of Jūdō”. In this lecture, he speaks of jūdō as whole as it is constructed of “jūdō taiikuhō (physical education method)” “judō shushinhō (spiritual growth method)” and “dō shōbuhō (competition method)”. Judō shobu-hō refers to the jūjutsu of the Edo period – arresting and killing techniques used in times of war and peace. Judō taiiku-hō refers to the jūjutsu made safe to contribute towards physiological body strengthening, the purpose of physical education (the jūdō we know today is judō taiiku-hō that has been turned into a competitive sport). Jūdō shushin-hō aims to include intellectual development and moral education through the practice of jūdō.

Kanō also mentioned in his lecture that jūdō uses traditional jūjutsu as its foundation, and has been modified to suit modern society. However, the important point here is that this modernising and modifications was achieved in the context of education. The terms, “taiiku (physical education)”, “chiiku (intellectual education)” and “tokuiku (moral education)” used by Kanō are the three educational principles of compulsory education in Japan first introduced by David Murray, an American employed by the Ministry of Education during the Meiji period.

An inquiry by the Ministry of Education regarding whether or not to adopt jūjutsu and kenjutsuas an educational subject prompted Kanō to conceptualise jūdō using these three educational principles. With an increase in enthusiasm to introduce bujutsu into the nation’s schools, the Ministry of Education commissioned the Taisō Denshūjo (National Gymnastics Institute) to investigate whether or not the idea was viable in 1883. A report was presented the following year with Ministry’s conclusions, stating five “beneficial” and nine “harmful or inconvenient” findings. Ultimately, it was decided that bujutsu was not a suitable subject to teach in schools. As such, Kanō’s decided to design jūdō in a way to counter the nine “harmful or inconvenient” problem areas identified by the Ministry of Education.

Kanō’s jūdō was created with the aim of transforming jūjutsu into a valid form of education (although the jūdōshōbu-hō was obviously not for schools, it was included to retain jūdō’s practicality and bujutsu aspects). The theory behind this was body-mind dualism, where the body (Kanō’s understanding of the body being based on physiological concepts) dealt with by judō taiiku-hō, and judō shushin-hō dealing with the mind. Furthermore, the mind was split up into “chiryoku (intellectual strength)” consisting of Kanō’s concepts of “kansatsu (observation)”, “kioku (memory)”, “shiken (trial)”, “sōzō (imagination)”, “gengo (language)”, “tairyō (abundance)”, and “tokusei (morality)” including “aikoku (patriotism)”.

Kanō’s new jūdō adopted the three educational principles such as the body-mind theory introduced from the West, which in turn helped modernise and internationalise jūdō for Westerners. Although this guaranteed global expansion, it also resulted in the discarding of the “kokoro” – regarded the most important thing in jūjutsu. This is clear by understanding the Kitō-ryū’s teaching “hontai” (basic posture) of which Kanō possessed full proficiency. Hontai in the Kitō-ryū is the same as “fudōchi” (immovable wisdom) taught by the Zen priest Takuan, and refers to a mind which is not bound by anything – the ultimate goal in the training of the Kitō-ryū. Learning and improvement of techniques could be measured by the level of attainment of hontai, and as such a special “uketachi no nokoru” training method was created. Kanō talks of hontai as an important concept of the Kitō-ryū for an instant in his lecture, yet uses the word in a sense of a “stable body posture” in a physical sense, rather than in terms of Zen shinpō (spiritual theory). Shinpō, like “fudochi”, is still inherited by kenjutsu and other bujutsu, but has been shut out of Kanō’s system of jūdō.