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~

VI. Debate

Ōboki: The problem with body-mind integration is an important but difficult one. However, I believe we have been able to further improve our understanding of many different issues, and also identify and clarify new areas for consideration. As Mr. Sōgawa pointed out, Kanō was able to put the difficult problems of the mind regarding bujutsu to the side for the meantime, and open up a path for jūdō to flourish. Yamaoka Tesshūon the other hand tackled these difficult issues head-on but did not get carried in the tides of the time.

Kendō was prohibited by order of GHQ after the war. However, by demonstrating its disposition as a sport and agreeing to come under democratic management, it was able to return in 1952. However, with a sense of trepidation that this might lead kendō down the wrong track, the “Concept of Kendo” was established by the AJKF in 1975. I believe this was meant for us to think back and consider Tesshūs way of thinking towards kendō. His way of thinking focused on the state of the mind in a life or death situation when holding a sword against an opponent, and there is no relationship seen between Tesshūs and Kanō‘s focus on the mind. As Mr. Sōgawa pointed out, it feels as though a new problem has arisen on how we should think of the qualities of Kanō which, overlooked such concepts as fudōchi, and the qualities of Tesshū which did not.

One more important aspect of budō is that it cannot be grasped by words alone. A large part of it can only be comprehended upon the actual implementation of waza. On this premise, how should we consider the idea of Japanese “chikara” (power or strength) which differs to the western notions of “power”, as pointed out by Mr. Maebayashi? In other words, our focus now turns to how we should think about the Japanese structure of the three qualities; mind, technique, and physical strength (shin-gi-tai).

Murata: In Mr. Maebayashi’s presentation, it was mentioned that there was a systemization of ‘polishing the mind and techniques’. I would like this to be explained a bit further.

Maebayashi: In the Edo period, budō became more than just a means of killing, with a new focus on the quality of the victory of defeat. This pursuit of quality was within the state of satori (enlightenment), meaning the demand for a wider, deeper mind by subduing the ego. During this process, it was critical that one had a master who could instruct ideas such as, “your win was not a real win”, and “even though it was a loss, it was a good one.” Dōgen also encouraged the search for such a master. The systemisation of perfecting the mind and techniques were built into this master-disciple relationship.

Murata: In Mr. Sōgawa’s presentation, it was mentioned that Kanō excluded such notions as shinpō as fudōchi. So then, what concepts of the mind did he focus on instead?

Sōgawa: Techniques started to be thought of as an issue of the mind around the time of Zeami’s Fūshikaden, which is said to be the oldest such treatise in Japan. However, with regards to budō it was around the Edo period. One thing we need to consider here is the commonly mentioned transition from “jutsu (the techniques)” to “dō (Way)”. A methodical relationship already exists within the use of the expression “from techniques to the Way” as there is a premise that “the Way” is placed on a higher standing than “techniques”. In terms of education, we tend to think that there is a need to raise the position of “technique” to the level of the “Way” to develop the human character. What we really need to think about is when, in what situation, and with what line of thought did this common idea come about? Until now, very few researchers have taken this viewpoint. It is said that the martial artists of the Edo period, borrowing the words of Zen, combined techniques with a focus on the mind, creating a single entity. However, unless we get down to the point of what established the beginning conditions of this historical occurrence, it is likely that body-mind theory would be difficult to debate.

To answer Mr. Murata’s question on the concept of the mind that Kanō focused on instead of concepts such as fudōchi, firstly the focus on the mind in the Edo period can be split into two parts. One is the mind which deals with ethical issues to do with Confucian ideals of human relationships, and the other is the issue of shinpō or spiritual ideals from Zen and Buddhism. These two have completely different qualities. Through participation in budō nowadays, one is expected to become well-mannered, and honour his father etc. These are moralistic notions extending from Confucian thought that concern human relationships in society. However, in the bujutsu of the Edo period, although this was one consideration, it was also necessary to train the mind in how to best to cut and kill an opponent. This required not Confucianism, but rather a Zen approach to train the mind and spirit (shinpō) – and concepts such as hontai and fudōchi are related to this. As Kanō was a man who had a great desire to improve and better his society, he placed the most importance on Confucian thought for issues of the mind in judo, just as was the focus of bushidō in the Edo period. I think it was by selecting this moralistic stance that he was able to be accepted by mainstream Japanese society.

Murata: In Mr. Nagaki‘s presentation, it was mentioned that Kanō changed the wording “jū yoku gō wo seisu (soft overcomes hard)”, a principle of yawara in the technical theory of bujutsu, into “seiryoku zenyō”. Could you elaborate on whether he just changed the wording, or whether he generalised the principle?

Nagaki: “Jū yoku gō wo seisu” means to defeat the opponent by utilising their power; however, there is a limit to this. When one initiates an attack, he or she is not using the opponent’s power, but actively releasing their own power. Therefore, if it is expressed as “seiryoku-zenyō”, the meaning corresponds perfectly. In other words, it was an effort to spread the idea, and make it easier for people overseas to understand. Furthermore, by adding a moral factor into “zen (goodness)”, Kanō raised technical theory to a higher level, which could be considered as a way of life. This characterises his ideology.

Murata: Regarding Mr. Nagao’s presentation, how should we think about the relationship between physically intense training and the silent meditation training of Kendo practiced by Yamaoka Tesshū.

Nagao: I think Tesshū did not consider them as separate in the sense that this area will be trained by sword, and this area by meditation. For example, the benefits of his harsh training method, the “three-day tachikiri pledge”, which Tesshū made Kagawa Zenjirō undergo, and the benefits of thorough training through meditation by sitting down with one’s life on the line, being asked Zen questions by a priest, and at times being struck with a stick, may be considered to be the same. The difference is simply the process; in terms of a method to awaken something inside the body, I think both the physical sword training and the silent meditation training were considered the same by Tesshū.

Nakiri: I am learning a lot here, however people who are not related to budō or researchers in a field such as the natural sciences would find some parts of this discussion hard to swallow. For example, it seems as though there is a slight difference in the shinpō theory of Mr. Sōgawa and Mr. Nagaki. Also, although the word shinpō is used, the meaning of it extends from being ‘the way the mind should be’ to an idea of morality, and I think needs to be clearly explained once again so it can be more generally understood. Further, I think there is a need to explain why the mind required for victory leads to an ethical mind.

Sōgawa: The word shinpō is a Buddhist term, and not all the issues on the mind are to do with shinpō. In terms of Confucianism, it also deals with the issues of the mind, but the fundamental position of Confucianism and Buddhism differs. For Confucianism, this idea is on the premise of the human society in which we live, whereas in Buddhism, it is more of a focus on the emancipation of the spirit/soul from human relationships. As a result of these differences, Buddhism and Confucianism have not mixed well from the times of ancient China. It is understood that the word shinpō is used in the world of Buddhism to express the state in which the mind should be. I also use the word shinpō in this sense. Shinpō in the Buddhist sense cannot be seen in Kanō’s systematic jūdō theory. My interpretation is that he closed it away.

Nagaki: In my opinion it is not necessarily true that Kanō shut out and discarded the mind aspects of budō. In later years, Kanō established a research society on ancient bujutsu inside the Kodokan, and began studying old ideal again. What can be said from this is that it was not a case of Kanō forgetting or ignoring the ‘mind’ of bujutsu of the early-modern era. My interpretation of Mr. Sōgawa’s opinion is that there was a limit to the advancement in this direction as a modern framework was fitted to it. In this sense, our opinions match. Although it is a fact that Kanō kept away from this for a while, my view is that he did not forget his thoughts on traditional bujutsu.

Nakiri: I would now like to raise a question. The word budō is used around the world, but this word is not in the dictionary. When we translate the word budō, we would translate it as martial arts. Also, relating to budō, there is a society named International Martial Arts and Combat Sports Scientific Society in Poland, but in this case, “martial arts” and “combat sports” are considered separately. So, is the concept of martial arts thought of by Japanese people, and the one thought by Europeans, really the same? There is a need to have a debate about these kinds of questions. If budō’s independence and originality is to be recognised, there is a need to ask these kinds of questions – using mind and body integration as the keywords.

Tōdō: In budō, discipline of the mind has two meanings: as a way to develop one’s humanity, and to learn how to control the mind in a battle situation. In either case, I feel the characteristic of Japanese budō can be found in the notion of training the mind (kokoro) through use of the body.

Sanada: When Kanō’s lecture “General and Educational Benefits of Jūdō” was given in 1889, he was in the middle of reforming Gakushūin University as the deputy principle. With consideration to this, I feel as though his focus was on the way reality could be changed through a connection with society. Also, “seiryoku-zenyō” and “jita-kyōei” can be taken as Kanō’s “shinpō”.

Soya: While debating on the relationship between the spiritual discipline of budō and the (physical) training of modern sports, I think it would be useful to try and use this to approach the various mental problems found in modern society such as depression caused by stress.