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~

VII. Summary

Based upon the panel’s presentations and the debate after that, I would like to recap what has been discussed. What I felt throughout this discussion, on the premise of further examination is to be conducted, is that there is a need to focus on two things. One is to do with the consideration of the period of time, and the other being that the mind in budō consists of two minds with different qualities.

Firstly, when the time period is considered, the time relating to bu (martial arts) can be broadly separated into the medieval age defined by the bow, the early-modern era (Edo period) defined by the sword, and contemporary society that is defined by jūdō. The medieval age which was defined by the bow and arrow will be excluded from our examination for the time being. Of course, there will eventually need to be a debate on this as well; however, I would like to leave it for now. The focus here is the modern age, up until the Meiji Restoration, and the contemporary period after that. In terms of the history of budō we could probably interpret this as the time before and after Kanō. The things required in each of these periods were different. In the modern age, before Kanō, although it was a peaceful era, one of the things required in bu was an integration or unity of body and mind related to the techniques of killing. However the modern period after Kanō, saw Westernisation and modernisation, and in this sense, it was not an epoch that required bu as a form combat.

Regarding the issues of the mind, as Prof. Sōgawa clearly pointed out, there is the ‘mind’ that relates to confronting an enemy, and also a mind of morality on the premise of social interaction and human relationships – both two totally different qualities of the mind that exist in budō. This was already pointed out by Prof. Shinji Nakabayashi over twenty years ago. He called the former mind “artistic” with a spirituality that sought the Way, and the latter as the moralistic and ethical type. Also at this time, as Prof. Sōgawa clearly pointed out, the former mind is from Buddhism (Zen), and the latter stems from Confucianism.

To summarise today’s debate with this in mind; the man in focus during this symposium, Kanō Jigorō, ignored the Zen mind ‘artistic’, ‘truth seeking’ mind cultivated in early-modern budō – although he was well aware of it – and specialised on the ethical mind, creating a new form of jūdō. He led budō as a whole, and it would be fair to say that this action was due to the sudden change in the values of the society caused by the Westernisation and modernisation of Japan after the Meiji Restoration. Because of this, it was accepted by society, and was a superb scheme by Kanō who was quick to seize the opportunity.

However, this is not the only thing the present time needs. Especially, thinking in terms the theme of this project of “building a sturdy mind”, it seems to me that the ‘artistic’, ‘truth seeking’ that was pursued in the early-modern age is also requisite. Therefore, little can be found by focussing all of our efforts on Kanō – a man who by and large ignored this aspect.

We should extend our views to the Zen shinpō theories of budō which came into maturity from the medieval age to the early-modern age, as outlined by Prof. Maebayashi, or perhaps even to the shinpō theory of ‘being hard on the self’ which was pursued by Yamaoka Tesshū and introduced by Prof. Nagao. While rehashing this into modern form in relation to the body, we need to further examine and discuss these issues. If Kanō was here in this present time, he would have done the same.

By making Kanō the entry point of this discussion, we should advance deeper in our search for fundamental issues of body-mind integration of budō. I am certain that this will be a useful contribution to society, just as Kanō aspired to achieve.

With the 150th anniversary of Kanō Jigoro’s birth, we need to “follow Kanō to go beyond Kanō”, or precisely “keiko shōkon (think of the past to shine the present)”. I think this is a mission appointed to us as the generations after Kanō, to extend on his work.