I LOVE JAPAN ❤ 日本の今を伝えたい! 武道はお好き? Which Martial Arts Do You Like?


Recently Japanese martial arts have regained their popularity. Among them is tate, the theatrical sword fight.  You can see tate combat in the movies and historical TV dramas. Even our school, English Avenue, where English and Japanese are taught as a second language, hosts a tate  exercise class on a regular basis, taught by a professional tate practitioner and his troupe members. Actually, it is quite cool to be a samurai warrior once in a while to protect good people from the bad guys.

近年、武道の人気が再び高まっています。例えば殺陣(たて)、芝居の斬り合いや立ち回りのことです。映画やテレビの時代劇で捕り物の場面の立ち回りをよく見ますよね。イングリッシュ アベニューは英語と日本語の学校ですが、定期的にプロの殺陣師と殺陣集団による「殺陣エクササイズ・クラス」を開催しているくらいの人気ぶりです。時にはサムライになって、弱きを助け強きを挫く正義の味方になってみるのもカッコ良くって楽しいですよ。


Photo by Katanaya-ichi  写真提供:刀屋壱



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Kyudo (Japanese archery) is another martial art popular among all generations. They say that it originated with the samurai class of feudal Japan to protect their lords. Many high schools and colleges in Japan have kyudo clubs as an extracurricular activity. One of our students is a veteran archer, saying that quite a few kyudo practitioners from overseas visit her dojo (the training facility) to see how the authentic kyudo is practiced in Japan and ask lots of difficult questions, such as, “What does drawing a bow with the bone mean?” and, “Explain the idea that the archer and the target are no longer two opposing objects, but are one reality.”  She went on to say that the number of foreign visitors to her dojo has been on the increase, especially since Steve Jobs said his favorite book was Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel (English version translated from German).  

弓道もあらゆる世代に愛されている武道です。封建時代の日本で領主を守るためにサムライが始めたと言われています。今でも多くの高校や大学に弓道クラブがあって、部活として親しまれています。イングリッシュ アベニューの生徒さんの中に長年弓道を学ばれて方がいるのですが、海外から弓道愛好家が道場を訪ねて来て、本物の弓道が日本でどのように実践されているかを見学して難しい質問をたくさんするのだそうです。例えば「骨で弓を引くとはどういうことなのか?」とか「射手と的は二つの相対する物ではなく、1つの実在する物であるというコンセプトについて説明してほしい」等。海外からの訪問者の数はスティーブ・ジョブスがオイゲン・ヘリゲル著「日本の弓術」(ドイツ語を翻訳した英語版)を愛読書をであると言ってからというものずっと増え続けているのだそうです。


Well-maintained Arrows and Their Case Owned by a Veteran Kyudo Practitioner 熟練弓道愛好家のよく手入れされた矢と矢筒


Photo by Kyushu Sangyo University  写真:九州産業大学

The ultimate goals that are common in the Japanese martial arts are to keep your mind calm and yourself under control no matter what happens to you, as well as to reach a spiritual state of “nothingness” called mu (無).



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