Dear follower of the Kumablog,
I take this opportunity to wish you all, all the best for the Holiday season. Whether you are a believer or not, this moment of the year is unique for a majority of humans. In Japan, it is a big thing, even though they are not following the same religious beliefs.
I don’t know for you, but in 2018, the year of the earth dog, has seen quite a lot of changes, some good, and others not too much. But that is what life is about.
On the Budō side, the year of the earth dog was about Mutō Dori and control, we learned a lot. This is ending soon and a new year of study with the earth pig is beginning in a few weeks. I see it as a lucky sign for me, as I am an earth pig myself. I wish the best for you and your family. (1)
It was Christmas yesterday. I thought I could share a few ideas around the word “Christmas” seen from a Japanese perspective. It might also help you pave your Budō path for next year.
Depending on the kanji, “kurisumasu” means “Reveal the true self.” And “Dive deeper in emptiness.”
How does the sound “Christmas” which is “クリスマス,” “Kurisumasu” in Japanese, can have those two meanings? Easy!
For a Japanese “Kurisumasu” is also “Kuri + Sumasu.” (2) (3)
We can translate into “Listen to your nuts!” Which I understand as “meet your inner self.” So a new year resolution for 2019 could be “Be more open and don’t only rely on the shell you have built all these years.”
When you read it as “Kū + risu + masu.” It becomes “the growing fracture of emptiness.” (4) (5) (6)
Since we are in Mutō Dori we study the concept of “Zero,” and we keep progressing towards the centre of the centre. It reminds us of the Gyokko Ryū concept of “Kūki no Naka ni no Kūkan.” Or to “find the emptiness in the middle of the empty space.” (7)
In his book (8) (9) Sensei writes that the Gyokko Ryū is the origin of Japanese Budō. It makes sense. So prepare yourself and make 2019, a year of profound transformation and introspection.
In 2019, listen to your nuts! And come back to the training after your holiday break.
Happy Holiday to all!
- 栗, kuri: Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata)
- 澄ます, to clear; to make clear, to be unruffled. To look unconcerned; to feign indifference; to look demure; to look prim; to put on air; to strain (one’s ears). To listen carefully
- 空, kū: shunyata; emptiness. The lack of an immutable intrinsic nature within any phenomenon. (the) Void
- リス, risu: fracture
- 増す, masu: to increase; to grow
- 空気の中に空間, Kūki no Naka ni no Kūkan: find the emptiness in the middle of the empty space.
- Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai, Hatsumi Masaaki, Kodansha edition