My Japanese blog was translated.*
Translation is Mr. Masami TakaoYuko Takeda
Shishou(Teacher)appears in front of your sight with impression(being deeply touchedj
The word of Shishou is used in many places .
In general it is used in traditional arts such as Budo(Martial arts), carpentry and I have also have heard it often in the modern dance world.
It Seems to be that it is used as a cultural lesson and an enrichment lesson in relationship.
It's not necessarily in eve ry relationship but there is a mentoring relationship, actually one can create their own Shishou.
In my childhood I had a neighbour who rode a bicycle with no trouble.
I could not but I simulated him and I borrowed my friend's bike and then rode his bike from Osaka to Kyoto.
Another time I saw a person who is paddling a boat in a pond .
He seemed to be really enjoying it so I simulated him and learned ghow to gand as a matter of fact,
I ended up becoming better than him.
In my junior High school time,
I was doing gymnastics.
I wanted to learn more in this time so I went to the library and just by looking at the pictures in the book I was able to understand how to do gymnastics better.
The reason I em able to think or getting an idea from photo pictures because of this incidents.
Shishou can be pictures too.
Being at a cheeky age in Junior High school time, the popular pants were called g mambo pantsh.
The type of pants taper at the ankle.
I also simulated these by modifying my school uniform.
I then tried to completely simulate to be Yujiro Ishihara(a Japanese actor who was super cool at that time ) I liked the way he smoked and the way he walked etc.
His gcoolness!h made to move my heart .
I think simulation was my key word.
The fact is I myself have never changed that aspect.
As I mentioned above, I have many Shishou who is nobody .
There was the time I spent all night talking to my brother-in-law, those words became my foundation.
In that sense, the city has many shishou .
Of course there are many people who serve as an example of how not to behave.
When I think about such a thing carefully I realized that I never think about things by myself.
Always I am taking something or somebody as examples therefore I have no need to have an aim or goal.
After all I am a disciple and I am learning all the time from what is in front of me.
In these days almost everybody is identified with what they think "I think......." "My opinion is......and because of believing that my opinion is right"
there is no way of exceeding oneself or the capacity to be able to inherit from one's predecessors.
Of course they have no way of knowing that learning from one's predecessors means to have basic idea of the way of thinking.
Do they look back on the past and think ? "When did I cultivate
the ability to think ?" But don't get me wrong: Do think about things by oneself .
"Actually we must think till feels like the head is bleeding "
For instance ;the book "What is Budo" is extremely difficult to understand.
It was introduced by my brother-in-low.
It took me literally for 7 years to read.
In this case, I mean it took me 7 years to find fault in the book.
I decided not to write my book until my level was higher than that book.
Please do not be so surprised about taking 7 years.
The other day, thinking of 42 years ago, I was still fledgling Jazz drummer and I had an opportunity listen to one note from a well known drummer at that time.
As a result of pursued it, the other day ,in short , finally I was able to produce that one note which took me for 42 years.
To think about a thing means that exactly like just what I mentioned.
It means to embody and inherit the teachings the Shishou.
One of Karate's form which I did not understand the meaning of movement.
There was time I did practice all day,even with speaking to my friend while I was walking,
Of course because of my behavior people thought I was weird. Being Jazz drummer time as well I never left my drums sticks,
Thus I'm strange man.
But turns out I'm varied and discover skills quicker than anybody else.
Life is go beyond what one can think.
Therefore how many Shishou you can have is the key to store one's ability as well as to be able to practice.
"Shishou" In short experiencing of impressions and it's induced action. This process will built up Shishou.
New Year's Day.
Certain thoughts are running through my head on this New Year's Day.
64 years have I lived-- what a short amount of time that is.
To the young it is a long time, almost an inconceivable time.
When I was young, of course, I couldn't imagine my becoming 64 years old.
How could I have then imagined that I would be in search for the true Budo at the age of 64?
Being invited to the Forsythe Company and universities abroad...
Teaching many dancers, actors, and athletes...
I had never foreseen those things in my life when I was young.
Well, it is more precise to say that I couldn't understand what I was becoming.
I did not know what it was.
So, I have to conclude that nobody knows what the future holds.
More accurately speaking, it is the young that don't know the future: how much one can achieve in his/her lifetime.
One holds many hopes and possibilities of doing things, but there are very
few that one can actually do or achieve.
What's more, as we get older, we develop a keener eye for detail for the
things we've done.
That makes us helplessly realize that we really have not done anything at all.
The more you achieve, the keener your ability to evaluate your achievements, which disapproves the achievements.
You are then living in the midst of a contradiction.
But, that seeming absurdity is the true charm of life.
The mystery of human consciousness that is.
The mystery of human body that is.
We were born with such mystery and this mysterious force is always at work.
To surrender to that force....
I wonder where it will take me this year.
It is exciting.
(Translation is yuko Takeda)
The novice writer
The novice writer rereads the book that has inspired him.
And I hear thatif he gets even more inspiration by rereading, he copies the whole book word for word.
Such intense repeating and replicating during one's learning process seem universal.
Not just for the writers, but for everyone who's learning something.
When the writer rereads and copies a great book, he is not just learning the writing style and skills.
He is also learning and assimilating the sensibility of a great writer,almost unconsciously.
In other words, through the act of rereading, he is having a silent conversation with the great writer.
This silent conversation allows him to sense, on an unconscious level, what hides beneath the words and between
lines-- the emotions that give birth to words and the sensibility that gives birth to the emotions.
And by copying the book word for word or by even more rereading, he is, again on the unconscious level, making sure
whether he has assimilated the sensibility and whether he is sharing it with the great writer.
To put it simply, the process itself has a significant meaning.
But, you cannot really learn and understand the meaning by copying something over and over just because someone like me told you that there is a significance in doing so.
There is a fine line there... between a genuine motivation to learn and just an intellectual amusement.
That's why I pity those who only think that they know the meaning of repetition, which is just a piece of knowledge given by somebody else.
They are not able to learn anything worthwhile on their own.
(Translation is yuko Takeda)
Words and the true meaning of words (Words and the actual)** ** ***
Translation is Mr. Masami Takao.(It's translated into English from my blog on June 7th.)
With the instruction to keep the back straight, for example, how do you@think a listener would respond?
The best way to find out is to actually try it yourself.
You may see some people tense up their back.
Others may tighten their waist area.
The actual responses will vary.
The instruction to g*Keepthe back straight*h is given within a particular context.
What that means isthat the meanings of the words change depending on the given context and are not constant.
Words, in general, function in such a manner.
The true meanings of words are created within the intricate relationships between people and the situations they are in.
Consequently, the standard meanings,and superficialities of words are almost meaningless.
In order to truly understand and respond appropriately to words, you need to understand their dynamic nature.
It's important then to know the context of the words, and furthermore to understand how you fit within that context. For
example,think about a beginner and an experienced person.
To a beginner the same words carry different meaning than for an experienced person with lots of practice.
Therefore, unless you truly understand how you fit within a given context, words that are irrelevant to you may unnecessarily
cause confusion, and misguide you.
gI was able to etouch' the musich - these are the words of conductor Seiji Ozawa whose fame reaches every corner of the world.
These words were spoken during an interview after a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, which he performed after defeating cancer.
I wondered how Mr. Ozawa, who is one of the most famous conductors in the world, felt when he was gable to etouch' the musich.
It made me excited and thrilled at the same time - a kind of thrill that gives you goose-bumps.
My reaction to these words was, gI would like to feel what he felt.h
I can't say for sure, but I'll bet none of the world-famous conductors in the history of music has ever uttered these words.
I think these words exemplify what it means to strip something down to its essence.
Who would have thought that I would encounter such words at this moment in time?
These words touch upon a realm that defies description by mere words.
Perhaps these words even completely reject a world that thinks it is acceptable to judge everything as being either black or white.
These words gave me a glimpse into the immeasurable depth of human sensibility.
I instinctively thought that my own interpretation of gtouchh was the same as that of Mr. Ozawa's.
Of course, I am being extremely presumptuous in comparing myself to the world famous Ozawa. But just maybe, we are actually walking down the same path.
If this is indeed the case, I couldn't be more ecstatic.
Of course, there is no way for me to know that, and there is no way for anybody else to know that either. In short, it doesn't matter.
One thing I know for sure is that I found myself getting excited and thrilled when I heard the words, gI was able to etouch' the musich.
That's why my will to follow these words may increase over time, but it will never fade away. I can embrace these words and go for the final sprint in my life.
That's why life never ceases to be interesting; you just never know when you are going to encounter something unexpected, and you never know how you are going to react to it either.
One thing I never want to end up becoming is a person who has lost the ability to react.
I don't want to become someone who would just take a glance at the unexpected encounter and pretend to understand what it is;
I don't want to become someone who would take this unexpected encounter and just analyze it or try to explain it in a hundred different ways by pretending to understand what it is.
I want to remain fully human, capable of experiencing life to its fullest extent.
Monday February 21st, 2011 *Being persistently creative*
When I was in Jr. High School, I joined the gymnastics club.
My motivation to join the club came from watching someone do a giant swing on the horizontal bar.
My desire to do the giant swing got the better of me, and I ended up joining the gymnastics club.
Once I was in the club, I realized that they were not going to let a novice like me try the giant swing.
Instead, I had to spend day after day doing stretches on a mat and practicing basic handstand and forward roll.
gThis isn't going to help," I thought to myself. So, two of my friends and I decided to work on the giant swing on our own.
At first, we made blind attempts on one of the lower horizontal bars but none of us got anywhere with it.
We tried over and over again, but still nothing happened.
When I took a moment to reflect on why I wasn't being successful, I realized
that I was scared to get into the handstand position on the horizontal bar.
Now that I knew what the problem was, there was only one solution - practice the handstand.
As soon as I got home, I got to it right away, using the wall to support myself as I began my practice.
Once I became somewhat good at it, however, I realized that the handstand I was doing and the handstand I needed to do on@the horizontal bar were two different things.
So, I began to make changes to my handstand so that it resembled the form that incorporated the momentum gained from
swinging on the horizontal bar.
The changes I made paid off and I was doing the giant swing after one summer.
I shared my new technique amongst the three of us and made further improvements to it.
As a result, all three of us were able to master the reverse giant swing.
A giant swing may appear to be a simple move, but there are a number of elements in it.
There are also psychological elements, such as me being scared of doing a handstand.
Opening my eyes to each of these elements allowed my giant swing to keep improving, leading it closer to perfection with
In other words, finding out gwhat is it that I am not doing right?" and finding a solution to every problem one by one is a
shortcut to success.
At the end of the day, the only asset that stays with us is the persistent effort we put into achieving our goals.
Anybody who was able to be gsuccessfulh without putting in the effort is only left with an empty shell of "success" and
does not gain anything else from it.
Because this type of "success" is without substance, the person lacks the wisdom to apply this "success" to other areas
of his/her life.
Those who are fixated on simply being successful without putting in the effort will have nothing to show for at the end of
Wednesday February 23rd, 2011 *Self search*
Whenever I try to make something precise, I am just reminded of how imprecise I am.
gPrecisionh is the best measuring stick for identifying the ambiguities in one's life.
If I tell people to point their fingers forward and not to move their bodies until their arms are completely stretched, most
people just extend their arms without pointing their fingers.
Their bodies have also moved before their arms are completely extended.
In our daily lives, this doesn't really matter.
On the other hand, it is extremely important in terms of expressions in Budo and dances.
This is because subtle difference produces different nuances and where the power is being output.
Other people's perception also acts a measuring stick for realizing our own stupidity and weakness.
Sometimes, how we act, no matter how honourable our intentions may be, could just look stupid to other people.
Being completely focused on what's in our head and not paying attention to the outside world will leave us lost.
I believe that's why we have the word "self-search".
Monday February QW AQOPP
At the after-party for a workshop, a person came up to me and said, gI hope you will be around for a long timeh with a
serious look on his face.
To be honest, I was dumfounded.
In reality though, I am old enough for people to wish me longevity.
Of course, when I think about my own age, I think about how much time I have left.
But when someone else brings it up, it really hits close to home.
I was overcome by a sense of appreciation that this person cared about me enough that he wanted me to be around for a
Knowing that I was helpful to this person - even if it was just this one person -, it made that time worthwhile.
People help each other all the time in one form or another.
I think this act alone makes our lives worthwhile.
Let me rephrase that; living any other way would be meaningless.
If you think about it this way, you realize that your life is a communal asset; it belongs to neither you nor anybody else.
gThe true joy of Budoh
The best part about Budo is that you can connect to the other person on an instinctual level.
This leads to the automatic movement of the body.
Of course, the body that is capable of making such automatic movement must be built from scratch.
This process is called practicing.
In other words, the purpose of practicing Budo is to create a body that can generate automatic movement and the mind that can connect to the other person on an instinctual level.
This automatic movement should not be considered as something simple though.
Such movement must fulfill two conditions: one is that the movement must be advantageous to you and disadvantageous to the other person, and secondly, you must never clash with the other person.
The most fundamental part of this movement is to move according to the other person's movement.
Writing about this concept just made me realize how convenient words are; I was able to describe the essence of it in just few lines.
However, turning this concept from words to action is something that may not be possible even with a lifetime of practice.
The gap between these words and reality is always a problem for me.
I always wonder if there is somebody in our times who can master this concept, or even somebody who can practice this concept even if he or she cannot master it.
The word gBudoh is used everywhere, but this type of gBudoh is whatever people imagine it to be.
I'm not saying that's wrong because it means the word gBudoh is very close to the hearts of Japanese people.
However, whenever I see a guy who is undoubtedly unqualified teaching his students what he calls gBudo," I can't help but feel sorry for his students.
But then, I realized that there is a teacher for every need and desire of the students, and then I understood ? it's the students fault for not being able to see through what kind of teacher they have.
Oh wait, because the students don't think that they are being deceived, maybe that's OK.
(Translation is Mr. Masami Takao).
gTo practice real Budoh
gYou can't learn Budo if you think of it as some kind of exercise or a sport.h
This is something I have been emphasizing since I began to teach outside of Japan .
I had to repeat this over and over again when I was in Brussels not too long ago.
Of course, the same problem exists in Japan too, but I only have to bring it up once in a while because most people seem to understand this concept relatively intuitively.
Because Budo is based on the movement of the body, it is no wonder that some people think of it as a Western-style sport.
People can get to a certain level even if they consider Budo as a sport,
So, in that sense, that's OK.
The problem is, you can't go any further than that.
What I mean is that as long as one conceives Budo as a sport, it puts a glass ceiling to their progress. This prevents them from experiencing the true joy of Budo.
However, all of these thought processes occur in a subconscious level and people are not aware of them. That does not mean that Budo is some kind of cryptic psychological theory.
It is true that Budo is based on the skillful manoeuvring of one's body.
Then you might ask, if one sees Budo as a form of exercise or a sport, wouldn't Budo actually become a form of exercise or a sport to that person?
Well, it's not that easy or simple.
Just because somebody thinks about it, it doesn't mean it is real. If we were able to realize whatever was in our thought, life would be so much easier. In a way, what we think and what we can do are completely different things.
In another words, no matter how much you contemplate about it, the neurological signals emitted from your brain to the body remains to be a motor signal that people have been developing since their childhood. Unless people can change this and understand that this is not a sport, these words cannot be realized.
That is what it means to practice Budo and what it means for the practice to turn into Budo.
That's the fun part.