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Taking care of Bujinden

Subject: Taking care of Bujinden
by Tessen on 2009/7/23 18:29:37

When you come to the Hombu Dojo, Bujinden, behaving in a way that shows respect to Japanese dojo culture makes the dojo a safe, productive place to learn Bujinkan martial arts.

If you are sick, don't come into the dojo at all. We need to protect the health of our teachers and fellow budoka so that they'll be there when you're healthy again.

When you come in, please place your shoes in the genkan facing the door to make your departure smooth. Never step foot in the genkan in bare/socked feet and then step on the dojo floor. By respecting this rule, we protect ourselves from disease and dirt.

We show respect to Takamatsu Sensei and all the generations of teachers before him (and sempais who have passed on) by respecting the kamidana. Resident students water the sakaki tree branches on the altar and light candles. Five candles are suitable, one for each of the miniature shrines that honour the ryuha. Do not place anything else but holy stuff on it.

Keep all cameras and water bottles off the mat. These are ukemi hazards.

The hombu dojo wooden floor isn't very big, so we tend to socialize, stretch, handle gear or change on the mat. Normally, this is not done in budojos in Japan. If the crowd is small, do whatever on the wooden floor. Mats are for training on. If the crowd is rather large and you are sitting on the mat, be courteous and give space to those who are practicing before the training starts.

If you want to take photos or video, ask the resident students of the teacher who is leading that session. Don't assume that because someone else is taking video/photos that you can, too. People taking photos/video may have been expressly asked to do so by the teacher giving the training, or that person may have bad manners and didn't ask. If you don't hear a yes or a no answer, the answer is no.

When you finish training, please do your bit to keep the hombu safe and clean. Put away all equipment. Every session ends with cleaning. Junior students, please grab a broom or vacuum and clean up. This is common practice in Japanese dojos.

When you come and go from the dojo, from the neighbourhood around Atago Station, if you greet people (try your best in Japanese), they'll remember you. If you don't, they'll remember that, too.

This post may seem really serious, but if we respect the culture of the dojo and the country, we create harmony and we can concentrate on training, training, training.

宜しくお願い致します。Yoroshiku onegaiitashimasu.
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