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Re: Help with translation
Village Old Timer
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From George Ohashi's Bujikan Site

Quote:
Soke told us last Sunday that you (as the instructor) should say "Chihayaburu Kamino Oshiewa Tokoshieni Tadashiki Kokoro Mio Mamoruran" too when you do "Shikin" at your class.


To ask why of a Japanese teacher might be considered quite insubortidnate - but as an American I know where you are coming from and it is really no big deal. At class that Sunday, as we were bowing out, he said the chant and then turned around and explained that in these turbulent times, it is more important than ever that we stress the importance of training people with good Hearts. The heart of a warrior is precious and we need to remind ourselves of this more frequently. Therefore we need to repeat the "prayer" or "Chant" or "Saying" when we bow in and out.

Of course those were not his exact words. It was my interpretation of what was interpreted that he said. I don't see it as anything really new or inconsistent with what he has always said. He just wanted us to remind ourselves of it more frequently. Think it, Say it, BE it!

Marty

Posted on: 2008/11/21 17:20
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Re: Help with translation
Village Old Timer
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Is it ''God'' or ''Gods'' inside this poem as I see different openings. I also wonder if you do this chanting when you enter a Budhist Temple as I saw some people doing it. It makes a huge difference to me or others who believe in one God.
I am sure somebody with good knowledge can give an objective answer.
Thank you

Posted on: 2008/11/22 1:33
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Re: Help with translation
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Ercan,

I am not sure if I qualify as having good knowledge. I do have an opinion

My understanding of the term "kami" is not limited to the singular. However it may be for others. I think the emphasis is on the heart/intention of the individual in relation to the divine, as they choose to define it.

This type of poem, known as makurakotoba, is built on a specific rhythmic cadence...

Chihayaburu /5/
kami no oshie wa /7/
tokoshie ni /5/
tadashiki kokoro /7/
mio mamoruranu /7/


...using words as much (perhaps more?) for imagery than literal meaning. Further, I believe Soke has always been inclusive of all beliefs (religious, political, etc.) so am sure that we are all free to interpret that word (kami) appropriately.


I look forward to input from others.

Posted on: 2008/11/22 4:25
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Re: Help with translation
Village Old Timer
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I think many misperceptions come from the conflict between the Western (judeo/christian/muslim) concept of God and the Eastern concept of "spirits". I don't think this chant has any conflict with any of the Western teachings.

Marty

Posted on: 2008/11/22 10:32
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Re: Help with translation
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Hi Ercan,

In Japanese there isn't normally an explicit distinction between singular and plural. It is just inferred from the context unless explicitly stated for clarity.

So the term Kami can mean God or god or gods depending on how you want to interpret it. If the term "kamigami" were used, that would be explicity plural - "gods". But this is not the case with the Chihayaburu poem. You can just as easily recite this poem with reference to the Judaic, Christian, or Muslim [G|g]od or to the deity/deities of any other tradition. The prayer itself doesn't specify, so the practitioner is given the freedom of interpretation.

Now if you were to really dig into the history of this verse and find out exactly where it came from, then you might find out that it was originally meant to refer to Amaterasu or Fudomyo-O or to a multitude of deities or whatever. In this case we have just been given the verse, not the historical context. But does that really make a difference? Not in my opinion. The most important thing is to have a true heart (magokoro) and to be a sincere and honest person (both to others and to one's self), and to earnestly and sincerely follow the path that you have decided for yourself. The recitation of this verse doesn't violate that, only encourages it.

Posted on: 2008/11/23 16:27
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Re: Help with translation
Village Old Timer
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Quote:

kouryuu wrote:
Hi Ercan,

In Japanese there isn't normally an explicit distinction between singular and plural. It is just inferred from the context unless explicitly stated for clarity.

So the term Kami can mean God or god or gods depending on how you want to interpret it. If the term "kamigami" were used, that would be explicity plural - "gods". But this is not the case with the Chihayaburu poem. You can just as easily recite this poem with reference to the Judaic, Christian, or Muslim [G|g]od or to the deity/deities of any other tradition. The prayer itself doesn't specify, so the practitioner is given the freedom of interpretation.

Now if you were to really dig into the history of this verse and find out exactly where it came from, then you might find out that it was originally meant to refer to Amaterasu or Fudomyo-O or to a multitude of deities or whatever. In this case we have just been given the verse, not the historical context. But does that really make a difference? Not in my opinion. The most important thing is to have a true heart (magokoro) and to be a sincere and honest person (both to others and to one's self), and to earnestly and sincerely follow the path that you have decided for yourself. The recitation of this verse doesn't violate that, only encourages it.


That is why I asked this question. If I and my students will chant a prayer, I must purely feel it with my heart without any annoying thoughts.
Thank you all for the descriptions and your ideas, this question keeps coming always so at last I also felt different about it in a much better way

Posted on: 2008/11/23 21:09
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Re: Help with translation
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Sensei has never pushed ANY religious way with his Art. What he has done is sought to have his students follow a moral code that respects life and values others. I would find it MOST strange if he ever had any other motivation with such poems then to have those of us in his art to dwell on good thoughts, to have good hearts, to have warrior hearts. Our thoughts as so very powerful, they can either be a force for good in our world, for the betterment of all human kind, or they can create the opposite. I don't think there is any question on which result Soke would like to see.

Posted on: 2008/11/23 23:24
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Re: Help with translation
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"What I always want is for you to purify your heart (heartwashing!) and that is why I give you this."-Soke Hatsumi

From "The Grandmaster's Book of Ninja Training"

Posted on: 2008/11/24 8:51
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Re: Help with translation
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Perhaps what Soke means is that there's a bit of darkness creeping into the Bujinkan. Those that seek the Light need to remember that good things (the Light)come to those that live by the precepts of that Light.
There are those that live in the darkness, and interestingly, those that travel between the realms of LIght and darkNESS.

Posted on: 2008/11/24 12:53
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Re: Help with translation
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Could someone here show me how to write this in Kanji?

Posted on: 2008/11/25 9:58
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