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Re: Please read if training in Japan or planning on coming to Japan
Honorary Villager
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"Please be considerate and understand that soke has limited time, and cannot speak to everyone personally. If you have a question you feel is important, please ask your instructor or one of the shihan to ask it on your behalf" or some such...that at least spreads the problem about a bit, even if it does nothing to alleviate it.

Always assuming that the sort of person who causes the problem in the first place is likely to read these 'polite requests' :|


Posted on: 2005/4/20 21:48
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Re: Please read if training in Japan or planning on coming to Japan
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Doug & George,

Thank you for taking the time to write that well written message. I sincerely hope that Shawn is able to make this a permanent post somewhere that does not get lost in the shuffle.

I can only imaine how difficult it is to keep some sembelance of order there. With all the different cultures and personalities coming together like that...

I know, for me, that I get very frustrated when visiting each year. I have been coming to Japan religiously for the last 12 years, and it seems that in the last 6 years or so things have been getting progressively more difficult over there when trying to be polite and 'fit in' in the Japanese way. I have always done my best to be quiet, not be intrusive, and respect Soke's space but for the most part only bothering him to say a quick thank you or to do business. The part of this equation that has become a source of growing frustration on my part is that when you try and be quiet and polite and wait patiently to speak with Soke, a large line of pushy and loud people will jump in front of you and take all of the available time. The only way it seems to combat this is to be just as rude and obnoxious, which I refuse to do. This of course leaves me feeling rather irritated at the end of each trip as yet another year has gone by where I feel jipped out of my time to take 5 minutes and speak with Soke.

Sorry for this turning into a vent post, but typing it evoked a lot of the frustration I feel every trip. Anyway, great post. *sigh*

Posted on: 2005/4/21 0:28
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Cultural Kihon as part of training
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In the two years I've been training at Hombu and Ayase, Soke's maybe spoken to me three or four times. I've only asked him a question once in all the time I've been here.

Sometimes, at the end of a training session, I feel so grateful, that I've gained something priceless from him, and I want to say thank you. But he's very busy, and has a lot to take care of. So I don't say anything except bow and say thank you as we're all leaving.

Please keep in mind that, when we bow in, we say お願い致します,'onegai itashimasu', which means 'Please assist me,' and when we are done training, we bow out again and say ありがとうございました, 'aritgato gozaimashita', which is thank you.

If we train furiously and express our thanks bowing in and out, then we can show our appreciation to Soke and the shihan.

If you have a really urgent question or issue, ask the shihan who attend, because they can likely help you out. If the question really needs to go to The Boss, then it will be directed to him. Have some faith in the Men in Black who train under him all the time.

This insight into Japanese culture, the chain of command, I learned the hard way. I'm not saying I haven't fouled up.

I brought a guest the other day, and was rather embarassed by the person's behaviour. I think he didn't show respect in the dojo because he didn't know the cultural rules. Please don't bring guests to hombu unless you have permission from shihan or Soke, and if it's okay to bring that person, please make sure they know how to behave politely.

There is lots of information on the internet about etiquette in Japan. You don't come to Hombu without kihon. The same goes for cultural kihon. Good preparation is important when you're stepping into another culture.

Jeff, sorry you had a bad experience. Your behaviour speaks for itself, though, and it's better to be a good model than mirror bad behaviour. We owe it to ourselves and the visitors to demonstrate respect. And we're all learning the rules, anyway, so if we mess up, we just have to do it better next time.

Kind of like taijutsu, eh?

Posted on: 2005/4/21 12:01
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Re: Cultural Kihon as part of training
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Thanks very much to Jeff, Alex and all those that responded with understanding to this post. All of you are respectable Budoka and often enough, even the ones who may not be 100% in line with these rules are also respectable Budoka and may just be having a bad day. The message here is simple. You must use your best judgment with the situation and the environment. This is also an aspect of taijutsu as well. Read the atmosphere…..



Regarding the wording of the original post, it may not be 100% reader friendly or may hurt people’s feelings; however this is not the intention at all. They are rules that need to be followed with common sense and judgment. Even if they sound rude they are not meant to be, so don’t read into it. Just use your best judgment.



The problem is that people visiting Japan have become rude and given legitimate people a bad time when they are acting under direction of Soke or someone senior. This type of interruption, interjection or contradiction is uncalled for, and not necessary. The fear is that if things get bad then Soke will just stop teaching and that would definitely suck. Many of us here in Japan and those that come over for an extended amount of time have made major sacrifices and commitments to be here. Some have spent up to 10 years here learning Soke’s Budo and the Japanese language to understand what he is saying and translate it for the various visitors.



So, if the words or rules sound rude then sorry to say, its too bad, tough stuff or whatever, but these are posted for a reason.



Besides just being rules or guidelines for behavior etc, they are also in place for security issues to protect our Soke, the Shihan, the Hombu, neighbors around the Hombu as well as all training members. If you can’t think like that, then you should definitely start, since you are studying a martial art.



Again, thanks to all the respectable Shidoshi that have posted their support here and please spread the word, copy or link this post so that everyone can enjoy their time in Japan.



Thanks so much.



Doug Wilson


Posted on: 2005/4/21 12:14
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Re: Please read if training in Japan or planning on coming to Japan
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Thanks to Doug and George for clarifying what should have been obvious but unfortunately is not. I think one way to address these points will be if more Shidoshi will pay attention to tradition in their Dojo (Reiho, Saho etc.) it will help prevent many of the problems being described.

Please remember that we study Japanese Budo which is naturally influenced by Japanese culture and as such needed to be understood and studied correctly.

Posted on: 2005/4/21 13:29
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Re: Please read if training in Japan or planning on coming to Japan
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Quote:
Please remember that we study Japanese Budo which is naturally influenced by Japanese culture and as such needed to be understood and studied correctly.


Very valid point!!!

Maybe see it this way - the way you do it "at home" might be the way you automatically behave "away", too?

This is like "whole nine yards" kinda thingie - you can't just take certain parts that you want and leave the rest out. That is sure to present problems like has been issued in this thread. Naturally, people come from different cultural backgrounds, but still... Shouldn't be so hard! Maybe part of the learning process, of your growth as Budôka?

--------------
Ari Julku
Shidôshi
Bujinkan Yamazu Dôjô

Posted on: 2005/4/21 17:49
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Re: Please read if training in Japan or planning on coming to Japan
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On a slightly lighter note.. On tuesday nights training we had a Japanese chap turn up and after watching the class for a while, he walked all the way around the mats and started taking photos.

We were all a bit amused by this, and it transpired that he was an exchange student over from Japan who was staying with one of the students. However, neither the student or the Japanese guy asked permission for him to watch or take photo's...

So in essence, the exact same thing can happen here in the UK (and anywhere else).

Posted on: 2005/4/21 18:32
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Re: Please read if training in Japan or planning on coming to Japan
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Thank you very much everyone.

We're planning to put the document on my site so that more people can have a chance to familiarize themselves with the rules.
Of course the owners of other Bujinkan websites can put a link to it, or copy and paste the whole page on theirs.
(Translating it into various languages is also a good idea.)

For people's better understanding, I'm pleased to edit the document and make it better, more appropriate and more understandable.

So, if you have a comment on what we say, how we say etc., please feel free to talk to us on this thread, or PM either of us.

Thanks again. m(_ _)m

Posted on: 2005/4/21 22:06
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Re: Please read if training in Japan or planning on coming to Japan
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Quote:

George_Ohashi wrote:
Thanks. But the woman was just a visitor who came with a beginner if my memory serves me. I think she should have listened to me more carefully, but she didn't.


I have not visited Japan yet, but that makes me cringe with embarrassment for the woman and the beginner.

Posted on: 2005/4/22 0:09
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David Russ
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Re: Please read if training in Japan or planning on coming to Japan
村長 :: Sonchou
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This document can be made available from the downloads section here at Kutaki when you've finished polishing it up.

Shawn

Posted on: 2005/4/22 0:36
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