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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
Kutaki Postmaster
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Quote:

Labels can been seen as limiting, but they also are identifiers.


Yup, and those identifiers have the potential to be detrimental.

If a Bujinkan practicioner who claimed to be a ninja or to practice or teach ninjutsu ever ended up killing someone when forced to defend himself, he could be in real trouble because in addition to having to prove his actions justifiable, he'll also have to defeat a lifetime of pop-culture ninja imagery in the minds of the jurors. Otherwise they may think he was just doing what he's been training to do: assassinate. Doesn't matter that it's completely untrue.

Even though that imagery has almost nothing to do with what we study today, it would be a hard sell because that very imagery was created and perpetuated in part by people in our own art back in the 80's and is still leveraged by many today to make money and gain a following.


Posted on: 2010/10/20 3:55
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Adam M. said Quote:
Liz did answer your question.


While I have high fluency in Japanese language and have lived in the culture almost 8 years, I don't know all the nuances of the basics of the language, but then, what's the fun in knowing everything? Learning budo, languages and culture are neverending experiences.

Quote:
Taijutsu is a generic term. It is not just martial arts, and definitely not the sole property of the Bujinkan. I have heard Soke and Shihan speak of the taijutsu of shopkeepers, roadsweepers, etc..


This agrees with my experience.

To Adam H. About coining a new word for people who practice taijutsu, I agree with Adam M. Allow Hatsumi sensei, a genius of taijutsu, calligraphy and word play, to coin new words, if we need them at all.

About answering questions, in Japanese culture, people don't say no. No answer can indicate no...

I've been here tooooo long

Edited to prevent a confusion of names.

Posted on: 2010/10/20 10:22
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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I appreciate that taijutsu is not limited to X-kan usage, I also feel that 'budoka' puts us on the one hand at some pretentious level that most of us are not at, and on the other hand does not differentiate us from practitioners of other arts, most of which are gendai budo.

When I hear 'budoka' I do not automatically think 'Bujinkan Budoka' because it is too broad a term. And many BBT people practice other forms of budo such as kyudo etc.

But putting us somewhere in a camp of general taijutsu, even though it may also contain koryuha and modern interpretations of taijutsu would be more accurate and more likely to bring the assumption on forums etc that we are talking about people who practice the same art, and not Yagyu Shingan Ryu taijutsu for example.

I don't think that my question was answered because I just want to know if 'ka' can be added to 'jutsu' and still be correct Japanese and not some made-up gaijin term.

I am really not that worried about labels, but there must surely be a noun that fits the bill.


Posted on: 2010/10/21 5:45
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Quote:

ElfTengu wrote:
I don't think that my question was answered because I just want to know if 'ka' can be added to 'jutsu' and still be correct Japanese and not some made-up gaijin term.


If it helps, Donn Draeger used the term 'bujutsuka' liberally in a number of his books. I have also seen it used in Japanese books and martial arts related publications. So, grammatically it would seem that adding 'ka' as a suffix to 'jutsu' is ok.


Posted on: 2010/10/21 9:58
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Quote:

radarblip wrote:
Quote:

ElfTengu wrote:
I don't think that my question was answered because I just want to know if 'ka' can be added to 'jutsu' and still be correct Japanese and not some made-up gaijin term.


If it helps, Donn Draeger used the term 'bujutsuka' liberally in a number of his books. I have also seen it used in Japanese books and martial arts related publications. So, grammatically it would seem that adding 'ka' as a suffix to 'jutsu' is ok.



Thank you Adam, you splendid taijutsuka you!

If it's good enough for the late Mr Draeger (his 'ninjutsu' book notwithstanding) then it's good enough for me.

Now all I have to do is release a celebratory song to the tune of Kate Bush's 'Babooshka'.



(Ay, aah taijutsuka, taijutsuka, taijutsuka yay yah......)

Posted on: 2010/10/21 12:31
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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I think Daren said something very true:

Quote:
We need to just be who we are first and foremost. Credibility comes from the character and actions of each person, not the art or org. But, who you are needs to outshine whatever art or org you are a part of.


Now, here´s a quote from Sensei in an interview entitled A life in the day:

Quote:
I never "became" a ninja. I was always it and it was always me. I had a tough childhood: my father used to drink and was violent, so I had to protect my family.


Ninjutsu is a historical mystery, aside from some vague cryptic documents all there is is Kuden. What can be infered from all the historical evidence and what Soke has transmited to us from his teachings, books and artwork (I include here his videos, especialy the ryu-ha series), and most especificaly what he has allowed to come out from Takamatsu Sensei: Ninpo (higher order of ninjutsu) was a spiritual system with a martial character. If we take Mykkyo, which is mentioned by Soke and Takamatsu as an influence on Ninjutsu we have to assume it´s a system that is much older, and in similar fashion just as secretive. To denny the idea of reincarnation within the context of eastern spirituality would be to ignore the cultural context. To speculate that like in the Dalai Lama search Hatsumi Sensei hasn´t been waiting for the next Soke would be also to ignore a lot of what he has said in the past in books, interviews, etc. The aparent fact is that such a happening hasn´t occured and so it will break up, as he himself has spoken so much on the importance of Ishi Söden. So what will remain will be a cultural memory, made of the documents, artifacts and the like, and fragments of knowlege transmited to those he will leave responsible for managing the Bujinkan.

But to be something means that what you do and why you do what you do are in harmony, it has to do with one´s totality. It is the oposite of hypocrisy. As Takamatsu would say, the occult powers lies in one´s sincerity. The depth of self sacrifice of leading such a life is probably the reason why we won´t find an heir to this profound heritage on every street corner, and in fact, as it appears, not in one of the thousands of Bujinkan members world wide. But to say such a person does not exist would be to deny the uneversality of everything Soke has transmited to us about Ninjutsu, from a spiritual point of view, of course. My understandind is that Ninpo is a way of conecting to the universe and of percieving and influencing this universe according to principles guarded and purposefully instructed by each Soke acording to the merit of the student, and that these principles must be used for the protection of things greater than oneself (i.e. devine laws, family, loved ones and country). It is indeed a spiritual path of excelence, but because it is neither religion nor martial art our incapcity to deal with the paradox as westerners seriously hampers us in understanding the essence of our art.

Nevertheless, I find it far more noble to be truthfull about one´s practice as Daren was on a latter post of his, than to go around spreading a Ninjer Aura and be far less than a Samurai, actually just a sleezy merchant, as quite a few seem to be doing. Ninjutsu obviously applies deception to fool one´s enemy, but never to fool oneself. A sincere heart is at the core of Ninpo. The Japanese caracter for "Nin" points directly towards this, a heart and a sword, the sword meaning justice and truthfulness.

Gambate Kudosai!



Posted on: 2010/10/22 4:41
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Quote:

johntah wrote:
Now, here´s a quote from Sensei in an interview entitled A life in the day:

Quote:
I never "became" a ninja. I was always it and it was always me. I had a tough childhood: my father used to drink and was violent, so I had to protect my family.




"My father used to drink and was violent, so I had to protect my family". Not so glamorous, is it? Real ninpo/ninjutsu is as simple as that, yet as brutally terrible in the context. There's nothing but pain involved. I imagine this part of Soke's life is marred with deeply rooted pain, something he still carries with him to this day. Yet, he attributes it as the base for his life as a "ninja".

How many would have the character to make it as far as Soke has, to succeed in life and live in peace? I'm afraid statistics show most children who grow up in that environment turn to self-destruction and, if they survive to adulthood, repeat the cycle.

Yet, many want to cling to "ninja" with no idea the amount of real pain behind it. If given the choice, I'm sure every one of the real "ninja" throughout history would have preferred to live a peaceful life of flower arranging, painting, etc. Not being forced to "protect my family".

Posted on: 2010/10/22 5:04
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Nothing could be truer Daren. But sanity can only emerge from chaos, be it the turmoil of war, or a disfunctional family, if one dedicates himself to something greater than himself. I believe much of post war stress has to do with the fact that the nobility of defending one´s country unveiled into the nasty truth that the true reasosn for war was let´s make some money. A guilty conscience is hell itself. Once a MA teacher I trained with quoted Yagyu Munenori saying that it is not what one kills that is important, it is what one allows to live. That rang a note with me. A soldier that is trully serving his country and believes in the moral reasons for his battles should have no problem sleeping at night regardless of the carnage he had to cause or witness. Beying true to oneself is realy a magical thing! These are some of the "secrets" that the practice of Ninpo can lend to it´s practitioners if they weren´t looking for magic where it is not.

Posted on: 2010/10/22 5:19
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Quote:
I don't think that my question was answered because I just want to know if 'ka' can be added to 'jutsu' and still be correct Japanese and not some made-up gaijin term.

I am really not that worried about labels, but there must surely be a noun that fits the bill.


Sensei recently said that we could really be calling ourselves "bugei-ka" if we are training with the "art" aspect of "martial arts" in mind. (gei = 芸 = art).

John - I like a lot of what you wrote in this thread. Some good points that rang true with some things that Sensei talked about over lunch this past Sunday, like the idea that the main point is to enjoy the good things in life, and that the reason for the existence of true martial arts is to protect the ability to enjoy those things.

Shawn

Posted on: 2011/3/1 15:53
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Re: Why does being a ninja make you more of a target?
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Many thanks for posting this Shawn



Posted on: 2011/3/1 19:30
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