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Time to feel human

Kawaraban No. 13


by Kenji Shimizu

Best wishes for the New Year.

Please, support the Tendōkan this year again.

The Italian architect Leone Alberti wrote in his chronicles, that a human being calls three things his own – the body, the mind and the time.

Nowadays we wonder, what to believe. And just now at a crucial turning point of values we have to constantly maintain a healthy body and mind, and we have to strengthen our ability to adapt physical strength and will power to various situations.

The professor honoris causa, Mr. Kimura Zaburo from Tōkyō university, points out, that this ability will be in great demand in the coming era.

The result so far in through times of change and progress when rushing for merely material values made Japan emerge from the mass and brought economic prosperity and material wealth. However in doing so many things have been lost on the way. You often hear the sentence, `poverty amidst rich harvest’, and it exactly characterizes the situation.

In wartimes Japan resisted materialism with the help of spiritual principles, but the defeat caused the people to prefer material things over spiritual things, extravagance over frugality, and the ego over the whole. Although up to that point of time everybody was pursuing the exact opposite.

Japanese are regarded as people, who seem to have no other interests besides profit. In the eyes of foreigners Japanese and Japanese enterprises do have different moral concepts and a different logic. This turns the Japanese into an unfathomable nation, i.e. group.

Reflecting on this however, you will find, that the Japanese have lost an important matter, namely time, which will become a problem. Not simply time, but satisfying time. Even if there are some people using their time effectively, in truth many of them are constantly being chased by their work, and their heads are crammed.

At last they lose ‘satisfying time’, and on top of this they have completely exhausted mind and body, and will become ill eventually.

Lately people have started to become aware of how strange such a life is.

In our Tendōkan dōjō there are many students, who are concerned with the control of the mind over the body,  who endure coldness, suffer pain, put up with difficulties, without rivaling and without throwing others out of the race. They make their efforts day after day during practice.

Of course, intensity and level are different, but whilst all are trying to improve their capabilities and are incessantly making efforts, they become people, who spent their time `in a human way`. Accumulating such times leads back without doubt to the ‘training of body and mind’ and to the ‘strengthening the mind’.

© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 08/2004