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To Straighten Oneself

Kawaraban No. 8


by Kenji Shimizu

Already since long ago Japan is addressed as an economic world power country, but actually there seem to be only a few people, who have the feeling that our country is an economic world power country.

The Japanese government puts higher priority to the protection of profits of companies than to the life of the population, don’t they? Therefore the companies follow the principle of profit optimizing and only run for profit. When traveling today occasionally we are lost for words about the high price level in the resorts. In western countries it is a clear governmental obligation to keep safety and protection, so that people may spent a carefree life. Consequently people trust in politics. But what is the situation in Japan ? It is extremely doubtful, whether there is a political plan, which takes care for the safety and protection of the population. Certainly Japan has not to feel ashamed to bear the name of a economic power country with regard to clothing and food, but in case of solving fundamental problems of life Japan is a small state. A great power country is called a great power country exactly because she is able to provide solutions for basic problems like properties and housing, for the aging problem, which will meet everyone some day, the important issue of problems of handicapped persons, and this list can be continued endlessly. Another issue, which should be considered, is the upcoming problem of the decline of moral and behavior. Originally Japan and the Japanese possessed dignity, but where is it gone … do we deserve this?

I think I will return now a bit back to the issue of Budo. In Japan since long ago various forms of Budo (Bujutsu) developed, and among them was as well the unique Budo form called ‘Jujutsu’. This form was established and developed further because of the necessity to fight effectively during war times. The character of this art of attack and defense was the weaponless fighting, but weapons were used as well, when facing an enemy, who could be armed or unarmed.

It is said that after the end of the era of Oda Toyotomi and at the beginning of the Tokugawa era the development proceeded quickly. When the wars run out and the era of peace spread out not only the techniques of such martial arts advanced, but also the techniques were a way to complete the theories of mastering the spirit and to train the personality. The spiritual training of the Samurai developed, which has become indispensable for the Bujutsu. Therefore the moral law of the warrior class, ‘Bushido’, was defined and developed since the Kamakura era and was completed during the Edo era as a support for the Confucian teachings.

It was a spirit, which included things like loyalty, dedication, belief, manners, truthfulness and sense of honor. And hasn’t this spirit of Bushido to say a lot to our today’s world, because it is a valuable contribution to the forming of the character of people, who grow up without any behavioral rules?

The Jujitsu, which developed during war times, had primarily the bloody background to defeat an opponent and to train for the critical moment between life and death. Hence during peace times the gentle ‘Bushido’ was formed according to the spiritual development. We might have the idea that after Japan has reached a considerable economical grow it is time now to adopt this way in the course of the after war restoration. Don’t we live as well in an era, in which one defeats the trading partners only in a bloody fight? Shouldn’t we go for being an economic power, which emphasizes to let live the partner?

© translated by Peter Nawrot 06/2006