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What we should not forget

Kawaraban No. 73


by Kenji Shimizu, head of Tendokan

Nowadays with regard to the advanced internationalization the Japanese as well need a personality training, which is suited to the flow of the developing world. But it could be doubted, whether the Japanese education system is able to meet these demands.

It is quite clear that there might be difficulties in near future, if we continue like that. Children, who exclusively drill their heads when growing up, are lacking physical balance, and more often then once they will grow into insensitive people. The nerves stretch around the whole body, and if we only set great store by the head and neglect the body, the communication of the nerves will not reach until the extremities, the head will be running on the spot, and this will result finally in an egoistic physical behavior. It is necessary that during childhood human beings use their bodies properly when playing. In the last edition of the ‘Kawaraban’ I mentioned that some kind of intelligence exists in the abdomen or hips and that this is stimulating the spiritual activities considerably. The nerves spread through every nook and corner of the body, and because of that mind and body are in balance and human relations and spontaneous natural behavior will be influenced positively.

Nowadays we are seeking the right way of education. I think, that we have to put special emphasis on culture and individual courage, and that could not simply be expressed only by the amount of knowledge, but truth, good faith and sense of beauty have an essential implication. The Japanese in the past had the idea of ‘being accomplished in both the literary and the military arts’, and it is said that important foreign persons faced them with resepct, because they had trained knowledge and body and mind simultaneously.

Japan was never colonized during the Meiji area, and the modernization could be managed, because the Japanese of those days possessed strong will power and emotional strength. Although the former Japanese were smaller, they acted with dignity and had a stable philosophy of life, which was supported by their strong force of will.

And this might be the reason for the respect, which is shown for us by foreign countries. The Japanese Bushido is called ‘esthetics of behavior’ as well, and the spirit of the Samurai is respected by foreign countries until today and arouses interest. Especially as we are Japanese, I wish that this spirit would not be forgotten. And this is something, too, which is necessary in today’s education in Japan.

© translated by Ichiro Murata and Peter Nawrot 02/2008