Monday, 18 July 2016

My Interpretation of 忍

In this post I would like to share with you what the kanji 忍 Nin; Shinobu means to me. This is a very important kanji for me and it holds a special place in the Asian martial arts philosophies. It can be seen hung in many Dojo all over the world, but do you know why it is hung? If you could see this kanji the way I do, I believe it would become, not only clear why it is hung in dojo, but also very inspirational and looking at it while training may even help you to push yourself a little harder resulting in more positive results.

I would also like to share with you the explanation that my Sensei, Micheal S. Delaney, gave me regarding 忍 when I was still a young athlete training at the Atlantic karate Club (AKC) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. My Snesei gave me many gifts while I was training under him and him introducing me to this kanji profoundly changed the way I face the challenges in my life and deepened my understanding of the true purpose of my karate-do training.

(Nin written by the Author, 2015)

忍 (Nin; Shinobu) Part of Something Greater
This Kanji can be found in many places one such place is the Chito-Ryu Karate-do Showa; a motivational poem written by the First Generation Soke, one of the pioneers of Okinawan Te who contributed to the spread of Karate-do from Okinawa to mainland Japan and world-wide, and Founder of the Chito-Ryu style, Dr. Chitose Tsuyoshi. This poem is recited at the end of training in multiple languages all over the world. I wrote an in-depth, two part analytical post on this earlier. (for more information on the Chito-Ryu Showa, please see "Analysis of the Showa Part 1 and 2")

In this post I would just like to point out that both the kanji for Peace 和 Wa and this kanji 忍 Nin are found in the Showa and represent a much deeper dynamic that can be found in most, if not all, Asian philosophies; Namely that of the polarities of such things as hard and soft, young and old, good and evil, yin and yang which are all polar opposites to one another, but are actually just parts of the same thing. Although they are found at the opposite ends, they are connected to each other and in their connection they are part of the same whole, the 道; what the Chinese philosophies refer to as the Tao or Dao and the Japanese reading of this same kanji is Michi or Do; the Way of nature, put very simply. This concept can also be found in this one kanji. Although it is often translated as 'perseverance', I believe there is a deeper meaning which is much more profound than to simply persevere. Let me try to explain why I feel this way. I would like to start by sharing with you something I wrote in Japanese calligraphy a few years ago.
(Please see the photo below)

(Japanese Brush and Pen Calligraphy combination by the Author, 2010)