【音声付 バイリンガルブログ】 日本文化の精神性 / The Spirituality of Traditional Disciplines


What is “DO” ? / 「道」とは?

Respectful Spirituality is Necessary in Japanese Cultural Pursuits

It could be said that a key feature of Japanese culture – this includes traditional entertainment as well as sports – is that each field is underpinned by a strong spiritual element.

For instance, sumo is said to be national sports of Japan, to be accepted as a yokozuna – the highest rank possible – a wrestler not only has to be strong, but also dignified.

The suffix “do” (the road) is attached to the names of many traditional Japanese disciplines, including, judo, kendo, aikido, sado, kado.

“Do” is the search for the ideal form in each discipline. Bushido, which is also famous among non-Japanese people, prescribes how a samurai should live.

“Do” incorporates manners, etiquette, personality, as well as skills. In short, it is what gives a human being charm.

「道」とは、技能 + 品格。

Those who possess excellent skills while also being dignified are called masters, as a result, attract many disciples through whom they disseminate teachings.

On the other hand, in disciplines such as kabukirakugosumo, there is a tradition in which the names of great masters are handed down through the generations.

For example, in the kabuki world, the same great stage name is passed down through many generations, as with the actor ” ICHIKAWA Danjuro the tenth”

日本文化のもう一つの特徴は、「礼に始まり 礼に終わる」が表すように、その文化に関わる人や道具に対する感謝の気持ちを大事にすることです。
Another feature of Japanese culture, expressed in the saying “starting with gratitude, ending with gratitude,” is the tradition of placing importance on showing appreciation towards the people involved in your craft, towards the tools of the trade itself.

In addition, consideration for the defeated is also essential.


In Japanese martial arts, it is regarded as rather uncouth for the victor to raise his first to express his joy on winning.

In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Duch wrestler Anton GEESINK was the judo champion in the open weight division.

Overjoyed, the Dutch fans rushed to the ring, but Geesink stopped them, then he bowed quietly and left. On witnessing this scene, the Japanese audience were moved by his behavior.

Furthermore, in judo Japanese people applaud winners who fight for a clear victory, rather than winning by gaining small points.

In the sumo world, there is an expression that goes ” yokozuna-zumo,” meaning that the yokozuna is expected to win by meeting his opponent’s attack, an attitude that is considered respectable.

Japanese notions of spirituality have widened to include sports adopted from the West, for instance, in baseball there is now a “yakyuu do” (basebal road).



メールアドレスが公開されることはありません。 が付いている欄は必須項目です