vendredi 24 mars 2017

WA concept (article in English)

Wa , "Japan, Japanese", from Chinese is the oldest recorded name of Japan.

Wa () or Yamato were the names early China used to refer to an ethnic group living in Japan around the time of the Three Kingdoms period. Chinese, Korean, and Japanese scribes regularly wrote Wa or Yamato with one and the same Chinese character 倭 until the 8th century, when the Japanese found fault with it, replacing it with 和 "harmony, peace, balance".

Japanese scholars believed that Chinese character for 倭 "Japan", which they used to write "Wa" or "Yamato", was graphically pejorative in denoting 委 "bent down" 亻 "people".
Around 757 CE, Japan officially changed its endonym from Wa 倭 to Wa "harmony; peace; sum; total". 

Retroactively, this character was adopted in Japan to refer to the country itself, often combined with the character 大, literally meaning "Great", similar to Great Britain, so as to write the preexisting name Yamato (大和)

Wa in Japanese society

Wa () is a Japanese cultural concept usually translated into English as "harmony".

The idea is since harmony exists inherently in the cosmos and on our planet, we can benefit ourselves and others by learning from lessons found in nature. Wa has direct applications for our personal lives, our relationships, and our whole approach to life and work.

 It implies a peaceful unity and conformity within a social group, in which members prefer the continuation of a harmonious community over their personal interests. The kanji character wa () is also a name for "Japan; Japanese", replacing the original graphic pejorative transcription Wa "dwarf/submissive people".

Wa is considered integral to Japanese society, and derives from traditional Japanese family values. Individuals who break the idea of wa to further their own purposes are brought in line either overtly or covertly, by reprimands from a superior or by their family or colleagues tacit disapproval. Hierarchical structures exist in Japanese society primarily to ensure the continuation of wa. Public disagreement with the party line is generally suppressed in the interests of preserving the communal harmony.
Japanese businesses encourage wa in the workplace, with employees typically given a career for life in order to foster a strong association with their colleagues and firm. Rewards and bonuses are usually given to groups, rather than individuals, further enforcing the concept of group unity.

Since Japan was a mountainous island country with few natural resources and little available land for farming and living, people had to work together to survive. In the seventh century, when Prince Shotoku Taishi issued Japan’s first constitution, he decreed in Article 1 that wa was to occupy a premier place in the value system, stressing the word several times in the document.

The spirit of wa was pursued over the centuries with fluctuating degrees of enthusiasm, and success, from the halcyon peace of the Heian Era (794-1185) to the bloody internal wars of the 16th century. It was tempered through a millennium of Buddhism, Confucianism and feudalism (where behavior was dictated right down to the food a person could eat and the clothing he could wear).

Although feudal rule was abolished with the advent of the Meiji Era (1868-1912), the emphasis on the unity of the group remained central to the Japanese way of thinking, influenced, it was said, by feudal family and apprenticeship systems which had made the sense of belonging to a group important. After the Second World War and the establishment of a new democratic constitution, the concept and pursuit of individual rights was not always paramount as the nation went about the task of rebuilding the war-shattered economy with renewed konjo [enthusiasm].

Every aspect of the corporate culture was infused with wa — from consensus-based decision-making to promotions and even to elevator etiquette. The emphasis on loyalty, cooperation and trust was cited in many circles as a main reason for Japan’s eventual success on the world economic stage.

和ーHarmony, Peace
楷書(standard style ) calligraphy by masako inkyo

Aiki Budo is the Way of Human Development

 Scroll written by Yukiyoshi Sagawa, that he hung on the wall of his Dojo. 

Aiki is the fitting together of Ki.
Through this harmonious reconciliation all things under heaven and earth in the universe move peacefully without disturbance. This harmonization is Aiki.
As the Ki of Aiki is natural it unifies and reconciles without the slightest ill feeling or resistance.
The harmonious reconciliation that is Aiki must be the basis for the formation of human society.
This is the Great Circle of Harmony (Daienwa
大円和) of Aiki.
Through the principles of Aiki pacify and reconcile those threatening violence. Also when the enemy has already attacked, likewise transform and change according to the attack of the enemy through the principles of fitting together Ki and achieve reconciliation.
Enlightened people have received this transmission from the Founder, Shinra Saburo Minamoto Yoshimitsu, and must train devoutly in the basics of Aiki no Jutsu as well as Taijutsu (Yawara), Tachi no Jutsu, Sojutsu, and Bojutsu to attain the state where Aiki Budo is the Way of Human Development.