Kanji question

Discussion in 'SKH/Quest/Toshindo/Shadows of Iga' started by shadycrzy, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. shadycrzy

    shadycrzy White Belt

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    I've been getting my shinobi geek on this past week so I've been gathering a collection of kanji related to To-Shin Do stuff. I figured out all of the proper kanji and meanings for the main unarmed kamae but I had a problem when I got to Hoko.

    I'll show you what I've got and then I'll ask my question.

    [FONT=&quot]構え [FONT=&quot] Kamae Posture[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]自然 Shizen Natural[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]防備 [FONT=&quot]Boubi Defense Ready[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]一文字 [FONT=&quot]Ichimonji Figure One (First Position)[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]怒[FONT=&quot]虎 Doko Angry Tiger[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]十[FONT=&quot]文字[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]Jumonji Figure Ten (Tenth Position)[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]攻勢 Kosei Offensive (Aggressive Force)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]平 Hira Flat[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]飛鳥 Hicho Flying Bird[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]捕虎/抱圍 [FONT=&quot]Hoko Capturing the Tiger/Surrounding Hug[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I know we tell the kids it means Angry Bear but we tell the adults it means encircling. What threw me off the trail was surrounding([/FONT][FONT=&quot]圍) which is kaku in the romaji. Is it common to drop a syllable like that when combining kanji? After I gave up on [/FONT][FONT=&quot]圍 I saw someone define it as Capturing the Tiger. So now I've seen both variations and I'm not sure which is correct.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]In the end I know that it doesn't really matter, they both convey the same meaning so they're both "right" but I was hoping someone could satisfy my curiosity. I've read somewhere that it might be due to there being two differently translated (different kanji) hoko no kamaes in different ryu-ha.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]BTW, it's awesome that capture([/FONT][FONT=&quot]捕)[/FONT][FONT=&quot] and hug([/FONT][FONT=&quot]抱)[/FONT][FONT=&quot] are homophones
    [/FONT]
     
  2. David43515

    David43515 Master Black Belt

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    Yes, it`s very common to drop a syllable when combigning kanji. Most verbs are usually written with the kanji for the first part, followed by some hiragana to show the last syllable or two. It`s those last ones that change depending on who the verb is conjigated.(past tense vs present perfect tense for instance) Kanji for nouns may also have a syllable that`s dropped when the character is combined with another to form a new word, or they might both change to a completely different yomikata (way of reading, pronunciation).
     
  3. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    [​IMG][​IMG] meaning "Hug" "Surrounds", the generic nickname for Hoko being a "bear" posture comes from the look of the kamae. But it literally means hugging your surroundings. I personally look at it as anything withing my hands/arms (ie within my vision, as my arms are held at the periphery of my vision) belongs to me, and if an attacker is helpful enough to offer their attack within the scope of that embraced area, well, that belongs to me too.
     
  4. shadycrzy

    shadycrzy White Belt

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    Thank you very much for the responses. I'll throw a few more kanji up and maybe you can help me w/ another puzzle I've come across. This one involves the strikes. Again, I'll start w/ sharing what I've got.


    拳 Ken Fist
    拇指/指刃 Boshi/Shito Thumb Finger/Finger Sword
    不動 Fudo Not Moving
    五指 Goshi Five Finger
    八[FONT=&quot]葉[/FONT] Happa Eight Leaves
    鬼角 Kikaku Demon Horn
    骨法 Koppo Bone System
    蝦蛄 Shako Mantis Crab
    指環 Shikan Finger Ring
    指針 Shishin Finger Needle
    指端 Shitan Finger Point/Finger Edge
    足躍 Sokuyaku Foot Dance
    足逆 Sokugyaku Foot Reverse
    体 Tai Body
    手刃/(創点/起転?)Shuto/Kiten Hand Sword/(Starting Point/ Rising Turn?)
    手(創/起?) Shuki Hand (Start/Raise?)
    (足?)(創/起?) Sokki Foot (Start/Raise?)

    My main question involves the ki from sokki, shuki and kiten. Is it rising
    (起) or starting(創)? I can see how both could be right and I've seen both, but more sources claim it's raise or rising. Alternatively, 創 is kizu in the romaji and mostly it means to injure so I can see why it would be used w/in the name of a strike.

    Personally I prefer
    創点 (starting point or original) for the kiten and 足起 and 手起 for sokki and shuki because they seem the more accurate descriptions. I'm also assuming in this list that soku(足) has been shortened to so or sok in sokki ken. Can anyone confirm that for me?

    BTW, goshi ken is something we do at our dojo and I don't know if anyone else actually uses it as a strike.
     
  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    The thing to remember here is that you are dealing with a variety of lineages, albeit related in a number of cases, but that will give rise to differences in the kanji being used, the names attributed, or the particular technicalities of what you are asking about. To illustrate, starting with your kamae list:

    自然 Shizen Natural This term is not actually the most commonly used in the scrolls. In Gyokko Ryu, Kukishinden Ryu, Koto Ryu, and others it is known as Hira no Kamae (flat posture/attitude), indicating that it is a neutral position. It is called Shizentai (natural body - there is no "no kamae" here) in Shinden Fudo Ryu. The term Shizen no Kamae seems to come from the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku No Maki. The way it is taught also differs from school to school (how the arms are held, where the hands are).

    [FONT=&quot]防備 [FONT=&quot]Boubi Defense Ready This kamae is unique to Koto Ryu.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]一文字 [FONT=&quot]Ichimonji Figure One (First Position) There are a few different versions of kamae with this name, namely in Gyokko Ryu, Togakure Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, and some versions of Shinden Fudo Ryu Jutaijutsu (Taijutsu).[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]怒[FONT=&quot]虎 Doko Angry Tiger Most people are quite familiar with this kamae from Togakure Ryu, but the name is also used for a different kamae in Gyokko Ryu, and from reports I have come across, Gyokushin Ryu as well.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]十[FONT=&quot]文字[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]Jumonji Figure Ten (Tenth Position) Once again, the Gyokko one is very familiar, although it is mostly known as a variation of the actual kamae (the feet should be parallel, with your weight held 50/50, not with one foot in front), but Kumogakure Ryu is also said to have a Jumonji no Kamae within itself as well.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]攻勢 Kosei Offensive (Aggressive Force) Ah, Kukishinden Ryu. Within Kukishinden Ryu each posture has at least two versions, one for suhada (unarmoured) combat, and another for armour, known as Yoroi Kumiuchi. The main difference is slightly lower weight distribution, and the hands held in Shikan Ken for Yoroi Kumiuchi.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]平 Hira Flat Now here you could be refering to a few different ones. As mentioned, it is an alternate name for a Shizen no Kamae, or it is an alternate name (used in Hayes' early books) as a shortened version of the full name, Hira Ichimonji no Kamae. Then, if we are talking about that one, there are a few variations depending on the school, for example, Koto Ryu is actually on one leg, with the other pointed out to the side (and the arms held out sideways, forming the straight horizontal line - Ichimonji).[/FONT]

    飛鳥 Hicho Flying Bird Pure Gyokko Ryu, unless you are also refering to Katate Hicho no Kamae, which is from Kukishinden Ryu, and is not a single leg posture.

    [FONT=&quot]捕虎/抱圍 [FONT=&quot]Hoko Capturing the Tiger/Surrounding Hug This posture comes to us from Koto Ryu, another unique kamae from them.[/FONT][/FONT]

    There are also kamae such as Seigan no Kamae (versions in Koto Ryu, Kukishinden Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Shinden Fudo Ryu Jutaijutsu), Hanza no Kamae/Nage no Kamae (a half-kneeling posture used in most schools with differing names depending on school), Hannin no Kamae (a posture from Gyokko Ryu which is really a variation of any other kamae with a particular hand position), Katate Seigan no Kamae (Shinden Fudo Ryu Jutaijutsu), and a range of kamae particular to Togakure Ryu, Hatto no Kamae, Happogakure no Kamae, Tonso no Kamae, Hachimonji no Kamae and more.

    As to the strikes, well:

    拳 Ken Fist Yep, this just means "fist", although it can also be tranlated as "weapon".

    拇指/指刃 Boshi/Shito Thumb Finger/Finger Sword The term Shito ken is actually the most common in the scrolls, being the term used in Gyokko Ryu, Togakure Ryu, and Koto Ryu. Boshi Ken is used in Kukishinden Ryu, and Takagi Yoshin Ryu.Other names sometimes used (Kumogakure Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu etc) include Yubi Ken (thumb fist) and Moguri Ken (burrowing fist)

    不動 Fudo Not Moving Fudo ken is the name used in Koto Ryu and Gyokko Ryu, Togakure Ryu and Kumogakure Ryu sometimes use the name Kongo Ken (Diamond Fist), bu the most common name, being found in Kukishinden Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Shinden Fudo Ryu and more is Nio Ken.

    五指 Goshi Five Finger Goshi Ken is a name from Koto Ryu, and is basically the name they give a Shako Ken strike where the palm is not used, so only the tips of the fingers and thumbs reach their targets. This is most often found in kata such as Hehi (Heppi), where the first strike is a Goshi Ken to the base of the throat, followed by a Shako Ken to the face. Think in armour, and the strikes make a lot of sense.

    八[FONT=&quot]葉[/FONT] Happa Eight Leaves Again, this is a name from Kukishinden Ryu, although it seems to have been transferred over to other schools, such as Takagi Yoshin Ryu and Koto Ryu.

    鬼角 Kikaku Demon Horn Ah, Koto Ryu. In Shinden Fudo Ryu, a head butt is called a Zu Tsuki (thrust with the head).

    骨法 Koppo Bone System Now this will get a little confusing. Literally, Koppo is Bone (Kotsu) Method (Ho). In a very real way, the name is just what the head of the system decied to call it, but can give clues as to what it emphasises.

    蝦蛄 Shako Mantis Crab Hmm, not sure of that translation there. But alternate names are Chin Ken (Gyokko Ryu).

    指環 Shikan Finger Ring Now, this one is complicated. Shikan ken turns up as a name in Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Kukishinden Ryu, adn Takagi Yoshin Ryu, but there are sometimes variations as to application. For example, within Gyokko Ryu, a Shikan Ken is done with only the knuckle of your middle finger, pushed out from a normal fist.

    指針 Shishin Finger Needle More a concept than a strike or fist, this is primarily from Gyokko Ryu.

    指端 Shitan Finger Point/Finger Edge A very Gyokko name for this strike, and a very Gyokko strike.

    足躍 Sokuyaku Foot Dance This is a generic name within the schools for a kick, but specifically refers to a kick with the sole of the foot.

    足逆 Sokugyaku Foot Reverse As my instructor once said to me, not the sole of the foot. Most often a shin/instep kick, also called Keri Kaeshi.

    体 Tai Body Again a concept, taken from Shinden Fudo Ryu, and used in teh Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki.

    手刃/(創点/起転?)Shuto/Kiten Hand Sword/(Starting Point/ Rising Turn?) Kiten Ken is the name used for this strike in Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu, Gikan Ryu, Togakure Ryu, and Kumogakure Ryu. Shuto Ken is the name in Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Shinden Fudo Ryu, and Kukishinden Ryu.

    手(創/起?) Shuki Hand (Start/Raise?) Taken from Kukishinden Ryu, I most often see this translated as "Waking Up Strike/Fist"

    (足?)(創/起?) Sokki Foot (Start/Raise?) As above, often translated as "Waking Up Foot Strike/Weapon".

    Missing from this list are:a variety of kicks, Kakato Keri, Kakushi Keri, Yoko Geri, Sokuho Keri, and a few hand strikes such as Koppo Ken.


    I'm also assuming in this list that soku(足) has been shortened to so or sok in sokki ken. Can anyone confirm that for me? Oh yeah, that's exactly it. When combining syllables often some are left out for ease of pronunciation.

    BTW, goshi ken is something we do at our dojo and I don't know if anyone else actually uses it as a strike. As stated above, it is a term from Koto Ryu, so it depends on the vocabulary of the instructor, both what they know, and what they prefer to use. I prefer Shito Ken, my instructor prefers Boshi Ken, but we both know what we are refering to.


    My point here is simply that even just the names are quite a complicated subject, and are not necessarily that important, particularly at the beginning. So enjoy your studies, but don't take the naming of everything too seriously. It's more important to be able to physically perform the art, and bring it to life than just know all the names.

     
  6. shadycrzy

    shadycrzy White Belt

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    Agreed

    This is to satisfy my own intellectual curiosity. In TSD we are taught the schools but our curriculum isn't bound or tied to it if that makes sense. We don't learn Gyokko Ryu or Kukishinden Ryu techniques, we learn TSD techniques, which are very similar to and based on (and in many cases nearly identical to) Gyokko and Kukishenden (among others) techniques. So other than the difference between Koto and Gyokko Ichimonji we don't talk about where the kamaes came from in our dojo. Thank you for the illuminating explanations!

    BTW, a great homonym for Shitan Ken that I found was Finger Bullet Fist, accurate description, just not historically accurate.
     

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