Way of Inner Strength

Discussion in 'Japanese Culture and History' started by kakejiku, May 31, 2012.

  1. kakejiku

    kakejiku Yellow Belt

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    [​IMG]This is a return customer. Originally, he had asked us to translate the phrase "Way of Inner Strength" into Japanese. My wife ultimately came up with this translation. Seishin is spirit or the inner soul and Ryoku is another reading for strength or power. These beautiful scrolls are given as gifts I think. The cloth is a Silk with a very meditative pattern.

    It is written in the Gyousho (Semi-cursive) style by Ryugyoku (Yoshimi Yamada Maples). I am very proud of the work she has done for me. Her writing is always consistent and brush strokes are always technically sound, even when there are multiple orders of the same saying or calligraphy.

    The scrolls are finished with an ivory plastic jikusaki and usu kincha (gold) hanging string.

    Dimensions as follows:

    Name in KanjiName in EnglishSize in BunSize in Inches
    天Ten10011.93
    上一文字Ue Ichimonji182.15
    紙本の幅さArtwork Width576.80
    紙本の長さArtwork Length20224.10
    柱Pillars172.03
    下一文字Shita Ichimonji111.31
    地Chi677.99
    掛け軸の幅さScroll Width9110.86
    掛け軸の長さScroll Length39847.48

     
  2. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Nice. I'm not 100% on the translation, though. Seishin (精神) can refer to the soul, but more commonly refers to the intention behind something, an action or ideal. Ryoku (カ) can refer to strength, but when used singly it refers to power, typically muscular power, rather than internal. Seiryoku (精カ), on the other hand, is "spiritual power", or internal power. Your final character (道), Do, or Michi, refers to a path, or way (or street), but really should have "no" (之) or (の) to indicate possesiveness (path of). So I'd probably translate it as "Seiryokyu no Michi" 精カ之道/精カの道, with a preference on the first. At the moment it reads as "Way Intention Muscular Power".
     
  3. Jameswhelan

    Jameswhelan Yellow Belt

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    Have you studied sho? Do you read/write Japanese?

    Dictionary definitions (particularly contemporary definitions) are not very important here. What matters are the aesthetics of stroke count, the graphical balance of the characters, the layers and layers of meaning and nuance that a character has accumulated over the millenia, and what can be concealed using all these. You keep this in mind when you choose the kanji (and you only choose kanji).

    It should not. Using kana or marking Japanese grammar in yojijukugo is wrong.
     
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  4. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Cool. Thanks for the clarification, James.
     
  5. kakejiku

    kakejiku Yellow Belt

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    Thanks to both for your insightful replies. Since many have put deep thought into this, I would propose that you read the first three characters as one word 精神力 and then attach "The Way of" as the encompassing ideal. This is probably a better way to read into the spirit of the translation rather than parsing each character separately. This is often done in my wife's monthly calligraphy assignments from her Shodokai. They will present three or four characters and then summarize it with one character at the end...

    We went through about 4 iterations of this before my wife finalized the translation....I trust her judgement as a Calligrapher of 40+ years and her native language capabilities especially when it comes to poetry and nuance. I appreciate Whelan様 reiterating many of the points that were initially discussed with my wife when working on this project for the original three scrolls with this same cloth ordered in November of 2011. This is a reorder, however, I used a different 一文字 ichimonji which I find as a good match to the cloth selected by the customer.

    If it were written in Kana, or the style similar to the original edict of Funakoshi Sensei for Shotokan Karate (Win or Lose) then the No would definitely be present, but probably in Hiragana form の and not the 乃 or 之 proposed by Parkerさん.
     

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