Dojo layout

Cryozombie

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Just curious about some dojo layout and ettiquite...

Where is the Kamidana traditionally located? I have heard the North wall, I have heard the east wall...

What is the basic layout of a japanese dojo, in relation to the Kamidana, the doorway, etc...


 

r erman

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I've always heard the East wall for the Kamidana--land of the rising sun... I don't know about the doorway, or if it has a traditional layout.
 
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Cryozombie

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What I have heard, and again, we are trying to piece the truth together, is that the Kamiza and Kamidana are always on the east wall, and that is opposite the door. However we have also heard the North wall, and also the wall with the highest elevation. I tried to research it online, but got conflicting info, or partial info...

But best we can determine is that it should be opposite the door, and that is the side the Instructor should sit on, and there should be no doorways "under" the shrine...

Im supprised that the Japan Elite here cant correct me.
 

Deaf

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Maybe it is all trivial and that is why they haven't responded! :idunno:

To me, it is only about the training. Doesn't matter where what is or what direction it is facing. I know to some people, this is an important thing so don't think I am knocking you people down.

I just find it amusing how people are into those tiny details. :)

Hopefully someone will be able to answer the question for you.

~Deaf~
 
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Cryozombie

Cryozombie

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Deaf said:
I just find it amusing how people are into those tiny details. :)

Well, my instructor is talking about building a new training space, and I dont know how much it matters to him, but we were talking about it, and I thought I would ask about it as a courtesy to him, so he at least has the information as he plans.

For my part, I dont care if i am training in a perfectly laid out dojo, or a field... Im training for the skills, not the environment.
 

Henderson

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Techo,...I found the following at fightingarts.com. I have also attached the link to the article, written by Dave Lowry. Hope it helps in your quest.

tao_dojo-2-1.gif


http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=387

Frank
 

Tengu6

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That Image is for Shinto, techno is looking for Mikkyo or Tendai. The first choice would be the East wall, the second would be the North....the problem is some say facing east and others say on the East wall. All of the Kamidana I have seen (not in the Dojo) were ON the East wall.

I will contact Vic with more specific info.

A good place to get them or research is www.tozando.com

p.s. send me that pic with you and the Mandalorian.

Markk Bush
 
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Cryozombie

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Tengu6 said:
That Image is for Shinto, techno is looking for Mikkyo or Tendai. The first choice would be the East wall, the second would be the North....the problem is some say facing east and others say on the East wall. All of the Kamidana I have seen (not in the Dojo) were ON the East wall.

I will contact Vic with more specific info.

A good place to get them or research is www.tozando.com

p.s. send me that pic with you and the Mandalorian.

Markk Bush

Thats what I told him too... and he said north wall... :D

That pic is on my Flickr site... feel free to snag it from there.
 

teisatsu

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Not to pick at nits but...

The use and display of kamiza and kamidana are Shinto practices. Not Tendai Mikkyo practices. While there is a lot of overlap of Buddhist and Shinto practices and traditions in Japan (a lot of Japan specific history here) to the best of my knowledge, Buddhist influences should not effect the placement of Shinto specific accoutrements.
 

Tengu6

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teisatsu said:
Not to pick at nits but...
teisatsu said:

The use and display of kamiza and kamidana are Shinto practices. Not Tendai Mikkyo practices. While there is a lot of overlap of Buddhist and Shinto practices and traditions in Japan (a lot of Japan specific history here) to the best of my knowledge, Buddhist influences should not effect the placement of Shinto specific accoutrements.


Kamiza and Kamidana are definitely used in Mikkyo, Tendai, Shingon and Shugendo. Both originated from Shinto but overlapped when Buddhism and Shinto merged in the 6th century, Shugendo and Mikkyo have close relations to Folk Shinto and still use Kamidana and Kamiza.

As far as Mr.Lowrey's article, it pulls more from the Shinto (Chinese origin brought to Japan) perspective than the Mikkyo (Japanese) ones. This is why Placement in the East takes precedent over the North.

Markk Bush
 

teisatsu

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Tengu6 said:
Kamiza and Kamidana are definitely used in Mikkyo, Tendai, Shingon and Shugendo. Both originated from Shinto but overlapped when Buddhism and Shinto merged in the 6th century, Shugendo and Mikkyo have close relations to Folk Shinto and still use Kamidana and Kamiza.


Everything in Japan has a close relationship to Shinto. And to specify "folk' Shinto is redundant. Shinto is a culture-specific spiritual belief. That makes it folkish by definition.

As to the Mikkyo/Shugendo/Tendai/Shingon kamiza issue my line of thinking is this... Simply because someone practices both Shinto and Buddhism (regardless of flavor) does not make the kamiza/kamidana a Buddhist accoutrement. There are plenty of Shinto practicing Christians in Japan also. I'd be willing to bet that their kamiza and kamidana are not Christian. You are correct that a lot of cultural practices were merged and or co-opted by Buddhism during it's introduction to Japan... this is a pattern that holds true of lots of missionary work and the spreading of faiths regardless of era, location, or religeon. However, to say that Buddhism and Shino "merged" says in essence that the two are now co-dependant. This is not true. Shinto exists without Buddhism and vice versa. Can you cite a source that makes specific Buddhist reference to the kamiza/kamidana and/or Buddhist specific practices that utilize the kamiza/kamidana as being central to that practice? I'm genuinely curious because this is the first I've heard of this particular concept. Shinto = Kami Way. Therefore, to my way of thinking, a kamiza (kami or spirt house) would be unique to the practice of Shinto. I'm willing to admit that I could be incorrect on this but it seems odd. A good reference would be helpful.



Tengu6 said:
As far as Mr.Lowrey's article, it pulls more from the Shinto (Chinese origin brought to Japan) perspective than the Mikkyo (Japanese) ones. This is why Placement in the East takes precedent over the North.

Markk Bush

I'm unclear here... are you suggestion that Shinto was a Chinese import? If so, this is again, something odd...
 

Don Roley

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Tengu6 said:
That Image is for Shinto, techno is looking for Mikkyo or Tendai.

Are you sure about that?:)

I am going to have to look into Techno's question. I read about it somewhere, but I do not have a dojo of my own so I never had to think about it and forgot. I just show up for training. I bow to where the kamiza is and not think about what direction it is.

And, to make matters worse, I think that the directions of Someya Dojo and the Honbu are about 45 degrees off from each other.
 

Bujingodai

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For us that are not so smart 1st off, exact diff between Kamiza or Kamidana.

For my dojo, got to use the North as the East wall consists of a furnace, cabinet and all the infloor heating manifolds.

All I know is that there shouldn't be anything above it, at least that is what I have been told. I have also been told by some that there shouldn't be anything on that wall at all except for the kamiza. but that doesn't sound too practical.
 

Kreth

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Bujingodai said:
For us that are not so smart 1st off, exact diff between Kamiza or Kamidana.
The kamidana is the actual shrine. The kamiza is the place where it goes.
 
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Cryozombie

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Don Roley said:
Are you sure about that?:)

Well, Markk would know what my instructor wants better than I would... they have known each other a LOT longer.
 

Tengu6

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teisatsu said:
As to the Mikkyo/Shugendo/Tendai/Shingon kamiza issue my line of thinking is this... Simply because someone practices both Shinto and Buddhism (regardless of flavor) does not make the kamiza/kamidana a Buddhist accoutrement.

Didnt say it was, just that it is used.

teisatsu said:
There are plenty of Shinto practicing Christians in Japan also. I'd be willing to bet that their kamiza and kamidana are not Christian. You are correct that a lot of cultural practices were merged and or co-opted by Buddhism during it's introduction to Japan... this is a pattern that holds true of lots of missionary work and the spreading of faiths regardless of era, location, or religeon. However, to say that Buddhism and Shino "merged" says in essence that the two are now co-dependant. This is not true. Shinto exists without Buddhism and vice versa.

Thats not what I meant by merged. At one point they were practiced together, but in 1868 practicing Shinto with Buddhism was outlawed as Shinto was the State religion.....which ended after WW2

teisatsu said:
Can you cite a source that makes specific Buddhist reference to the kamiza/kamidana and/or Buddhist specific practices that utilize the kamiza/kamidana as being central to that practice?

Nope, because it is not central to the practice.

teisatsu said:
I'm willing to admit that I could be incorrect on this but it seems odd. A good reference would be helpful.

Same here, just curious, do you practice Mikkyo, Tendai, Shingon or Shugendo? As I mentioned in an earlier post, you most likely will not find good references on the net. I would suggest speaking with one of the handfull of legitimate priests in the US, if you are interested.


teisatsu said:
I'm unclear here... are you suggestion that Shinto was a Chinese import? If so, this is again, something odd...

Perhaps not as a whole but it does hav eits origins there.

Here are some links to the subject on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tendai

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto

I agree that the Kamiza and Kamidana are Shinto based, but the concept and use are adopted by many.

Markk Bush
 

Tengu6

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I just realized something in Mr. Lowrey's article. North, South, East and West are refered to virtually. He says "If we think of the kamiza as north"......so he is basing the directions off of the location of the Kamiza, not actually North, South, etc. So even if it is located on the East wall, for purposes of considering the Tao in the Dojo, he refers to it as North.

It makes more sense that way. pretty cool.

Markk Bush
 

teisatsu

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Markk,

Ok, so what I'm understanding from your last post is more or less what I understood prior to this discussion. Basically that Shinto related items (in this case kamiza/kamidana) are used by those who are exponents of other spiritual paths. That is my understanding and experience as well. Your original post didn't read that way to me... it seemed to suggest something different. We can call that my fault.

The origins of Shinto issue seems to be more an anthropological one regarding where those who inhabited Japan originated from and how much of the foundation of the current Shinto belief system they brought with them and how much was formed once in what we now know as Japan... Various forms of animism are practiced in lots of places but this particular brand is unique to Japan and it's culture and people, so I consider it a uniquely Japanese thing.

I am not an adherent of any brand of Buddhism. I do have a somewhat academic interest in these subjects though in as much as they influence the culture and budo of Japan... both areas of great interest to me. If you have good contact information for those authorities you mentioned, please e-mail privately (I think there's a link in my profile)... In fact, e-mail me anyway. I'd like to discuss a couple of things with you.
 

teisatsu

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Also particularly interesting, and apparently acknowledging a lot of individual variation of specific dojo, there is the following in Lowry's article:

...My explanation of dojo layout in terms of Taoist cosmology is hardly unchallengeable. Maybe the form of the dojo stems not from Taoism, but from hogaku, native methods of geomancy that are, even today, a regular part of the curriculum of many classical Japanese martial ryu. Still, if there is a do in the dojo, it makes sense there is a flavor of the Tao present as well. The forces of the Tao may energize the training hall in ways that are subtle and hidden from ordinary perceptions...

There are apparently a lot of less-than-concrete parameters in regard to dojo layout.
 
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