The Martial Artist

Tgace

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And yes, the saying was in reference to the cultural benefits of what we'd call "art", including ikebana and poetry..

Upon what are you basing that assertation on? Other than your assertation?
 

Chris Parker

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From the section I presented:

There are many people who, by being attached to a martial art and taking apprentices, believe that they have arrived at the full stature of a warrior. But it is a regrettable thing to put forth much effort and in the end become an artist.

From the OP:

In all cases, the person who practices an art is an artist, not a samurai, and one should have the intention of being called a samurai.

In ALL cases....

Yeah, I read that but no, you can't make that connection due to the words chosen there. They are, as said, separate and distinct passages, and not really related to each other. Additionally, they're discussing two different ideas, despite the very similar wording. The first is looking specifically at the practice of taking martial arts and turning them into something Tsunemoto considered of lesser value (to the idea of being a samurai or a warrior), whereas the second (from the OP passage) is discussing the practice of engaging in and focusing on other arts in lieu of your focus as a samurai, which can be to do with warriorship, but not necessarily.

If you want to make sense of the seeming contradiction there, when a martial art is done with the aim of making money, being a commercial venture, or for artistic purposes rather than the simple aim of giving martial skills, it ceases to be a martial art, and simply becomes another art, same as a dance form, or Kabuki theatre. At that point, it joins the rest of the arts being discussed (ikebana, cha no yu etc), and is done purely for the idea of being an "artist" which Tsunemoto considers anathema to the practice of being a samurai.

In other words, even when there seems to be a contradiction, there often isn't the Hagakure is filled with such paradox's, at once giving many examples of seemingly pointless throwing away of individuals lives, while talking about the futility of wasting your life pointlessly

Upon what are you basing that assertation on? Other than your assertation?

I'm basing it on my knowledge of the development of the samurai, the time period, how the social situation was changed and changing, how the arts were developing (remember, this is basically the origin of the iemoto/soke concept), the direction that the class was moving in, and more.

In other words, I'm basing it on knowing what I'm talking about.
 

Tgace

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And what is that knowledge based on? Are you degreed in Japanese history/literature? Can you read Japanese? Have you read the Hagakure in Japanese and can you back up your assertation based on interpretation from the original? I don't bow to a simple "I know what I'm talking about" without proofs.

What is your expertise on the subject at hand?

All that sounded like was a doubled down assertation.
 
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Zero

Zero

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Hey Zero,
Yeah, again, that's really nothing to do with what Tsunetomo was saying.

Basically what he was saying is that I, in his estimation, wouldn't be classed as having the intention of being a samurai, as I also have studied acting, play guitar and drums, write music (and occasionally other forms of expression), and study a range of areas that are not related to being better as serving a lord (or, in a modern context, being completely dedicated to my job and my boss). And, again, that view was his alone other areas would emphasise a wider cultural viewpoint and exposure, as well as a wider cultural development and skill set.
I am not sure and think it may go further than that. But again, this is problematic with respect to ascertaining exactly the intention in his words (and from my perspective, and maybe yours, with respect only to a translation). Certinaly he would not see you as having the intention of a samurai. But in addition, and with respect to what ever skill level you may have, when you and your students practice the techniques of your art or koryu, you are doing so as nothing more than artists - such as like a ballet artist or other performer. You are not actually putting these weapons and techniques into true effect (thankfully, I would add!). And potentially you, or at least some of your students, are in your practice sessions not carrying this out even with the mind set of cutting down your opponent. In any event, it is all simply a performance.

This does not just apply to you, it applies to most of us.
 
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