Visiting a Dojo...kamiza/kamidana gift?

stone_dragone

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I will be visiting a dojo this weekend for a two day seminar and wish to bring a gift to present for he kamiza/kamidana. Appropriate or inappropriate? and if it's appropriate, any suggestions for what to bring?

Thanks!
 

JustAVisitor

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Appropriate. The gift depends on the impression you want to make and your intent. If it is just a courtesy, something very simple would do. Trained in chinese, vietnames MAs, i would bring fruits or flowers in a basket.
You can never be too polite.
 

Grenadier

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All of my sensei and sahbum have told me the same thing. When you visit a different school, then it's a nice gesture to bring a gift, as long as it's an appropriate gift. If it's something for their kamiza, then a small figurine can do just fine.

Food items, coffee mugs, katana-shaped letter openers, etc., are but a few examples of small (under 10 dollars) gifts that can bring a smile to the dojo owner.

When I visit my old teachers, though, it's a lot more personal, and that's when I might give a nicer gift, such as a laser pointer, even possibly an exotic hardwood bokken, hanbo, etc. One thing that really makes a nice gift, is a green laser pointer, which you can find for under 40 bucks these days.
 

Laurentkd

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I assume the dojo you are visting is in the same country that you are from but...

In my experiences and in most books I have read about doing business with asians is to bring something from your homeland that they don't have. So depending on how far you are traveling may bring a little something from "home"?

I would say a weapon or something sharp would not be a great idea. In Feng Shui a gift like that would be "bad luck".

Regardless in the end it is always the thought that counts.
 

lemon_meringue

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I would bring fruit, flowers or a candle. Keep it simple. As long as you are respectful, the object itself doesn't really matter- it's the thought that counts. :)
 

JustAVisitor

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If the 'thing' that you are offering is simply cute to you and you have the best intentions... well that means that you are a nice person and thanks for the nice thought. However it also means you are also not knowledgeable in protocole, culture, traditions, ceremonies.
The gift should reflect your intention as well as your understanding of your position. And because gifts are culturally coded, it is a good idea to learn more about it.
For instance, i would bring flowers and/or fruits that i meantioned earlier because they are common gifts in the MA culture i am 'familiar' with. Flowers are reminders of the beauty of this world and of the human nature. Fruits mean results and wealth. I also would be careful about the flowers and fruits themselves and their colors.
 
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