Japanese Principles in ArtBy Davey, H. E.
This article first appeared in the "SMAA Journal" Volume 16, Issue 1
Do you feel like you’re connected to the art you create?
Are you in control of your body?
Japanese arts share certain aesthetics; they demand the acquisition of related positive character traits for their successful performance. Notice that many of the names for these arts end in the Japanese word Do. Do means “the Way,” and its use in these names indicates that activity has surpassed its utilitarian purpose and has been elevated to the level of art.
Many artistic principles and mental states are universal to all Japanese Ways. One of the most meaningful and fundamental is the concept of mind and body coordination. Although few of us are required to use a calligraphy brush, Japanese sword, or tea ceremony utensils in daily life, learning how to use them skillfully can enhance our mental and physical health. The important relationship between the mind and body and how to achieve mind-body harmony is a principal theme of most traditional Japanese martial arts.
In Japanese swordsmanship, it’s customary to speak of a unity of mind, body, and sword. Mind and body coordination can be thought of as self-harmony. This integration is one of the mind and body in action, a central element for mastering any classical Japanese Way. Practicing one of the Ways can lead to an understanding of the art of living life itself.
A Japanese Karate Association for Your Mind and Body
We are responsible for our own spiritual progress. While a skilled and knowledgeable sensei is a must, don’t expect this person to simply give you awareness. Dabbling in martial arts can be easy.