Kendo: Its Philosophy, History and Means to Personal Growth

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This work considers an ancient yet timeless art and its profound philosophy, which aims to enhance personal growth through the cultivation of body and mind. Kendo is the modern version of Japanese swordsmanship, and modern kendo, which transmits the ancient swordsman tradition and life-view, has attracted many practitioners. Its aim is to tame the ego and discover the true self, but this process goes far beyond the realm of the intellect, and penetrates the sphere of what the Buddhists and kendo practitioners refer to as "mushin" - an altered state of consciousness. "Kendo" is a two-edged sword; it can be used for destructive purposes or for constructive purposes (katsujin-ken). It is in this area of human thought that kendo discipline bears distinct meaning today - an area of thought realized through an existential paradox; that the discipline of destruction forms the basis of the discipline of construction. The manner in which one responds to this paradox is the essence of "bushido" - the way of those who practice kendo. This seminal work describes the discipline of swordsmanship cultivated by the samurai in medieval and pre-modern Japan, and shows the relevance of the discipline today. Buddhism was a major influence on kendo and in this work Buddhist philosophy and socio-political history are used as a background to facilitate a better understanding of kendo as a popular culture and a direct means to personal growth.

Reseña del editor:

First published in 1995. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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