beanboy3 (beanboy3) wrote in j_kaiwa,

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A 道 for everyone!

Take your pick. Japan has a lot of different traditional arts (道, read: DŌ)—different studies and disciplines left over from the past. Back in the day, an educated person would be something like an expert in all of the subjects; that’s what made one well-rounded. Now, being that we don’t have time to dedicate ourselves exclusively, Japanese will choose one and become really good at it (or just try it and quit after their parents stop forcing them to go). Here is a list of some of the 道’s I have come across.

剣道 - kendō - This is what could best be described at "Japanese Fencing." It uses thick and heavy armor, and the attackers wield bamboo swords (竹刀 shinai).
柔道 - jūdō - Japanese wrestling. The name means, "way of softness." I was told it was used to disarm an opponent, not to attack them.
弓道 - kyūdō - Japanese archery. It uses an enormous bow. One of the more spectacular applications of it is horse-mounted archery (流鏑馬 yabusame).
馬道 - badō - The art of riding a horse.
杖道 - jōdō - This fighting style was for the poor public who could not carry swords. They used long poles.
居合道 - iaidō - This is a relatively new sport, coming to life in the Meiji Era. Put simply, it is about learning how to draw a sword and attack imaginary opponents. There is another art, called 抜刀 (batō), which uses a real sword to slice wet tatami mats. In that sport, one must focus on their cutting style.
空手道 - karatedō - This is not originally from Japan, but from Okinawa. So, I guess the dō suffix is something recent.

茶道 - sadō - Otherwise known as 茶の湯 (cha-no-yu). It is the famous Japanese tea ceremony. A guy named 千利休 (Sen-no-Rikyū) started this ceremony, and it has branched off into three main schools, and many subschools.
書道 - shodō - AKA 習字 (shūji). This is calligraphy. One studies a lot: Japanese characters, both sets, and Chinese characters in all their different writing styles.
華道 - kadō - AKA 生け花 (ikebana). There are many traditions.
香道 - kōdō - The art of incense. If you don't know about Japanese incense, go to a temple on a allergy free day.
仏道 - butsudō - The study of Buddhism.

I am sure there is more, and I know I am lacking in explanations... but I figure I would open the subject for discussion.
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