picture-0415The 2008 training year has come to a close and I was fortunate enough to be a part of the last training of the year at Hombu and spend some time with Soke afterwards where several of the up and coming 2009 topics were discussed.  As we all know these are just the introduction of the buds that will bloom as the year passes by, but it would be good to start thinking about these as we come into the New Year.

Soke has chosen an aspect of the theme for next year and has already mentioned in several post DKMS training sessions  

才能心器 (sainou shin ki)

  • 才能(sainou) ability
  • (shin/kokoro) Heart
  • (ki/utsuwa) Capacity

The photo was taken on the last day of training at Hombu and may or may not be the scroll (on the left) for the year. You may notice that there is variation in the kanji and the true meaning of this will unfold as we enter the New Year.  The kanji for (TAMASHII) is used rather than shin.  Looking at this and listening to Soke’s explanation, I have a feeling for the meaning behind this, but as I have learned of so many things Soke, I will not jump to conclusions at this point.  I will do my best to update as the year unfolds.

Soke has made several references to the above on several of the recent trainings and has explained how the above elements are critical to Budoka.  Although there is no perfect translation for these terms, I’m confident that we see the infinite meanings in our training for 2009.

Another important point that Soke has made on several occasions is the importance of Shingitai.  Those that are familiar with Japanese will notice that there is no reference given to the head, or thinking in this aspect.  Therefore, Budo is not something that can be understood by the head or thinking.  It must be an aspect of the feeling and the heart.  Soke warned us that those who follow a logical study of Budo will be mistaken and that it Budo is not something that can be understood by the head.  In this Soke warned again that it is important to study with a good and just teacher so that you will not be lead down the wrong path.  There are too many with questionable motivations who can influence your training in the wrong way and ultimately taint a country with the wrong teachings.

The other important thing to be aware of for 2009 is that Soke has mentioned the intention to create a new Hombu Dojo.  The current Hombu Dojo is positioned where a new road is planned to be constructed in Noda in roughly 2 years time.  Therefore, if we are to avoid interruption in our Hombu training then the time to start construction of a new Hombu is 2009.  The location of this new Hombu is yet to be decided, but when I asked Soke where he was considering, I was given the answer of “Noda”.  Also, the plan is that this new Hombu will be a symbol of the Bujinkan into the future and is intended to be a more permanent landmark of the Bujinkan legacy.  Soke is thinking how to best proceed with this project with longevity for the future Bujinkan generations and how the land and structure is handled in Japan according to Japanese law becomes an issue for the future.  As we all know, Soke has no heirs and therefore assets can be liquidated.  However, temples, training halls etc, have some structure that allow for preservation.  Therefore, Soke is asking for this Hombu to be constructed by the support of the Bujinkan members by donation.  Soke intends to contribute a significant sum which should cover the basics, but how much support the Bujinkan community can give will determine the ultimate value.

Soke has asked me to spread the above news, and I will do my best to update once things unfold.

Until then, thank you all for your support, your training and I wish you all Happy New Year

See you in 2009.

Bufu Ikkan