International & Global Education
The past month has brought me into deep contact with a world I had forgotten about - that of rampant individualism. Having lived in Japan for almost three decades, the notion of 'wa' for better or worse had seeped into my bones more than I knew.
As most of the folks I associate herewith are either Japanese or have lived here for a long time, we all know the 'rules' regarding 'wa' - it is unspoken, but we know it. So to once again be face to face with highly centralised 'individuals' who, despite their best intentions, did place themselves in a higher platform than 'us' was a shock and honestly one I was unprepared for.
Below, I share some ideas that emerged from this contact with the 'outside' world or at least the world of North America and Western Europe. This post is more about me, reflecting on 'stuff' I now take for granted but was not necessarily part of my original understanding of myself.
Life is a funny old thing - when you have changed and didn't notice.
1. Kaizen and Traditional Japanese Values:
2. Approach to Training:
3. Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness:
4. Principles of "Michi" (道) - The Way:
5. Cultivating Mushin (無心) - No-Mind:
6. Integration with Kaizen:
7. Transcending the Ego and Focusing on Self-Correction:
So there you have it- my learning over the last month.
I have changed in ways I did not know until I was confronted with what I could have become. Returning to the place we first knew and seeing ourselves again can be a frightful and shocking experience. Even more scary can be seeing how others see you.
It reminded me of something I once knew but forgot: It must be a significant burden always to know better than others and to hold a higher moral ground.
There again, both the chicken and the egg are only given meaning through the 'hatch' - hehehehe.
Okinawan and Japanese Budo
James M. Hatch
International Educator who happens to be passionate about Chito Ryu Karate. Born in Ireland, educated in Canada, matured in Japan