Tatemae 建前 and Honne 本音– Budoka’s True Face.

Most of us wear two faces: Tatemae 建前 (outward appearance) and Honne  本音 (true appearance/self). These aren’t mutually exclusive – often the lines blur – nor are they limited to Japanese society. Additionally, having two-faces shouldn’t be confused with being two-faced.  What passes for appropriate behaviour in one situation might be thoroughly inappropriate in another social setting. In New Seeds of Contemplation, the theologian and progressive thinker Father Thomas Merton said, “We have the...

Ikigai and Mortality

Individuals who believe their lives are worth living, live longer. From Psychology Today magazine. “Only the good die young.” While this may have been true in the adolescent fantasies of Billy Joel, it does not square with the results of a recently-published study by Toshimasa Sone and colleagues at Tohoku University Graduate School of...

YIN AND YANG IN KARATE-DO

The Yin-Yang symbol is ubiquitous – from coffee mugs and tattoos, to t-shirts and key rings.  Although its teardrop-shaped halves are generally interpreted as”good and evil”, “negative and positive”, “male and female”, or “dark and light”, among martial artists, its value runs deeper. While most commonly associated with Chinese systems, it also has a profound and abiding connection to Okinawan,...