This week we had the opportunity to visit the Shorinji Kempo dojo here in Omura and learn the world practiced martial art Shorinji Kempo. We first had the chance to learn the history, culture, and reason for the martial art. The Sensei’s (teacher) that was speaking is now a 8th degree black belt in Shorinji Kempo. It was great to hear the story of why Shorinji Kempo was created because it’s a great way to feel more connected to why we were learning the moves. Shorinji Kempo is a young Japanese martial art compared to some of the others. In 1947 Doshin So founded Shorinji Kempo in the town of Tadotsu, Kagawa prefecture.
Doshin’s motivation for creating Shorinji Kempo was to bring the spirit of Japan back up after World War II. During that time in Japan the rules of society, the economy, and people’s hearts were in turmoil. Doshin So’s then awakened to the knowledge that “all things depend on the quality of the people who stand in the positions of influence.” He considered that to build a peaceful world “there is no other way than to cultivate, in as many people as possible, deeply rooted compassion, great courage, and a strong sense of justice.” This is just a small portion of Doshin So’s Philosophy to the martial art and Shorinji Kempo is now taught in over 34 countries worldwide and is growing fast.
So after the verbal briefing now was the time to learn first hand some Shorinji Kempo technics (all are self defense based). At first seeing the groups of kids anywhere from 6 to 13 years olds that we’ll be sparing with I thought this shouldn’t hurt too much, about 10 seconds later I was on the group quite in pain and might have lost my confidence. Luckily I looked around and almost all of us from World Campus Japan were in the same position. It was great to learn the technic from the kids because of their great spirits and patience with teaching us. Not to mention getting thrown around by a boy half my size was very enlightening. It was a day filled with fun, learning, and much soreness afterwards.
(Brandon Serna – External Relations Manager for Summer ‘11 Road Team)
My name is Iris Spruit and I am from the Netherlands. I have been living in Leiden, a town in the west of the Netherlands, for a year now, where I study Japanese. Next year I am also going to study psychology. I play the violin and I am in a student orchestra. Before I moved to Leiden, I lived with my parents in a small village in the norh of the Netherlands.
When I finished high school I went travelling with a friend for 6 months. This is how I came to love travelling, meeting new people and other cultures. I have never been to Japan, so I am really excited to go. I hope to improve my English and Japanese speeking skills and I hope to learn a lot about other cultures and ofcourse have a lot of fun!
My name is Jurriën. Most people call me Jur. This year (2011) will be the first time that I’ll be participating in the World Campus Japan summer program. I’m from the Netherlands and am currenly living in the beautiful city, Leiden. I’m originally from the south of the Netherlands, but I moved to Leiden to study. I’m currently a 1st year student studying japanse culture and language. This is also the reason I’m participating in the project. It gives me a good opportunity to see Japan with a non-tourist perspective.
Other than japanese language and culture, I’m also really interested in other cultures and languages from all over the world. It would be great to meet a lot of people with different ways of thiking and get to know them. Sharing the experiences we had in our own countries and getting to know japan together.
Really looking forward to meeting everyone!,
My name is Joakim Gåsøy, and I will be one of the participants of World Campus Japan tour this year. I am 18 years old and I come from Norway. Currently I have only one more year at school before the university, where I want to study mathematics.
The first time I came in contact with japanese culture was when i found a manga book at a train about 8 years ago. Since then, my interest for Japan has just been growing, and it never ceased to surprise. WCI have given me the opportunity, not only to experience Japan from the inside, but also to meet people from all over the world. I am very pleased that I am given this opportunity, and I cant wait for it to start.
I believe that this experience will be importiant to me as a person, and hopefully for you too!