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Shame and Glory

Iwata sensei's essays 9.

Shame and Glory

29th May 2000
An English actor, John Gielgud, who died at the age of 96, once said: „Performing has two aspects, one is shame and the other is glory.” When you perform, you are shaming yourself, your whole self, not just your physical appearance is on show. Some people feel glory when they are praised for their performance. But most of the praises are just the praises. They are not glory.
People forget things as time goes on. But some people can’t forget that your performance was impressive. That is glory.
Doing Dougi is the same as performing.
We practice very hard every day, then we do enbu in front of the audience. We expose ourselves to the audience. We get evaluation, criticism, praises.
We shouldn’t be puffed up with the praises.
There are a lot of empty, insincere compliments. But after years, if you get a heart-felt compliment, it is evidently glory.
Let me tell you some good examples.

    • Nakayama Hakudo Sensei’s Engi at Shinbu-den.
    • Hashimoto Touyou Sensei’s Engi at Shinbu-den.
      (Shinkyo-shi, Manshun 1942)
    • The teachers who belonged to the Zen Nippon Iai-dou Renmei.
    • Kouno Hyakuren Sensei’s enbu.
    • Sano Shigenori Sensei’s Noutou gihou that was like a miracle
    • Mori Shigeki Sensei’s Eishin-ryu kata.
    • Nakagawa Minoru Sensei’s Eishin-ryu kata.
    • Katsuse Kouan Sensei’s Enbu and Riai.
    • Yamoto Harusuke Sensei’s gihou of kashi and hara.
    • Mori Shigeki Sensei’s marvelous noutou.
    • Kimura Sanzou Sensei’s gihou like Nukiuchi and his dignity.
    • Hashimoto Masatake Sensei’s gihou and Nukata Chou Sensei’s gihou. (After the training in Yamaguchi-ken)
      • My teacher, Yamamoto Takuji Sensei’s dynamic nukitsuke.

    Their enbu come across my mind clearly.
    They are true glory.
    We have to pass them to the next generation. This is the way things are.

    87 years old - 25 May 2000.