Shyunki Taisai Message
April 11, 2008 · 9:16pm EST · Posted by Fujiyama Dojo
Fujiyama Dojo
P.O. Box 20003
Thorold, ON, Canada
L2V 5B3
(905) 680-6389
Jimmu Tenno was the first Emperor of Japan and the founder of the Imperial line that is still in place. His more complete name is Kami-Yamato-Ihare-Biko and personal name is Hiko-Hoho-Demi. Tradition tells us he descended from Ninigi-no-Mikoto, the grandson of Amaterasu Omikami, and is known for establishing and unifying Japan.

During Jimmu Tenno's quest to consolidate Japan, he sailed to the Kumano region (present day Wakayama prefecture). That area (Kii peninsula) was known for being very mystical, and it was said to be prowled by supernatural and human unruly forces. To this day many people believe that the Kumano region is a focus of intense psychic activity. It is a very actively 'haunted ' region as well, most folks would add. There are many tales of ghosts and restless spirits there.

One of the earliest connections between Tenno and the image of the birds of prey, like eagles and hawks, and occurred when he was in Kumano.

Legend tells us that, during a particular battle, a golden kite (a hawk-like bird) landed on the bow of Jimmu Tenno, gave a powerful cry and emitted brilliant light that subdued opposing forces. Images of Jimmu Tenno usually include the kite on his bow, and to this day the symbol of the birds of pray remains intrinsically connected with ancient Budo, not just as a sacred symbol, but a symbol with many meanings, just as light symbolizes virtue, energy, focus, knowledge, life. This is the most relevant story of Jimmu in Kumano.

The second most relevant story is the one that relates how, when arriving to a particular area of Kumano and facing unruly forces, Jimmu Tenno summoned his energy, raised his sword and stood in guard, gazing at the enemy but without looking at any of them in particular. His energy and spirit fused with the sword and they became as one. He did not attack. He did not take any lives. The enemies were unable to move against him. The mere act of raising his sword filled with his energy quelled the disturbance without further action. In this way, the sword brandished by Jimmu Tenno was the Aiki Myo Ken (wondrous life giving sword of Aiki). This tale is the first mention in antiquity of the life giving sword, the Divine Sword, in battle.

Many are the symbols that the Divine Swords evokes. Some teachers say that the Divine Sword represents the human nervous system, the human perception, compassion, gentleness, and ultimately harmonizing intellect. That is to say, the best of the human spirit.

On the other hand, the inferior sword, the one that cuts everything, the Satsujinken, the life taking sword, the sword that is just a mere technical tool, represents the pathology of the mind, aggression, the lower passions, the lower tendencies. That is to say, the worst of the human spirit.

The superior sword is the life-giving, the healing and purifying sword: Katsujinken. This Iki-ken ( life sword) is the unifying force, the re-integrating force, the healing force in us and in Nature.

When Jimmu Tenno raised this superior sword the destructive forces were subdued and harmony was restored without blood being shed.

Jimmu Tenno grew in power and in wisdom, not in pride or vanity, with each of those experiences. He was aware that in every case he had attained victory not on his own, but by something given to him. He was a mere conduit of ancient wisdom and ancient virtue.

Had vanity enter his heart, no virtue or wisdom would have remained.

The life giving sword is analogous not to greater strategy, or greater power, but to a greater wisdom, to a superior spirit.

Without true respect, true duty and true gratitude a sword remains an inferior sword.

It is very hard for a teacher to describe what true respect, true duty and true gratitude are.

Harder yet is to teach them, because these things elude men of low nature, not because they fail to understand them, but because they are prone to resent them and resist them.

There is a story of a samurai who had come to pay his respects at a shrine and was staying at an inn nearby. Another guest of the inn asked him the name of the Kami whose shrine he was visiting. The samurai, who was already prepared to sleep, politely avoided answering the question, assuring the other guest that he would give him his reply in the morning. When the questioner persisted, the samurai got up, dressed in his formal clothes, and sat straight on a cushion, bowed, and only then he said "Amaterasu Shimasusume Omikami". He then bowed again, bid himself good night, undressed, folded his clothes up, and lay down again. Out of respect he could not say the name of the deity while in his bedclothes.

To those who understand this, no more needs to be said. They would understand the Life Giving Sword. To those who do not, no more needs to be said.


Current Class Schedule