Asagao No Hana: An Ancient Kuden
October 1, 2003 · 7:04am EST · Posted by Fujiyama Dojo
Fujiyama Dojo
P.O. Box 20003
Thorold, ON, Canada
L2V 5B3
(905) 680-6389
Ota Terao, teacher of the Sendai clan, wrote, "A samurai who ignores the beauty that surrounds him has failed to learn the most useful lesson, and cannot rightfully be called a true warrior. There is more martial wisdom in the blooming of a cherry blossom than in the blood left on the ground of a battlefield."

This is, of course, a threefold statement that has been explained before in the context of attitude, knowledge, and true martial spirit, but its truth also includes technique.

Observing nature has been a source of inspiration for those who created the techniques we practice today. The ancient names of the waza of the majority of the traditional Bujutsu ryu have a poetic flavor that more often than not evokes a bucolic image rather than a combative one. Daito Ryu is by no means an exception to this.

Asagao no hana (morning glory flower) is one of the oldest kuden of Daito Ryu, according to several teachers. This kuden is considered to be one of the fundamental Higi (secrets) of Daito Ryu, directly related to the application of Aiki.

Has the contemporary Daito Ryu student ever paid attention to an asagao flower, known outside Japan as "morning glory", and which was brought to Japan from China? Has the student observed the way in which this common flower opens? He, or she, would be hard pressed to make a parallel between its subtle motion, as the petals unfold, and the application of a technique. Still, centuries before, a warrior observed the asagao flower, and the Kuden was born.


Current Class Schedule