For the magazine of British Kendo Association(BKA), I wrote an article.
At the AGM of BKA on 8th July, the magazine was distributed to all members.
Mr. Masashi Chiba who has three titles of All Japan Kendo competion asked me to write the kanji for Do道, which means ‘way’ in English. I wrote it in front of him and he said that I had written it correctly and that it looked like the kanji used by the Tokyo Kendo Association with a long extension on the final character.
The photo was taken by Mr. Terry Holt(founder of Mumeishi Kendo Club) , it shows the Mumeishi Kendo Club flyer left side 🙂
Do道 is used for many Japanese arts like Kendo剣道, Shodo書道, Sado茶道(Tea ceremony) and Kado華道(Flower arrangement).
I should explain that Do道 is made from two characters:
Kubi首 which means ‘neck’.
I have shown how it was derievd.
Kubi首 is used as there should be a feeling of ‘Kubi wo Kakeru首を賭ける, this is difficult to translate but means something like “to put one’s neck on the line”,or one is prepared to die to complete the task.
The second character is Shinnyou meaning ‘to move forward’, sometimes with a pause, but always forward. Again I have shown its derivation apposite. It is combined with moving forward, as on a road, and to ‘stop’止(which is why there is a foot).
Although Shinnyou uses stop止 in its kanji, Mr. Chiba wanted to emphasise the feeling of continuing, and that kubi首 was included in the kanji, this is why he liked the long extension on shinnyou.
I taught Shodo at the University of Cambridge and, as Mr. Chiba told me, I have tried to show the meaning of the kanji from how it was derived.