Finding One’s “WAY”

May 20, 2020

Finding one’s “WAY”

Japan’s natural religion, Shinto (神道), consist of 2 ideograms: “God (神)” and “Way (道)”.

Note that Shinto (神道) is polytheistic, therefore there are countless Gods and Ways.

I noticed there are many different Japanese disciplines contain “Way (道)”.

(Judo) 柔道 Way of Flexibility
(Sado) 茶道 Way of Tea
(Kendo) 剣道 Way of Sword
(Shodo) 書道 Way of Calligraphy
(Yado) 弓道 Way of Bow
(Aikido) 合気道 Way of Self-defence
(Iaido) 居合道 Way of Drawing Sword
(Kado) 花道 Way of Flower
(Bushido) 武士道 Way of Warriors

One could also think of “Way (道)” as “Art (術)”, in a way; for example, one could refer to Aikido as “the art of self defence”, or Sado as “the art of tea”.

I find it interesting in the West one often hears them say “life imitates art”.

Here in the Land Of The Rising Son, I would have to say life IS art.

I am certain visitors to Japan will have found this most extraordinary country full of art, from the presentation of Japanese food to the lavatory’s cleanliness and our highly sophisticated toilet systems, and to include the quaint and quirky shops one will encounter along ones way, whether here in person, or virtually.

Perhaps one has had the pleasure of entering a small and charming coffee shop, where the master takes 30 minutes to brew one’s cup of coffee, after having carefully handpick and roasted one’s beans, all the while being served in a formalized “Way (道)”.

Indeed, after this experience, one could truly consider the Master of this small coffee shop to have found their “Way (道)”, and one can now consider this to be the “Way of Coffee”.

I wrote a blog post about the Japanese cake shop, and for certain the title is apt “THE JAPANESE WAY OF CAKE”.

The ideogram “Way (道)” also makes an appearance in the Japanese for “principle” or “morality” (dotoku 道徳).

It would seem the “Way (道)” also encompasses the characteristic of morality and principles.

Perhaps we can look upon the Japanese and our polite society to have had the “Way (道)” ingrained into the Japanese DNA over the millennia.

Yes indeed, in light of this, and for your edification dear reader, one can now consider the “Way (道)” to be the most important thing in ones own life, and the quest for all is to find ones own “Way (道)”.