Kata – Part 1 – Form Order & Process

Dec 9, 2020Blog, Culture, Language Study

Kata – Part 1 – Form Order & Process

Is one aquatinted with the Japanese term kata? 

If not, one should very well be. 

Having an awareness and understanding of kata is paramount to gaining comprehension of, and deal with the Japanese.

Perhaps one has heard this term used in the martial arts space, where it describes the formal process used in training. 

Asian Boy Doing Kata

However, the essence of kata is far more important than this implies.

The entire traditional Japanese culture, starting with personal etiquette, and then in how one learns to do all routine things in life, was, and still is based upon precise kata. 

In other words, the Japanese are shaped by an exact, prescribe way of doing things. 

Throughout the history of Japan, the interjection of personal preference or any sort of deviation for any reason from the prescribe kata was taboo. 

This prescribed and strictly enforce conformity to precise ways of doing things continues to have a profound influence on the character and personality of the Japanese up until the very day.

This makes them homogeneous to an extraordinary degree, and predictable as everyone was taught and trained to do things the same way. 

Japanese Salaried Workers

One can easily observe in this in the Japanese school system. 

For example, as you see the children cleaning their own schools, and serving their fellow students school lunch, you could say they are being trained in the kata of service to one’s fellow citizens, and the kata of responsibility for the upkeep and cleanliness of shared spaces (check about Japanese school lunch here).

Having kata drilled into one from the beginning of life can also be said to bear positive responsible for the remarkable manual skills and the dexterity that have long been typical of the Japanese. 

One can also see this in the Japanese ability to focus on things with great intensity, the compulsion to get things right, and an incessant need to strive toward perfection.

Still today no one can fully understand and appreciate the typical attitudes and behaviour of the Japanese without realizing that the foundation of the Japanese Way is kata, and how this forges and forms those raised in the Japanese Way.

Kata is so vitally important for a deeper understanding of the Japanese people, our society, and the way things work here, one will be further exploring kata in depth so stay tuned for Part 2 of Kata, here, in Land Of The Rising Son.