The 5 Japanese Spirit of “Dou” Culture | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
The 5 Japanese Spirit of "Do" Culture

The 5 Japanese Spirit of “Dou” Culture

By Yae Jul 22, 2017

The 5 Japanese Spirit of "Do" Culture


If you’re a foreigner who live in Japan, you may have heard of some Japanese culture “Dou”. Originally it was “Jutsu” instead of “Dou” and Jutsu was used as techniques of the combat skill for samurai in the old days. However, Japanese people gradually changed the meaning as taking time to study the way of your life course with high spirit. “Jutsu means the technique” and “Dou means the way”

Here are 5 Dou culture in Japan such as Sadou, Kadou, Shodou, Judou and Kendou. There is no ending for learning or studying. Once you decide to keep studying, it will make yourself progress as well as master the technique.
You will see these Japanese spirits from following Japanese culture.


1. Sadou (Japanese Tea Ceremony)

The 5 Japanese Spirit of "Do" Culture


Sadou is to perform the tea ceremony and learn the rules of behavior. Rules to learn how to make tea and eat Japanese traditional sweet wagashi in specific ways. You must know the key person “Sen no rikyu” who is a famous tea master during the Azuchi-momoyama period and he invented “Wabi-cha” which became the origin of modern tea ceremony.People started to call Sadou from the early Edo Period. If you think of Japanese tea ceremony, you may have green tea comes up on your mind. However, originally it was like oolong tea taste and people were drinking as for medicine so people had tea only in case of their sickness. People used to use the tools made by Chinese to make tea but Sen no rikyu started to make tools by himself as original Japanese tool for tea ceremony which we’re using these days.

What you can learn from Sadou?

□ Japanese spirit of hospitality
□    Manners
□ Japanese beauty and simplicity which we call as “Wabi-sabi”
□ Importance of purifying the atmosphere during ceremony with the spirit of following 4 things:

1. Open each other’s hearts
2. Respect each other
3. Purify your surrounding and your spirit
4. Not fazed by anything


2. Kadou (Japanese Flower Arrangement)

The 5 Japanese Spirit of "Do" Culture


We also call it “Ikebana” instead of “Kadou” This is a Japanese traditional art that started from Heian Period and people arrange flowers in special way in a vase. People say, “Flower express the mind of people” and they try to give over their expression and thoughts to the flowers. You will learn how to seiza (Japanese way of formal sitting) in front of alcove of the room, bow to the flowers, see the overall structure, enjoy the moment of arranging flowers and make an appreciation to the person who arranged the flowers. Kadou had started when the Buddhist monk offered flowers before the memorial tablet and people enjoy seeing the expression of flower power. We often say women must learn Kadou as a part of bridal training to develop courtesy.


What you can learn from Kadou?

□ To make people happy through the expression of flower arrangement
□    Power of expression and acting ability
□    Stimulate social development
□ Artistic taste


3. Shodou (Japanese Calligraphy)

The 5 Japanese Spirit of "Do" Culture


What’s the difference between Shodou and Shuji? Sounds similar but it’s different. Shodou is to learn “How to express yourself through writing” and Shuji is “How to learn writing” Shodou is writing Chinese kanji and Japanese kana characters by an ink-dipped brush. This culture is originally from China and was adapted to Japan in the sixth century with the methods for making brushes, ink, and paper. Interesting point is you can see your improvement of Shodou day by day. You first try to write looking at the model of writing and gradually you will make your own style of writing which will be “Your expression” People normally say the handwriting express each person’s real character. You can enjoy watching the artistic writing of Shodou and some people enjoy using this skill for New Year’s card these days.

What you can learn from Shodo?

□ Concentration
□ Learn each person’s character through the writing style
□ Refine your taste
□    Ability of self-analysis


4. Judou (Japanese Sport of Self-defense without Weapons)

The 5 Japanese Spirit of "Do" Culture


If you love Japanese sports match, you may know Judo. Originally Judo is a Japanese art of self-defense without weapons, but it is now regarded as a sport. Judou started when the man named Jigoro Kano started to train at the temple in year of 1882. The color of obi (belt) shows the class of your levels such as follows:

Level 9-10: Red
Level 6-8: Vermilion
Level 1-5: Black
Beginner Level 1-3: Brown
Beginner Level 0: White

What you can learn from Judou?

□  Be positive
□  Manners
□  Patience
□  Physical strength



5. Kendou (Japanese Fencing)

The 5 Japanese Spirit of "Do" Culture


Kendou is a sport athletic event which 2 people fight with bamboo sword called shinai and wearing kendou uniform. There are several ways to count the points while fighting. You get the score by striking the opponent’s head, wrist or body, or by thrusting to the neck with a bamboo sword. People say Kendou is the sport to train your mind and body. Originally samurai used sword for training and master the swordplay. The concept additionally changed to have mental training as well. In the 18th century, people started to use bamboo sword instead of real sword and started to have Kendou as sport. Many Japanese middle school have the class of Kendou as the class of gym to make kids to learn mental training.


What you can learn from Kendo?

□  Communication ability
□  Manners
□  Well-projected voice
□  Clever way of mind


The 5 Japanese Spirit of "Do" Culture


By learning the Japanese Dou cultures mentioned above, you can change yourself to have stronger way of mind.
As you can see, there are several ways for the training such as tea, flowers, writing, sport and fighting. In any case, you will be well trained to form your character and attitude with patience.


Feel and experience Japanese culture!