- زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
A visit to a Japanese dojo
I didn’t have much time left in Tokyo and I knew that I had got everything I could hope for from Naoko Kawaguchi. I decided to do some sightseeing and went to the Asakusa area of the city to visit the Asakusa Kannon Temple and to walk round its lively streets.
I had come to a dojo in this old area of the city with my club once before. I loved this part of Tokyo, with its hundreds of tiny old shops and its crowds of people. I walked down the main street, Nakamise-dori, and spent an hour or so looking into the shops with their mixture of traditional Japanese clothes and cheap souvenirs. I bought things to take home. As I walked round the side streets, there were smells of interesting food coming from the restaurants and I realised that I was beginning to get very hungry.
I walked through a cloth-covered doorway into a little traditional noodle house. The waiter came almost immediately with some green tea and I ordered my favourite sansai soba, delicious noodles with mountain vegetables. I picked up my wooden chopsticks and was just about to start eating when I heard someone call ‘Kate-san, Kate-san!’
I looked up towards the doorway and saw the smiling face of a young Japanese man in his late twenties. I looked at him carefully for some time before finally recognising him. It was Kenji, one of the students of the dojo where we had trained. I smiled and stood up, offering my hand and then quickly remembering that I was in Japan and should bow.
Kenji laughed. ‘Kate-san!’ he said, ‘What a surprise! What are you doing here? Are you training?’ He sat down and ordered some noodles and I told him about the story I was doing for the newspaper and about my visit to Naoko Kawaguchi. Kenji ate his noodles noisily and his eyes got bigger and bigger as he listened to my story.
Finally he finished his noodles and said: ‘That’s quite a story, Kate. But you should be careful. You might get hurt - it sounds like someone is desperate. Now, what are you doing this afternoon? Why don’t you come and visit the dojo? There’s a training session and I’m sure Ando-sensei will be delighted to see you again. You must come.’
Kenji was so enthusiastic about his idea and I couldn’t think of a good reason why I shouldn’t go to the dojo. My flight was a late one and I had plenty of time. It would be good to see everyone again and to forget about Naoko Kawaguchi for a while. We left the restaurant and Kenji led me through the narrow streets to the traditional Yotsuya dojo in the oldest part of Asakusa.
I looked around at the familiar dojo with its wooden floor and its Japanese characters on the wall. On entering the dojo you had to take off your shoes before stepping onto the polished wood of the floor. I recognised many of the students and they came to bow to me, shyly. I approached Ando-sensei and greeted him. He recognised me and smiled in a friendly way. In many traditional dojos, the sensei doesn’t allow people to come and just watch training sessions. Anybody who is inside the dojo must be training. But in this case Ando-sensei gave me special permission to watch and I was grateful.
The training, as always in this dojo, was hard and intense. Training of the spirit and of the mind was as important as training of the body. The students performed the traditional two kneeling bows, one to the dojo, the other to the sensei. Then the lines of students went up and down the dojo to the sensei’s commands, doing their basic punches and kicks, their eyes fixed ahead of them. Any student who lost his concentration was punished with extra physical exercises. Ando-sensei was a tough teacher, though he was always fair.
The best part of the session for me was the kata. The kata is a series of fighting moves that each student performs on his own against an imaginary opponent. It is beautiful to watch when performed well, rather like a classical dance. And here it was performed well, by Ando-sensei’s most advanced students, Kenji among them. Once they had finished the long kata, called ‘Kushanku, there was stillness and calm. But although their bodies had stopped moving, the energy still flowed. In Japanese, this energy was called ‘zanshin’. It was a word made up of two Japanese characters ‘zan’, which means to continue and ‘shin’ which means heart or spirit. I thought of Kawaguchi-sensei again and his club, Zanshin. I wondered whether his spirit would continue in the club, even though he was dead.
After the session, I went for tea with Ando-sensei and Kenji to a nearby teashop. Ando-sensei was keen to hear my story. He listened very carefully, then after some time he said. ‘You know, Kate-san, the true budoka or student of the martial arts, does not need to attack. The art is in waiting for your opponent to attack and then using his own energy to beat him. It seems to me that your murderer is moving towards you. Remember always to get off the line of attack, but keep close to him so that you can catch him when the time is right.’
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