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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Become One Circle

Become One Circle by timtak
Become One Circle, a photo by timtak on Flickr.
Whose circle is this?

The Japanese phrase "become one circe," (一丸となる) refers to a group cooperating to the utmost degree, as if as one organism.

The North Saga High School (佐賀北高校) Baseball team did just that, and went on to achieve a breath-taking win in the 2007 summer Koshien Baseball tournament over much bigger, expensively coached opposition . The "Saga-Kita" team had a ritual that they performed before and some times after, "play ball" where they would get into a huddle on the mound and point at the sky. The meaning of this was to them that they would become as one circle, as one mind. They were so good they bring tears to my eyes.

Arimasa Mori says that the "experience" (keiken) of the Japanese always presupposes another. I am not sure I agree but, if this experience is the same as that referred to by Kitaro Nishida ([junsui]taiken) then I can see how "becoming one circle" may be more than just a metaphorical possibility. As Nishida argues, "pure experience" is "completely contradictory" since the primal place, or circle, is both oneself and the world, and therefore also ones team-mate.

Saga-Kita are playing again in this year's Koshien Tournament, once again as a result of becoming "one circle(一丸)."

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.