Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The Martial Arts are Back!
Martial arts, such as Judo, Kendo and Karate (in order of popularity) are back on the middle school compulsory curriculum in Japan, thanks to education reforms brought into place the last time Abe was in power, with the stated objective of familiarizing youth with the traditional culture of Japan.
I argue on this blog that it is in part the practicing of "kata" in these martial arts that encourages their performers to feel the gaze of the Other via the simulation of an autoscopic gaze. Even if Japanese do not practice martial arts however, they tend to practice kata in other sports and dance. I was a member of a Japanese tennis club once briefly and about three quarters of the tennis club time was spend on practicing tennis "kata," such a drop shot followed by lob, often without a ball.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.