Traditional Culture That Demands Dignity | Nihongo Sprit [日本語道] Series #2

Author: Katsuyuki Hasegawa

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Nihongo Sprit Series : Japanese Mythology

Warming up Audio

Click to listen easy listening English and Japanese by professional narrators

Keywords and summary

Japanese Word Furigana English Word Example Sentence (Japanese & English)
相撲 すもう Sumo wrestling 相撲は日本の伝統文化の一つです。
Sumo wrestling is one of Japan’s traditional cultures.
力士 りきし Sumo wrestler 力士は非常に大きな体を持っています。
Sumo wrestlers have very large bodies.
階級 かいきゅう Rank, class 相撲には6つの階級があります。
There are six ranks in sumo.
幕内 まくうち Top division of professional sumo 幕内力士たちはとても強いです。
The wrestlers in the top division are very strong.
横綱 よこづな Yokozuna, highest rank in sumo 横綱になるには、力量だけでなく品格も必要です。
To become a yokozuna, both strength and character are necessary.
品格 ひんかく Character, dignity 横綱にふさわしい品格があるかどうかも重要です。
Whether one has the appropriate character for a yokozuna is also important.
勝負 しょうぶ Match, bout 相撲は勝負が決着するまで続きます。
Sumo matches continue until there is a winner.
土俵 どひょう Sumo ring 相撲の試合は土俵の上で行われます。
Sumo matches take place on the sumo ring.
敗者 はいしゃ Loser 相撲では敗者への気遣いも大切です。
Consideration for the loser is also important in sumo.
修行 しゅぎょう Training, discipline 日本の文化には修行が大切な要素として取り入れられています。
Training is an important aspect of Japanese culture.
精神性 せいしんせい Spirituality 日本文化を学ぶことは精神性を高めることにつながります。
Studying Japanese culture can lead to an increase in spirituality.
接客 せっきゃく Hospitality, customer service 茶道では接客が重要な要素です。
Hospitality is an important aspect of tea ceremony.
精神力 せいしんりょく Mental strength スポーツ選手は精神力も重要な要素です。
Mental strength is an important aspect for athletes.
人格 じんかく Personality, character 茶の作法を通じて人格を磨くことができます。
You can hone your personality through tea etiquette.

Let’s build up your reading skill

Izanami (いざ波)

Sumo, considered the national sport, has a history of more than 1,500 years, and over this long history it has become both a stylized and a traditional culture. There are six divisions of sumo wrestlers separated according to their strength.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

The highest division is called makuuchi. There are ranks within the makuuchi divisions, with yokozuna being the highest.


Izanami (いざ波)

Only a rikishi (wrestler) with a good record can become yokozuna. However, being strong is not enough to become a yokozuna.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

The Yokozuna Council decides whether a rikishi is fit to be a yokozuna. Its rules state that a yokozuna must have “outstanding dignity and strength.”


Izanami (いざ波)

Dignity is required even after becoming yokozuna.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

It is not enough to just win the bout; they must also win with dignity and without tricks.


Izanami (いざ波)

Also, even if you win, do not show joy in the ring. Care and respect for the loser is also important.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

A yokozuna from Mongolia once made a fist pump when he won an important match, and that brought a lot of disapproval frowns.


Izanami (いざ波)

The Dutch wrestler who defeated a Japanese wrestler in the judo final of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics greatly impressed the Japanese as he gestured with his hands to calm down overwhelmingly excited Dutch fans.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

Japanese cultural training emphasizes the importance of a balance between “mind, technique, and body.” It cultivates oneʼs own mental strength, develops a superior technique, and a healthy body. In addition to consideration for others.


Izanami (いざ波)

This attitude of consideration for others is often seen in interviews with Japanese athletes.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

Most of the winners say, “This victory is thanks to your support.” This is not a cliché; the players truly believe it.


Izanami (いざ波)

Caring for others leads to good performance in team competitions, such as in the Olympic events.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

Many athletes, even if their individual performance is inferior, perform better because they do not want to disappoint their peers.


Izanami (いざ波)

The word “dou” (training) is attached to many aspects of Japanese culture, including martial arts such as judo, kendo, and aikido, as well as sado (tea ceremony) and kado.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

Japanese culture can be described as a discipline meant to improve oneʼs spirituality and become a person of dignity through sports and lessons.


Izanami (いざ波)

For example, the tea ceremony is not just about tasting tea. It is a practice to entertain others and improve oneʼs character through the tea ceremony etiquette.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

In the world of tea ceremony, there is a saying, “once-in-a-lifetime chance.” It means that a tea ceremony is considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, and that both the host and the guest of the tea ceremony should give their sincerity to the event.


Izanami (いざ波)

This awareness permeates the Japanese people and can be seen in various situations, including customer service.


Izanagi (いざ凪)

The culture of caring for others is also connected to the Japanese mentality of putting oneʼs heart and soul into creating products.


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