Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Confucius and the Four Corners

Japanese Karate Association
Are you familiar with Confucius’s idea of four corners?

“Every truth has four corners. As a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three.”

Confucius has been influential in the premodern educational system of many East Asian countries. This is true too of Japan. The Confucian classics were part of the traditional education of the warrior class before Japan’s modernization, and Confucian philosophy still exerts great influence over Japanese culture and society. It’s easily seen, of course, in the way teachers are supposed to be accorded great respect by their pupils.

What I find more wanting, however, is the self-motivation espoused by Confucius in the above quote. One would think that this lack of motivation would be expected in Japan, China or Korea, countries that were the bedrock of Confucian societies and whose educational system relied heavily upon rote memorization and repetition. But in many martial arts dojos in America, this lack of self-discovery and personal initiative is also easy to find.

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SMAA offers five different divisions of authentic Japanese martial arts. Submit a contact form here or call 734-720-0330 to start your martial arts journey!

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