Language Delivers Thought
Language is the carrier frequency of all logic, and strategy is the logical plan for achieving a desired goal. In The Art Of War, strategy is the philosophic approach to realize policy on behalf of communities and nations. However, as Peter Blaber points out in his outstanding book, The Men, The Mission, and Me, information is not reality unless it’s shared.
Humans conceive of strategies and then convey these ideas to other individuals in hopes of carrying them into completion. Everyone involved must share a common understanding of the concepts in order for the energies of intention and action to align.
People think in terms of language, as the great comedian George Carlin rightly pointed out. Flashes of insight, feelings, images, or other mental conceptions might arrive spontaneously in the human mind (as all great intuitive thinkers, such as Nicola Tesla, have been known to do). However, translating such packets of inspiration into useable information requires a linguistic formulation.
In other words, putting ideas into operation requires rendering them in terms of language. The definitions of those words must be understood by everyone involved in the communication. Cooperation on shared goals, such as victory in battle, is impossible without a common understanding of defined tasks.
Japan's Unique Contribution
Frederick Lovret Sensei wrote in The Way And The Power: Secrets of Japanese Strategy, that the Japanese language is unique and, therefore, one must understand the basic structure of the Japanese language in order to understand Japanese strategy.
To illustrate, he states that subject and object are more unified in Japanese sentence structure than in English. “You read the book” is actually “You, the book, read” in Japanese. As subject and object are understood simultaneously in relation to one another, the sense of unity underlying all things is present in the Japanese rendering, including the clash of combat.
It is not at all esoteric, in the Japanese language, to conceive of two combatants sharing the experience of war together as two sides of one reality. Therefore, ideas like awase blending or musubi tying together in an engagement are natural phenomena. The yin-yang (or In-Yo) dynamic is accepted as an underlying truth of all action.
Concepts And Practice
Including the unity of antagonistic forces within the concept of strategy requires a surrendering of the individual ego. The strategist or tactician must view all the antagonists (including themselves), along with the conflict itself as players in a single, unified event.
Armed with such concepts, possibilities for resolving the conflict skillfully comes about through minimizing destruction to self, other, and the property in dispute. (Conflicts can only arise insofar as physical resources, i.e. property, are scarce in the material world.)
Therefore, the Japanese evolved systems of expressing courtesy that is unparalleled in the world so as to foster social harmony and avoid conflict. Social conventions, like nemawashi making necessary arrangements to gain consensus, emerge as a means to settle disputes and resolve to a course of action that includes everyone involved.
This kind of unique understanding of strategy is only available through knowledge of the Japanese language. As a practitioner of any Japanese martial art, it is essential to acquire a basic understanding of the language.
Now, learning Japanese has never been easier. Unlock the mysteries and add depth to your training.
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