2006, Volume 2, Issue 1

The meaning and role of budo (the martial arts) in school education in Japan

Taketo Sasaki1

1Department of Human Development and Culture, Fukushima University, Japan

Author for correspondence: Taketo Sasaki; Department of Human Development and Culture, Fukushima University, Japan; email: sasaki[at]educ.fukushima-u.ac.jp

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Many agree that martial arts and sports have common attributes, although a number of people claim that budo (i.e. Japanese martial arts), a method for the development of human character, has a component that is that is different from that of sports. Undoubtedly, the objective of budois rather educational, as it emphasises spiritual development, than sport-like, especially compared to European recreational sports. Various kinds of sports taught in Japanese schools (as physical education) are also taught forthe purpose of spiritual development. Clearly, not the technical aspects alone but also spiritual growth, are part of the educational curriculum. The spiritual side of budo emphasises the spiritual growth aspects of these activities to students more so than that of sports mentioned above.The new direction of physical education is to make students familiar with practicing sports and to continue that throughout their lives. It can be said that budo has the same meaning and more importantly, demonstrates the same role in the academic environment.

Key words: budo, japanese culture, japanese martial arts, school education