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Old 2008-08-10, 01:57   Link #761
Vexx
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"ki" (chi) is used loosely for many forms of energy. In terms of sport or martial art - its about focusing your energy (channeling ki). It isn't a hard leap to creatively imagine supernatural levels of ki and develop stories using it. *Appearing* to be able to project supernatural forms of ki gives psychological advantage -- "I've won before the battle started".
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Old 2008-08-10, 02:07   Link #762
tripperazn
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Well, Chinese has pretty much phased out use of the character "気/气" for use in that kind of context (I'm talking about 気になる、気不味い). It is no longer used generally to describe mood/feeling as it is in Japanese (used in anger [生气] and a few other cases).

As I understand it, in Chinese martial arts, "ki" is really used as a way to achieve focus. It is a very common meditation tool to imagine a flow of energy in your body to concentrate.

No one really takes belief in "ki" seriously, though it's ubiquitous in all types of fantasy settings, especially 時代劇 in China/Korea/Japan.
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Old 2008-08-10, 03:29   Link #763
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterchan
During the martial arts boom in the West, it was usually regarded as an abstract form of projecting energy into martial arts techniques. These days, some people even seem to think it as a supernatural phenomenon that can be projected through thin air to affect other objects... Those who have practiced Eastern martial arts probably have a better sense of ki.
I blame Hong Kong martial arts movies for the common misunderstanding about qi, or ki, as it's more popularly known in the West.

Like Vexx said, it's mainly about focusing your energy during exercise. It doesn't just apply to martial arts alone, but to many forms of physical activity. In practise, it's all about learning how to control your breathing, ie, when to inhale, when to hold your breath and when to exhale.

For example, in archery, you'd inhale when drawing the bowstring, let out a bit of your breath while aiming, and exhale completely when releasing the arrow. This is not as easy as it sounds, because usually, you'd be busy coordinating your muscles and mental concentration at the same time.

Breathing is usually the first, and hardest, thing to master in any form of sports.
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Old 2008-08-10, 03:40   Link #764
Vexx
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There's a lot of connection between the breath itself and "ki" (life energy==breath) .... and in almost any projectile art (rifle, archery, etc) control is critical.
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Old 2008-08-10, 04:52   Link #765
LiberLibri
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English speakers often refer to such phrases as "humour" and "melancholy", but nobody believes that the balance of four liquids in the body determine one's character.

I think the explanations TinyRedLeaf, Vexx and tripperazn made are excellent. And I want to add another idea. The Kanji 気 in Japanese was undoubtedly introduced from the continent, and the concept has been greatly influenced by Chinese thoughts. However, I think there had been the basic idea of ki among ancient Japanese before the intense communication commenced (~5C) and it caused slight difference in the interpretation.

On one hand, Chinese concept of qi seems to have focused upon the internal substance of the body; they imagined qi and blood circulating within the flesh. On the other hand, Japanese ki was more like "mana" in the Pacific regions. They felt everything "living" had ki around it. If you know how to breathe properly, you can import the ki floating in the atmosphere into your body and, if you keep yourself holy and clean, you can purify tainted ki of others with your breath. The Purification Prayer of Shinto frequently mention the divine breath. Etymological approaches often lack proper supporting, but it is known that ki (raw), ki (tree), ke (spirit) and iki (breath) had something to share in the meaning. In modern Japanese language, ki is used to mean principally the "atmosphere" of something.

You are not required to distinguish such details in watching most entertainments. But it may be sometimes misleading to interpret delicate Japanese stories on the basis of Chinese understanding or vice versa.
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Old 2008-08-10, 07:25   Link #766
SeijiSensei
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Google criticized for bringing StreetView to residential neighborhoods in Japan.

From the (translated) open letter:
"The residential roads of Japan's urban areas are a part of people's living space, and it is impolite to photograph other people's living spaces."

The letter raises some difficult problems about the application of Western, particularly American, notions of openness to other cultures with very different conceptions of privacy.
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Old 2008-08-10, 07:52   Link #767
Tri-ring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiberLibri View Post
English speakers often refer to such phrases as "humour" and "melancholy", but nobody believes that the balance of four liquids in the body determine one's character.

I think the explanations TinyRedLeaf, Vexx and tripperazn made are excellent. And I want to add another idea. The Kanji 気 in Japanese was undoubtedly introduced from the continent, and the concept has been greatly influenced by Chinese thoughts. However, I think there had been the basic idea of ki among ancient Japanese before the intense communication commenced (~5C) and it caused slight difference in the interpretation.

On one hand, Chinese concept of qi seems to have focused upon the internal substance of the body; they imagined qi and blood circulating within the flesh. On the other hand, Japanese ki was more like "mana" in the Pacific regions. They felt everything "living" had ki around it. If you know how to breathe properly, you can import the ki floating in the atmosphere into your body and, if you keep yourself holy and clean, you can purify tainted ki of others with your breath. The Purification Prayer of Shinto frequently mention the divine breath. Etymological approaches often lack proper supporting, but it is known that ki (raw), ki (tree), ke (spirit) and iki (breath) had something to share in the meaning. In modern Japanese language, ki is used to mean principally the "atmosphere" of something.

You are not required to distinguish such details in watching most entertainments. But it may be sometimes misleading to interpret delicate Japanese stories on the basis of Chinese understanding or vice versa.
Interesting hypothesis especially when there is an expression like "Kono mori ha Ki ni michiteru (This forest is full of ki)"
There is also an idea that "Ryumyaku"(Leyline) in Feng shui which is believed to be the earth's "Ki myaku(Vein of Ki)"

If I were to throw in my two cents worth, whether it be gravity electromagnetism and/or quantum entanglement, we really do not know what they are only knowing the result, so we can also associate it to be part of Ki(Qi).

=Edit=
I forgot one of the modern explanation for Ki in martial art is connection of power or follow through of entire body movement.
Essentially if you are able to combine the entire energy of body movement governed by gravity from the toes to your fist without loss then it will be much stronger then just muscular strength alone.

Last edited by Tri-ring; 2008-08-10 at 11:46.
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Old 2008-08-10, 10:56   Link #768
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
I blame Hong Kong martial arts movies for the common misunderstanding about qi, or ki, as it's more popularly known in the West.
Quote:
There's a lot of connection between the breath itself and "ki" (life energy==breath) .... and in almost any projectile art (rifle, archery, etc) control is critical.
Well, at least in kendou, kiai is all the yelling you do in order to focus your mind on the match (and intimidate your opponent). I thought it was more or less obvious to most people that ki wasn't actually some sort of mystical energy... but then again, there was that completely lousy Discovery Atlas documentary last night about Japan, which apparently still keeps on dwindling on the same "mystic" approach to Eastern culture I thought we had far surpassed by now. That, and the reality show-like bullshit depiction of the people interviewed.

Man, that was a wasted hour of my life I want back. Seriously.
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Old 2008-08-10, 13:27   Link #769
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiberLibri
On one hand, Chinese concept of qi seems to have focused upon the internal substance of the body; they imagined qi and blood circulating within the flesh.
Since you've mentioned it, yes it's true, qi does play a role in traditional Chinese medicine. Although, in this case, it's more closely aligned with the flow of yin-yang energies in the human body rather than just qi per se. The idea of "energy flow" has popular currency among many Chinese. For example, mothers fussing over their children's health talk about "heaty" coughs (sore throat, raspy coughing, no phlegm) vs "cold" coughs (throaty coughing, lots of phlegm). If you get a fever or painful ulcers, there's too much "heat" (yang) in your body. Conversely, you catch a flu because there's too much "cold" (yin).

The idea also extends to the kinds of food to eat. Oily, fried food is considered "heaty", and a definite no-no if you're feeling feverish. Conversely, hearty pork broths or clear chicken soups are good for curing colds, or for building strength generally. Vegetables are generally considered to have "cooling" effects — the more bitter the vegetable, the greater the "cooling" effect (especially bittergourd, the bane of many a Chinese kid, haha).

You may scoff that these "superstitions", but I find that they make a lot of common sense. What's more, they do work. They may not have scientific backing, but I wouldn't outright dismiss folk wisdom gathered through centuries of empirical observation. They're worth trying out, so long as you remember to consult a doctor for serious illnesses.
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Old 2008-08-10, 13:45   Link #770
waterchan
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Google criticized for bringing StreetView to residential neighborhoods in Japan.

From the (translated) open letter:
"The residential roads of Japan's urban areas are a part of people's living space, and it is impolite to photograph other people's living spaces."

The letter raises some difficult problems about the application of Western, particularly American, notions of openness to other cultures with very different conceptions of privacy.
That was an interesting read. As much as I love Google, I think it might have gone a bit overboard with this particular route of expansion. I'm not Japanese, but I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable if a 360-degree view of the front of my house and front yard were made publicly viewable on the web. (Unless my property was to be sold.)
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Old 2008-08-11, 04:40   Link #771
Slice of Life
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Japanese tend to confuse "the West" with "the America in my head". I take care to protect my privacy against google and the government and many people I know do the same.
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Old 2008-08-11, 04:45   Link #772
Zoned87
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You really can't see anything but outlines of houses in google streetview, its not like you can see inside them or anything.

I don't see why anyone would be angry over it.
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Old 2008-08-28, 20:03   Link #773
Vexx
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http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0080828r2.html

Interesting interview on Ainu culture and music in Japan.
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Old 2008-08-28, 21:59   Link #774
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Originally Posted by Zoned87 View Post
You really can't see anything but outlines of houses in google streetview, its not like you can see inside them or anything.

I don't see why anyone would be angry over it.
That's because you're looking at American streets.

Japanese streets are MUCH more narrow, and the raised camera of the google car can peek into many windows and private zones. There's already slew of examples around where camera recorded pictures of very private areas of the houses (considering that camera is only a few feet away).

In US, most rural area houses have front yards, and/or a path to lead up to the houses. But in Japan, there's no space for that, and rooms of the housings are literally few feet away from the road.

Think of it as someone running up, like 3 feet away from your window, and taking pictures of it.
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Old 2008-08-29, 06:35   Link #775
Makkusu
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Are the Yakuza in Japan really that obvious and easy to find, I hear they have offices with big signs saying "Yakuza" on it, I read it from wikipedia that is.
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Old 2008-08-29, 08:14   Link #776
Butternuts
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Originally Posted by Makkusu View Post
Are the Yakuza in Japan really that obvious and easy to find, I hear they have offices with big signs saying "Yakuza" on it, I read it from wikipedia that is.
no they are hard to find really, they usually don't bother with normal people..but if you do want to see them go to sex brothels in japan....its the yakuza no1 business.
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Old 2008-08-29, 11:16   Link #777
Mystique
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do bear in mind that wikipedia can be edited by regular peeps like you and me. It's not the be all and end all :\
But as butter said, they tend to keep themselves to themselves. On the odd occasion (more so with guys) some famous or pricey onsens may see you sharing a bath with them, just look for the tats
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Old 2008-08-30, 17:57   Link #778
Risaa
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Q: How would one mail a letter to a teacher using a university address in Japan?

In English it would be:
[Teacher's name]
Department of [name of department they're in]
[School address]
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Old 2008-08-30, 18:08   Link #779
Tri-ring
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Originally Posted by Risaa View Post
Q: How would one mail a letter to a teacher using a university address in Japan?

In English it would be:
[Teacher's name]
Department of [name of department they're in]
[School address]
Like grammer comparison it is all backwards, so it will be in the following order;

Postal code(Similar to zip code)
School address
School name followed by department
Actual name of teacher
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Old 2008-08-31, 02:38   Link #780
Risaa
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Do you think it'd be all right if I left off the department? I can't remember what department my teacher belongs to. Thanks for your help.
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