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See also: Martial Arts Words and Phrases
In Japanese, the modern definition, using simple terms is "A martial art involving swords" or "The art of the sword."
However, in Chinese, this is the word for fencing (as in the Olympic sport).
I will suppose that you want this for the Japanese definition which comes from skills and techniques developed in the 15th century. At that time, Kenjutsu (or swordsmanship) was a strictly military art taught to Samurai and Bushi (soldiers). The fact that swords are rarely used in military battles anymore, and with the pacification of Japan after WWII, Kenjutsu is strictly a ceremonial practice often studied as a form of martial art (more for the discipline aspect rather than practical purpose).
Language note: The Korean definition is close the Japanese version described above. However, it should be noted that this can mean "fencing" depending on context in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
Character variation notes: There are slight variations possible with second character. Either way is correct and understood by both Japanese and Chinese folks.
Since there are about 5 common ways to write the sword character, if you are particular about which version you want, please note that in the "special instructions" when you place your order.
Romanization note: This term is often Romanized as Kenjitsu, however, following the rules of Japanese Romaji, it should be Kenjutsu.
Often associated with Kenjutsu, this word means "The way of the sword" in Japanese (and Korean with alternate form of the first character).
剱道 / 劍道 is also the term used for swordsmanship and even fencing in Japanese and Korean, depending on context.
Note: These same characters are also used separately in Chinese but this exact combination yields a common title in Japanese only (perhaps someone who is really into swords would use this in China).
Note: There is more than one way to write the "sword" character (shown above is the Japanese version - if you want the Korean version, please let me know when you place your order).
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your kenjutsu search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
|kenjutsu / けんじゅつ||
|bokudenryuu / bokudenryu / ぼくでんりゅう||
(colloquialism) (See 新当流) Shinto-ryu (school of kenjutsu)
|shintouryuu / shintoryu / しんとうりゅう||
Shinto-ryu (school of kenjutsu)
|mutekatsuryuu / mutekatsuryu / むてかつりゅう||
(1) (yoji) winning without fighting; method used to win without fighting; (2) one's own way of doing things (i.e. as different from that of one's instructor); (3) (colloquialism) (See 新当流) Shinto-ryu (school of kenjutsu)
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|kenjutsu||jiàn shù / jian4 shu4 / jian shu / jianshu||chien shu / chienshu|
The Way of the Sword
|剱道 / 劍道|
|kendou / kendo||jiàn dào / jian4 dao4 / jian dao / jiandao||chien tao / chientao|
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
Some people may refer to this entry as Kenjutsu Kanji, Kenjutsu Characters, Kenjutsu in Mandarin Chinese, Kenjutsu Characters, Kenjutsu in Chinese Writing, Kenjutsu in Japanese Writing, Kenjutsu in Asian Writing, Kenjutsu Ideograms, Chinese Kenjutsu symbols, Kenjutsu Hieroglyphics, Kenjutsu Glyphs, Kenjutsu in Chinese Letters, Kenjutsu Hanzi, Kenjutsu in Japanese Kanji, Kenjutsu Pictograms, Kenjutsu in the Chinese Written-Language, or Kenjutsu in the Japanese Written-Language.
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