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garry's picture
Niju Kun - Principle 10: Arayuru mono wo karate kaseyo, soko ni myomi ari

I've recently been looking at the Niju Kun and am confused by what Funakoshi was trying to explain in his 10th principle. Any ideas?

Principle 10: “Change everything into karate, that is where exquisite beauty is.” Or Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty.”

Arayuru mono wo karate kaseyo, soko ni myomi ari

arayuru = all, every

mono = thing(s), stuff

karate = empty hand

kaseyo = (v.) make into, transform (command)

soko = there (not too far away)

myomi = charm, exquisite beauty 

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

Punch everyone with no quarter.  well ..

To me it's a theme of the 'Do' way of thinking, ie take the 'character improvement' aspects of Karate and apply them elsewhere in your life. ie perseverance, treating every else fairly, no first attack etc

I don't see any direct instruction in the Niji Kun that relates to specifically combat/jutsu karate.  It all seems like a statement of the times, an attempt to angle Karate towards modern (at the time) intreptation of where martial Arts were heading.

Do we need a modern set of precepts for Karate that reflects practical application?

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Genwa Nakasone clarifies this in Karate-Do Taikan in the following way (Mario McKenna’s translation):

“When you understand that one strike of the hand or foot determines life or death, then you will be able to overcome any obstacle you face. You may feel that you do not know how to face such obstacles, but it is precisely at this moment that your mental and physical training in karate-do will reveal themselves. It is then that you will see the indescribable beauty of karate-do”.

This explanation was endorsed by Funakoshi so would be a good staring place for the ideas he wished to convey.

All the best,


ky0han's picture

Hi everyone,

Takagi Masatomo states the following:

10. Relate all things to the Empty Hand, therein lies its exquisiteness.

To explore a Way, you must always devote yourself heart and soul to it, even when sitting or lying down. Master Funakoshi, as he has written, connected everything with the Empty Hand and gave relevant instructions for all occasions. For instance: if one smokes tobacco in a pipe and holds the pipe at a right angle to the mouth, directed to the front, then there is the danger that the pipe will be pushed into the throat. For this reason always hold the pipe out to the side. Or: when at a meal, the way of holding the rice bowl should be with the thumbs above the rim; if one eats in such a way, the danger is minimal even if the rice bowl is struck into the face.

Everthing depends on how you feel or think. When connected with the Way of the Empty Hand even a thing that is regarded as significant can become sustenance for a person's discipline. Then you will realize that it is possible to get glimpses at unexpected moments. This is what is meant by 'exquisiteness'.

The translation was done by Heiko Bittmann and can be found in his book "The Teachings of Karatedo".

As far as I know there are only two explanations on Funakoshis "Karate-Do Nijukajo" by people who actually worked or trained with Funakoshi, Nakasones and Takagis.

I think Nakasones explanation is the better one.

Regards Holger