Outsider questions on high ranks (11-15 dan)

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu Resources' started by Thomas, May 3, 2006.

  1. bencole

    bencole Valued Member

    Nice analogy, MWDAndy.

    LOL! Nope. You were right on the money! :D

    Thomas, you are going to have a devil of a time finding anything in English on this. I am an self-confessed "geek" on things Japanese, and used to read old, pre-WWII grammar books and stuff like that to see how Japanese grammar had been influenced by English.

    You're going to have to spend some time in a library looking over some very old books to find references for this. There might be historical mentions in some of Kodansha's gigantic Dai-Jiten. I'd start there, and move back in time.


  2. LongShot

    LongShot New Member

    In almost 13 years i advanced 2 positions... :D Now this is called progress...
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Thanks for the info... would you have the names of the grades (10-15) written in kanji (or a link) so I can see how they write the numbers... I am really curious? Thnak you.
  4. JibranK

    JibranK Valued Member

    Thank YOU for being respectful.

    Oftentimes, people come onto this and other forums to slander the Bujinkan's ranking system.

    I appreciate your open-mindedness.
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I've been thinking (actually woke up at night on this one)...
    Wouldn't the number 十三 (13), as relating to "dan" and being a Sino-Japanese character actually represent an ordinal number? The old style "counting" system would be a set of cardinal (counting) numbers? Do people mix the cardinal and ordinal numbers?

    (Keep in mind I am using my experience in Korean numbers as a background, where they use the cardinal numbers (native Korean) for counting and the Sino-Korean for ordinal, so I might be completely off in my thinking).

    I would still like to see the kanji for the titles for 11th-15th dan to see how it is written, if possible.
  6. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    I happen to have a scan of my 15th dan menkyo, which I had to get done at Kinko's as it's (by Western standards) an odd-sized document. If you'd like to PM me with your email address, I'll send it to you.
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Thank you very much for your openness and willingness to share (especially with a "stranger")!
    I took a look (my kanji isn't the greatest) and it appears that the number 5 (at least) is written in the standard way (五 ), not in the "old" way. Perhaps it is the oral tradition that adds the impied meaning ?

    Reagardless, thank you for sharing and thanks to everyone who has provided answers... :)
  8. bencole

    bencole Valued Member

    I think there are two issues here. First is that there are two ways to write 1 through 5 in Japanese (setting aside the Arabic numerals used in mathematics). "Three" can be written as either "三" or "参," for example. The former is the "standard modern way" and the latter is the "older more formal way." This is done to prevent people from adding strokes and suddenly moving from first dan to third dan! :D

    Second is the issue of whether Soke would write things like "Judan Chi no Kata" on the certificates. While it is hard to tell on Dale's JPG, Soke's certificates are pre-printed with most of the relevant information on them, such as the Bujinkan School names. (Soke certainly would not want to have to rewrite all of those for every certificate! :D Yikes!)

    To this "template document," Soke adds additional information, such as the date, name, and relevant rank. He then stamps the certificates with certain stamps, depending on the rank, etc. Judan+ certificates have three stamps, for example, whereas a Shodan certificate has only one or two (I forget which one).

    (Begin sidetrack) There are lots of pretty "cool things" hidden within the certificates. For example, the date is frequently written as "auspicious day" for example, rather than "second day" as is in Dale's certificate. Soke may have written the strict date so that there is no ambiguity about the date on which Dale was recognized as a "True Shihan." Dale's certificate also shows the new kanji that Soke is currently using for "Taijutsu." It is different from the one that Soke traditionally has used. (End sidetrack)

    I believe that the reason Hatsumi-sensei does not write the full "offiical rank title" (i.e. "Judan Chi no Kata" etc.) is that there simply is no space on the pre-printed form for such a long rank name! LOL! :rolleyes:

    Never discount the obvious in search of the more complex!

    Hope that helps!

  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Yes, this is a good way to put it. Although, I am not sure if 参 has anything to do with "fire" (I couldn't find any "meaning" aside from "3"). Wouldn't the normal character to use be 火 for that desired meaning?

    Good stuff. Thanks for your help. Seems like that could sometimes cause a disparity in what is said and what is seen though... :D
  10. saru1968

    saru1968 New Member

    I get to answer one!!

    The Shodan certificate has two stamps, one small red stamp(i forget the name of the stamp) bottom left and one large red stamp top right.

    Well at least thats the way it is on mine.

  11. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Yup, that's right.

    Which reminds me. . .When I received my Godan certificate, Emperor Akihito had just come to the throne. Either Soke had not had time to print new certificates, or was just being frugal and didn't want to waste anything, as the characters for the old Imperial era had been covered by a small pasted-on piece of paper on which was brushed the name of the new era. :p

    I think you're probably right regarding the date, as my other certificates all say "auspicious day".
  12. bencole

    bencole Valued Member

    参 has nothing to do with 火 (or any of the other elements, for that matter).

    Like I said, you are going to have to dig through some very old books to find the reference to this. I simply do not have anything that can help you to better understand this issue.... Sorry.

  13. bencole

    bencole Valued Member

    As do most.

    Does that mean.... dun, Dun, DUN... that you've "reached the end"? :rolleyes:

  14. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    During the same class (actually November 27) in which Soke handed me the menkyo, it being a Sunday he also started doing calligraphy for people. I'd never asked him for one before, but I got to thinking about this very thing, and was also reminded of someone having once written about having "graduated" from training at 10th dan.

    So I did get a calligraphy sheet from Soke. It now hangs on the inside of my front door, where it's the last thing I see whenever I go out into the world.

    It says Gambatte -- "Keep Going". ;)

    Attached Files:

  15. stephenk

    stephenk Valued Member


    I was just looking at my new certificate last night and noticed that difference in the kanji. I was going to ask you about it, so now that you've brought it up....




    I also had Soke write "Gambatte" for me...

    I like it.

    (one of JM's guys)
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Great stuff everyone. Thanks for all of the help and for sharing personal bits and knowlege. I especially like the "Gambatte" calligraphy, what a nice thing to present to a student.

    Thank you.
  17. llong

    llong Valued Member

    Soke graciously gave me "gambatte" calligraphy as well on my trip. I was shocked that I was the only one to request gambatte of the 80 or so requests.

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