Monday, December 7, 2009

Uke 受 "to receive" in archaic Chinese

In Aikido we call the person getting thrown the uke. This is often translated as uke means receiver. The uke is receiving the technique. Other meaning this kanji has are to get, receive, take, have, obtain, catch, suffer, incur, sustain and accept.

Today I am writing in the very earliest of Chinese styles. It is the archaic style that was carved into wood, shells and bones. When you write it the calligrapher is supposed to imagine using a knife and cutting into a hard substance.

I think this symbol is very interesting. You can see a hand (the pitchfork looking thing) receiving something from another hand. I cannot figure out what the object is. Is it the sacred scroll of the snake and crane? Is it a ladder to help advance the person receiving to the next level?

One thing that I am really learning is the higher level martial skills are passed through receiving technique. You cannot see the minutia on film. The only way to begin to unlock the mystery of what they are is to feel them. You have to directly have the information transmitted through touch.

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