As I continue the process of defining the art judo that I pursue, I wish to look deeper into the name itself. Judo is often translated as gentle way, of soft way. My blog sparring partner Pat Parker claimed 'soft' gave it a weak connotation. He choose 'flexible' as his defining idea to translate the idea of the mysterious 'ju'. So armed with my arsenal of dictionaries we dig deeper.
The main listing in the kodansha dictionary is 'soft'.
pronounciations - JU, NYU, yawa(raka), yawa(rakai), yawa(ra)
The main ideas associated with words constructed from this kanji are - supple and yeilding, soft, tender, plaint, softhearted, gentle, mild, gently, mildly,
Some compounds made from the character 'ju' - touch of softness, gentle breeze, soft blanket and gentle-mannered.
So it appears the dictionary definition for 'ju' indeed is soft.
C'mon Pat, man up! It is ok to wear that pink shirt and still be manly! Softness is the new tough!