Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jutsu not Jitsu

English speakers by and large  have been writing and pronouncing the word 'jujitsu' wrong.  It is the pronunciation and writing is jutsu, not jitsu.

Long had I believed both writings were OK.  Long have  I sworn my teacher in Japan said 'jitsu'.  And even my business card says 'jitsu'.  The window at my dojo says 'jitsu'.  I was wrong.

from Jisho


art; means; technique  - the kana for it's pronounciation is quite clear  じゅつ = jutsu.

from romanjidesu


art; technique; skill; means; trick; resources; magic again in katakana - ジュツ = jutsu

from yamasa


again - ジュツ = jutsu

Jutsu  -  Wikipedia

Still refusing to believe?  Let's look at some AikiJujutsu English language sites from Japan.

Jutsu -   from daitoryu-roppokai
Jutsu -   main line
Jutsu -   from Kodokai
Jutsu -  from hakkoryu

Last Chrismas I had the pleasure of sitting down with 20 Japanese teachers studying English at my wife's school.  I asked them the jitsu versus jutsu question.  They ALL told me it was jutsu.  Still I refused to believe and pressed them further.  They speculated that English speakers simply cannot easily pronounce jutsu so there was some pronounciation drift.  Simply we like saying jitsu, just like Japanese people say 'wapuro' instead of word processor.


  1. I've been the exact same way. No matter how many times I look it up, there's enough people (who I swear) say jitsu in Japan, that I can never be comfortable with what to say. Maybe it's because the people saying it don't know and are confused and just mumbling the word like I do when I say it. I wonder if I can ever accept one true answer, but this is a lot of progress towards that goal. Cool info.

  2. Very interesting.

    Nice moves by the way, I enjoyed the videos.

  3. I found this thread as helpful on the subject.