Shippu Keiso

Imagine you’re a leader of a group. You’ve been defeating your enemies all the way through but everyone is so tired now. They cannot hide their fatigue.  Headed to the next battle field, you encourage your mates but it is so obvious that they need a rest place and food, which you cannot provide. 

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Your mates start leaving you one by one. You cannot do anything about it but watch them leave. But there is only one person still with you. And she said, “I won’t leave you. I will be right here with you”. Now you know whom you can really trust with your whole heart.

This is a modified version of a story from “Book of the Later Han”. And there is a proverb from this story.

疾風勁草

Shippu Keiso Sparrow in StormSparrow Holding Up in a Storm

In Japanese, we say “Shippū Keisō” and it is a short version of “Shippū ni Keisō wo shiru”.  Shippū originally means “strong wind” or “storm”. Keisō means “strong grass”.  When a storm comes, we know which grass is really strong. What does it mean to us?

It means “when faced an extreme difficult situation, our true self will be revealed”.

We can pretend to be a good person. We can pretend to be strong. But when something tragic or tough happens, our true self will show.  Real friends won’t leave us when we are having a trouble.

I want to be a strong person. I really do. So I will not run away from a tough situation. So I will not leave my loved ones when we are in trouble.

If you are already that person, please lead others so they can be real strong grass and will be still standing after a storm like you will.

If you are not strong grass, let’s be one through kendo training.

Kendo is a repetition of the basics. It’s boring. It’s hard. But an accumulation of the boring and hard training, we will become stronger. It may take years but it is worth it.

Let’s prove that we can be so strong through kendo so we will be standing even under a devastating situation. 

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