by Cichorei Kano Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:35 am
NBK wrote:In a 1901 Kodokan reference I spotted a review of a shiai that included performances of:
Taisō no kata (jū)
Gō no kata
Was Jū no kata originally called a physical exercise (taisō)?
It's not possible to establish this with 100% certainty, due to mixtures of names and a certain kata being referred to sometimes by an old name while we cannot be sure if it is just the name but also the content that changes. Something similar exists with kime-no-kata/shinken-shôbu-no-kata/shôbu-no-kata.
The two kata you mention at one point in time appear to have formed one entity under the name "Gôjû-no-kata", but where then apparently split. Of course one can't say for sure if they also existed separately before they were joined, and what the exact timeline is of all this. There does not exist an accurate timeline of this and even when one puts the written comments of Kanô himself one next to another, there are discrepancies as memory sometimes fails him, and he tends to not be precise in terms of dates.
As Kanô was still a student in Kitô-ryû when the Kôdôkan was created (1882) and only graduated in 1883, yet gô-no-kata was probably established in 1883, but the Kitô-ryû-derived jû-no-kata probably only in 1887, it is impossible to provide a lucid version of the facts that can withstand any challenge. When jû-no-kata was still called Taisô-no-kata it contents likely was not the same and the kata by far not as sophisticated. Jû-no-kata as we know it today, is probably Kanô's most sophisticated and mature exercise and also the most typical for Kôdôkan. That clearly is not the work of a 22-year old kid.
However, jû-no-kata was not touched by the 1906 Butokukai Committee, so it is really Kanô's own work, but we don't know exactly how it evolved although likely in its original Taisô-form it only contained 10 techniques, which could or could not be identical to what we find today in Jû-shiki.