Calligraphy, Japanese archery, and the tea ceremony. What do they all have in common? It’s 道. The kanji is read as “dou,” and in these, and many other practices, it means “way.” So calligraphy (shodo) is “the way of writing,” archery (kyudo) is “the way of the bow,” and the tea ceremony (sado) is “the way of tea.”
For those who devote themselves to martial arts and creative arts in Japan, the pursuit of excellence is not just about defeating opponents or showing off one’s skill – it is a path that leads towards the constant improvement of body and spirit, or towards the creation of beauty in every act.
A new video project released by ANA delves into the concept of dou, by focusing on nine different masters: judo master Kosei Inoue, kendo master Yukiko Takami, noh master Yaemon Yamashina, shodo master Koji Kakinuma, tea ceremony master Soshin Kimura, nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance) master Rin Hanayagi, karate master Ayano Nakamura, iaido (Japanese swordsmanship) master Isao Machii, and kyudo master Mariko Satake.
The video project was created by Enjin, the creative team behind this whirlwind tour around Japan in three minutes, and they’ve definitely raised the bar in this series, which features “4D” views that allow you to pan and zoom around the masters as they demonstrate their art and in-depth interviews about the journeys they have taken to become masters of their art.
You can see the intro clip on YouTube here, and check out the entire “DOU” series on ANA’s site, which allows you to watch interviews with the various masters, and see innovative, interactive clips of the various practices in action. It’s a great way to be able to look into the heart of some of Japan’s most cherished traditions, and learn more about those individuals who have taken it upon themselves to follow the way to greatness.