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Yamoto Damashi - The meaning in depth? 2011/7/14 03:39
Hello members. I have a question about the meaning of Yamoto Damashi. As far as I know it means ''Spirit of Yamoto'', Yamoto being what today is Japan. And the this Spirit of Yamotos includes Japanese virtues like Budo, ''Samurai Spirit'', but also stuff like tea ceremony, ikebana and more. So, I'm in the Martial Arts scene and many guys love ''Yamoto Damashi''. They say things like ''oh these guy is Yamoto Damashi'', wear shirts with it or even got it tattooed. But recently I read that Yamoto Damshi actually has also a very nationalistic meaning. It's believed that these virtues are only virtues of JAPANESE PEOPLE and gaijins simply CAN'T be Yamoto Damashi. Is this true? That would mean that getting a Tattoo of this or whatever as a white men would be pretty... silly at best. I wonder what you Japanese board members would think about a western man having a YD tattoo and say he is so YD, etc...? Would that be like if a black men wearing nazi stuff? Or was the information I found just overrated? Thanks in advance! I really want to know the deeper meaning before I might utilize it myself and then maybe just an idiot.
by J-Mike (guest)  

... 2011/7/14 11:05
If I saw a tattoo like that... that would just make me smile, oh, this person loves Japan and the martial arts of Japan, trying to learn that, and loves idealized Japan... :) That's about it. Even for Japanese people, getting that tattoo sounds silly, because, either you have it (or know in your guts what it means) or not, and that's it. Nothing you want to show off, either on your shirt or on your skin :)

Personally I am not too fond of that expression, as it (in my mind) does have a nationalistic connotation. But again, some people use it simply to refer to Japanese hospitality, courtesy, etc. as well. So... everyone to him/herself :)
by AK rate this post as useful

a 2011/7/14 12:04
The term "Yamato-damashii" to me is as nationalistic as the term "American Spirit." Some might say you need to have been born in the country or what not and some may not. It depends on your definition of "American" or "Yamato."

That said, to me, whoever has a tattoo saying "Yamato-damashii" would just look like a youngster adoring "Yamato-damashii" but actually does not have that genuine spirit. I don't see any link between Yamato-damashii and tattoos writing it down.

By the way, I don't particularly dislike the term itself. It's the way you use it that makes the difference.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

I luv tattoos but... 2011/7/14 12:08
I wonder what you Japanese board members would think about...

I forgot to add. Note that most if not all board members here think that tattoos with any kind of Japanese writing look silly :)
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

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