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Taidō (The Way of the Body) is a style of Karate practiced in Japan and popular around the world.
Taidō or 躰道 traces a lineage from Genseiryū (玄制流) which came from Shuri-te (首里手), one of the original martial arts schools of ancient Okinawa.
The first character 躰 is a variant of the original Chinese character 體. In modern Japan, they tend to use 体, a more simple form of the character. 体 is also the modern Simplified Chinese form of 體.
The 躰 character is correct for this 躰道 martial arts title. But it can be confusing with so many variants out there, not to mention other homophonic Japanese words that also romanize as Taidō or Taidou.
To have a bit more fun with this 躰 character, it has a 身 radical on the left, which sets it apart. The meaning doubles up on the "body" as 身 (shin) is a character that also means body in Japanese and Chinese. On the right is 本 which often means root, stem, origin, source, or fundamental (but can also mean "book" in some contexts). This has deviated from the original 體 which was 骨 (bone) + 豊 (vessel). Hence, body was your "bone vessel" in ancient Asia.
The meaning of 躰, as well as 體 and 体, is usually translated as body. When related to the physical body, it can also refer to the torso, trunk, build, physique, or constitution of a person. As an extension of this, it can also refer to someone's health (good body = good health).
However, depending on context, it can encompass other meanings such as: form; style; system; to experience; aspect; corpus, corporeal; the substance, the essentials.
The second character, 道, is recognized and well-known as the "Way" and is the same "do" as in Karate-do or Aikido.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)|
|Shuri-Ryu||首里流||shu ri ryuu
shu ri ryu
|Taidō||躰道||tai dou / taidou / tai do / taido|
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Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
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