The Role of “Craft Language” in Learning “Waza”

  • Kumiko Ikuta
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


The role of “craft language” in the process of teaching (learning) “Waza” (skill) will be discussed from the perspective of human intelligence.

It may be said that the ultimate goal of learning “Waza” in any Japanese traditional performance is not the perfect reproduction of the teaching (learning) process of “Waza”. In fact, a special metaphorical language (“craft language”) is used, which has the effect of encouraging the learner to activate his creative imagination. It is through this activity that the he learns his own “habitus” (“Kata”).

It is suggested that, in considering the difference of function between natural human intelligence and artificial intelligence, attention should be paid to the imaginative activity of the learner as being an essential factor for mastering “Kata”.


Waza Skill Craft language Kata Katachi Habitus Human intelligence Artificial intelligence 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    The oldest extant professional theatre; a form of musical dance-drama originating in the 14th century. E. O. Reishauer et al. (eds.) Encyclopedia JAPAN (1983), Kodanshav International Ltd, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    One of the three major classical theatres of Japan, together with the Noh and puppet theatre (Bunraku)(ibid.),Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Art of self-defence that uses no weapons and relies instead on arm strides (uchi), thrusts (tsuki) and kicks (keri)(ibid.).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A form of unarmed combat that stresses agile motions, astute mental judgment, and rigorous form, rather than sheer physical strength (ibid.).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Japanese fencing based on the techniques of the two-handed sword of the samurai (ibid.).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Singleton, J. (1989). Japanese folkcraft pottery apprenticeship: cultural patterns of an educational institution. In Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Apprenticeship,Michael Coy (ed.), Sunny Press.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mauss, M. (1950). Sociologie et Anthropologie, Presses Universitaires de France, pp. 368-369.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ryle, G. (1949). The Concept of Mind, Hutchinson, p. 44.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ibid., p. 44.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    The brilliant actor, playwright, and critic who established Noh (sarugaku) as a classic theatrical art (1363-1443) (E. O. Reishauer et al.(eds) Encyclopedia JAPAN, Kodansha International Ltd, Tokyo, 1983).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zeami, “Hanakagami”, Shinchosha, 1976, pp. 103-104.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kabuki actor (1865-1940).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kabuki actor (1838-1903).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Nakamura, Utaernon, Nihon no Geidan 2, Kugei Publishing Company 1979, p. 192.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kabuki actor (1911-1988).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kabuki actor (1885-1949).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    The popular 18th-century kabuki play. A tale of revenge based on “the forty-seven ronin incident”, is a famous play shown even now in near entirety. (E. O. Reishauer, et al. (eds.) Encyclopedia JAPAN, Kodansha International Ltd, Tokyo, 1983).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    The ramp extending into the audience toward the left side of the theatre, which serves both as a secondary stage and as the means by which the actors often make their dramatic entrances and exits (ibid.).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Seki, Yoko (1985). Nakamura Kanzaburo Gakuya-banashi, Bungeishunju Publishing Company, pp. 45-46.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Howard, V. (1982). Artistry, Hacket Publishing Company, pp. 46-47.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid., pp. 47-48.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Petrie, H. (1979). “Metaphor and Learning”. In Metaphor and Thought, Cambridge University Press, p. 443.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dreyfus, H. and Dreyfus, S. Mind over Machine(1986), The Free Press, p. 53.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ibid., p. 54.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    For the further argument on this problem, see Kumiko Ikuta (1987), Waza kara shiru(Learning from Skill), Tokyo University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kumiko Ikuta
    • 1
  1. 1.Sugino Women’s College4-6-19 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-KuJapan

Personalised recommendations