I love most things Japanese. Japanese food? Bring it on! Nothing better than a course of donburi, some curry rice, followed by sushi…all washed down with green tea.
I love traditional Japanese art, mannerisms, culture, and clothing. (Nothing is more comfortable than a silk kimono) Of course, I spent a lot of years studying Japanese martial arts…
One of the most telling of Japanese symbols, however, is katana – the battle sword pictured on the left. The katana is renown for its ability to go through armor, cut chain – even solid metal! American soldiers returning from combat in the Japanese theater of WWII, told stories of Japanese officers, armed with katana, charging machine guns and cutting the barrels in half!
The Japanese believe the spirit of the warrior lives in his blade. I think part of the reasoning behind that belief is because of how a katana is forged. The base steel is fired red hot and beaten/folded over on itself over ten thousand times. This process of submitting the blade to incredible heat and pressure repeatedly produces a blade of immense strength and durability – the life of the samurai was dependent on his katana!
Some blades fail to become katana – they become training blades because
they refuse to fold under the hammer of the swordsmith, instead cracking under the pressure and breaking. But those
blades that fold, that submit to the heat and hammer, become the finest
– they become katana.
The Japanese word for the process that embeds a warrior spirit into the blade is Seishinryoku. The English translation… spiritual strength.
God promises us that when we are put through the heat, and hammered from each direction, there is a purpose. Will you submit to the hammer? Will you take the heat? If you refuse to crack, trusting that God will never destroy you with fire…will never beat the life out of you, you too can become a magnificent katana in His hand. You can also find Seishinryoku – Spiritual Strength. God wants to form you into something useful, sharp, strong. But that takes fire. It takes hammer blows. Trust your maker – he knows how much stress you can take. His ultimate goal is Seishinryoku – your Spiritual Strength.
–Dewa mata (see you later)