|Bushido Aikido Kyudo Judo|
|Chado Shodo Kado|
Shortly after my parents and sister passed away, my interest in landscape architecture and Japanese culture led me away from the financial services field to explore a new interest in Japanese landscape architecture. It was then that I talked to Professor Ikka Nakashima on the phone inquiring about the Japanese gardening classes that she taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She told me that she stopped teaching at the University, but invited me to sit in on a class at her home.
"When we lose a language, we lose centuries of human thinking about time, seasons, sea creatures, reindeer, edible flowers, mathematics, landscapes, myths, music, the unknown and the everyday. Only some cultures erect grand built monuments by which we can remember their achievements. But all cultures encode their genius in their languages, stories, and lexicons. . . We would be outraged if Notre Dame Cathedral or the Great Pyramid of Giza were demolished to make way for modern buildings. We should be similarly appalled when languages—monuments to human genius far more ancient and complex than anything we have built with our hands—erode." [read article]
Does this mean that people who do not possess their native tongue have lost their heritage? Of course not, but the process of cultural erosion has already begun for them, and unless they connect to the cultural ingredients associated with their native language; the erosion will continue at an alarming rate. In my opinion, the most important ingredient are cultural values and virtues because these are what make up our "dō." These are the actual fiber that weaves the lufid or wanes of our souls. One can still "be" Igorot without possessing their native tongue, but without the values and virtues of our heritage, one is like faith without action: an empty vessel.
Chanoyu Demonstration at Anderson Japanese Gardens