Kata: The structure and history of Kata in the Koryu of Japan and how it relates to Japanese society, government and thought"

Dr Kacem Zoughari

Saturday, 03 February, 2007; 7:45-9:00pm

Gonville and Caius College, Bateman Auditorium

What is the link between the tea ceremony, or Sado, and the Japanese classical martial arts? What is the common point between Ikebana and death through Seppuku? The notion of Kata can provide all the answers to the mentioned questions and more. In Japan the word Kata can be written with the following two ideograms (型) or (形). Both reflect various aspects, such as philosophy, technique, teaching, transmission, way and goal, and are all related to the idea of perfection.
Although there are claims that Kata come from a very long tradition, they were created mainly during the Edo period and are still present in various fields today. Throughout the centuries, many cultural elements have been added to Kata in order to create a structure where various particulars of Japan can find their base.
Our main purpose is to present the history of the creation of Kata through the history of Japanese classical martial art’s schools and how it influences all the different aspects of Japanese culture and thought.