I saw a trailer for a documentary about Kyudo or Japanese archery called One Shot, One Life that I very much want to see. The chapter that intrigues me the most is about Takeuchi Masakuni who is a 7th dan kyudoka who is preparing to take the 8th dan exam for the 16th time. In the trailer alone, I was amazed by his approach to taking the test. His perseverance and good attitude in the face of adversity is typical of a Japanese person of a generation that has long since gone by. There is something about the Japanese spirit of the people of the WWII era that is a bit lost today. It is something that I saw in my grandparents or other Japanese who were from that era. When faced with adversity they would just shrug with a "whatever" look on their face and say stuff like, shoganai or to do your best, gambatte means to do your best and gaman or perseverance. These might be phrases but they are more attitudes than anything. Whenever something untoward would happen my mother or grandparents would say, "It's shoganai" and just shrug it off, but not in an apathetic way. They would just go back to getting it done just as Takeuchi Masakuni is doing. It was odd to me that they would not dwell on what is happening to them or the adversity they were facing. It was almost like they accepted it and moved on from it which completely infuriated me by the way.
I wish that I had this Japanese spirit in my own life where of instead of monku-ing (complaining), I could just mutter, "shoganai" and keep on going without allowing the burden of adversity to keep me down. You see this indomitable Japanese spirit in the few minutes of interview with Takeuchi Masakuni in the trailer for One Shot, One Life.