心神 心眼

When a Bugeisha deeply understands martial arts, his heart develops the internal eye look. This in Japan is known as ShinShin Shingan 心神 心眼  and can be translated as “Divine Heart, eye of the heart”.

A clear example of having the eye of the heart and the mind of God, was the famous samurai Nasu no Yoichi (那須与一) (c. 1169-c. 1232) who lived at the late Heian era. He became famous  because of and incident that ocurred on the Genpei wars, reported in the Heike Monogatari.

History tells that in march 22 1185, during the naval battle of  Yashima, the Taira had placed a fan on the highest pile of one of their ships, claiming that it protected the ship from arrows, and challenge warriors to take it down. Riding his horse over the waves, and despite the swinging that agitated the ship, Nasu managed to take the fan down on one shot.

Sôke tells that Shinshin shingan (mind and God’s eyes) is called Kanjin Kaname, and this is as important as when Nasuno Yoichi threw is arrow, taking down the fan.

Sôke tells that Nasu no Yoichi was able to do it well, because he was experienced en Kanjin Kaname. Sôke says that Kanjin Kaname is important to everything, as if one doesn’t have Janjin Kaname, many weak spots appear from us.

After the Genpei wars, the new shōgun Minamoto no Yoritomo awarded Nasu no Yoichi making him a Daimyō of the Tottori Castle, but ends up loosing this position after being defeated by Kagetoki Kajiwara in a hunting competition. He then abandons the Echigo province, and after the Yoritomo’s death, ends up becoming a budist monk in the  Jōdo Shinshū sect.

The martial art (as in life itself) hast two paths to choose from; one fake and one true. This is known as Kyojitsu. When the eye of the heart is blinded by egoism, vanity, jelauosy, money and ignorance, the true path can never be found. Even the eye of the mind depends on the concepts of good and bad according to conveniences, based on experiences of fears and both painfull or pleasure ones. However, the eye of the heart relies on feelings and love.

Determination, courage and feeling, are instruments for the martial wind (bufu)  to blow over the clouds that blind the eye of the heart. To tense the arch and let go the arrow is even a way to achieve Mushin.



To have courage doesn’t neccesarily open the eye of the heart and the mind of God, but even the courage can be just an animal attitude in it’s reaction of survival, and not neccesarily an experience of a human and divine conciense.

If the Kanjin Kaname doesn’t exist, the desitions with courage not always can lead you in a good path, they even can ruin you.

Feeling, devotion, discernment and training in the right place with the right people, help to dissipate the vail of ignorance (Haramitsu), leading us to the experience of Kanjin Kaname.

I think that Kajin Kaname, comes from the experience of Mushin 無心, not neccesarily in the Budô 武道, but also from Mudô 無道

I feel that I’ve becomed dependent of the presence of Sôke, as every time I travel and train in his classes or if I’m on his presence, the eye of the heart opens and I see everything more clearely. Maybe in time I might be able to keep the eye of the heart open without depending on Sôke, but for know, I can only say that I’m just a student trying to learn and feel clearely. I’ll keep doing my best, but I feel more important to continue feeding from his teaching by his side and while away, within the path and the no-path.

Christian Petroccello –  Tenryu


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