Jujitsu, Ju Jitsu, Jiujitsu, Jiu Jitsu, Jiujutsu, Jujutsu, Jujitso, Ju-jitsu, Jiujuiutsu, Jiu-jitsu?

Why so many languages

Origins of JuJitsu Spelling and pronunciation

The martial Art has undergone many translations over time.
Primary concern to some is how to pronounce or write the word JuJitsu. To me this serves little purpose, but for those who would like to hear my findings read-on.

Jujitsu, Ju Jitsu, Jiujitsu, Jiu Jitsu, Jiujutsu, Jujutsu, Jujitso, Ju-jitsu, Jiujuiutsu, Jiu-jitsu, and so forth, so many subtle differences to each is ludicrous. The way I like to think of it is simple. Different folk use different dialects. Different dialects use different alphabets, and unless you are a linguist you may find it difficult to pronounce any of them in a foreigners native tongue.

Firstly the Alphabet, most English spoken people I know recognise the Roman Alphabet, while the equivalent character set in Japanese uses the Romanji Alphabet. This equivalent alphabet uses similar, recognisable characters, but herein lies the differences, their pronunciation is different, particularly in their vowel sounds.

Interestingly I happened across a website with a linguistic translator, that I could type in the different spellings and hear the vocalisation of the different spellings of JuJutsu, Juijitsu and JuJitsu. To hear the subtle differences you can repeatedly play it back and forth between the different spelling. (here you can try it for yourself http://www.romajidesu.com/translator ).

Japan being lorded over for centuries with a feudal regime, separated by its waterways of surrounding island locations and inland islands separated by mountainous regions, it is understandable that differing dialects would evolve and further separate those who lived in regional areas. Just some of the dialects I have discovered in my research may not give you much insight however I’ve listed the main ones here;

  • Standard Japanese, like formal English, then there are seven distinct dialects which are;
  • Hakata Ben from Fukuoka City and its suburbs
  • Osaka Ben spoken in the Kansai region a harsh sounding standard Japanese dialect
  • Hiroshima Ben made famous by a movie called “The Yakuza” unfairly now this dialect is associated with the Japanese Mafia
  • Kyoto Ben a traditional dialect of Kyoto, is known for its softness and politeness.
  • Nagoya Ben has an accent that is pretty close to standard Tokyo accent, those who speak with a Nagoya Ben accent are more than often characterised as speaking like a cat.
  • Sendai Ben dialect of the capital city of the Miyagi prefecture.
  • Hokkaido Ben has developed from a mixture of different dialects when Tohoku and Hokuriku regions migrated to Hokkaido island

With so many regions so close together yet their dialects are so dissimilar, mainstream media may need subtitles.

Our own style, Sakura Ryu JuJitsu, Cherry Blossom Style, was a traditional style that was favoured by the Samurai. This style was further developed by Jigaro Kano, taken to Europe and taught to Westerners, one of which who emigrated to Australia, bringing the Art of JuJitsu with him, and his translation of the spoken language.

With that further insight into the origin of our Martial Art, it’s time to get back to training.
Happy Breakfalls Everyone!!