This website is dedicated to the ideals of the Renaissance Samurai, that is the Master of Swords and Letters. The Samurai aimed not just to be strong in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, but Bushido itself incorporated a study of philosophy and spirituality in Zen, Shinto, and Neo-Confucianism. Samurai also studies the Zen arts like Calligraphy and Tea Ceremony, both for practical discipline and spiritual refinement.
We believe that the modern Samurai is one who strives to master both the Martial Arts and the Liberal Arts, who strives to become a whole person with spiritual depth, and capable of protecting and leading others. Most of all, the Samurai approaches learning the the philosophy in the characters at the left 冷暖自知 (reidan jichi), which translates as "knowing cold and hot by experience" (not merely in theory. It is this practical unity of thought and action which characterizes the Samurai's approach to life and death. We hope to provide on this website many ways to deepen your understanding of this philosophy, as well as to enjoy the cool culture of the Samurai.
William Reed, Professor at the International College of Liberal Arts (iCLA), Yamanashi Gakuin University.
William Reed is a Japanologist with over four decades of experience in Japan, and in-depth knowledge of the Japanese language and culture. He is dedicated to bridging the language and cultural gap to make accessible the Ways of practical wisdom in Japanese Budo and traditional arts.
Living the Budo philosophy of Bunbu Ryodo, Master of Sword and Letters, he holds advanced rankings in both Aikido and Shodo, Brush Calligraphy. He has a 7th-dan in Aikido with the Yuishinkai under Maruyama Koretoshi, who studied directly under the founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei. He holds a 10-dan rank as a professional Sensei of Shodo from the Zen Nihon Shodo Renmei, and has won many awards in calligraphy competitions, and is currently developing a program whereby people can study brush calligraphy as a means of developing mental and physical concentration, an ability to maintain peak performance under pressure, as well as gain access to practical philosophy and poetry from Asian culture. He is also a Tokubetsu Shihan in Nanba Jutsu, the Art of Physical Finesse, on which he has spoken twice as a TEDx Speaker, at TEDxKG in Japan, and at TEDxTrondheim in Norway.
William is a bilingual professional communicator, dedicated to sharing practical wisdom from Japanese culture through teaching, speaking, and writing. First coming to Japan as an exchange student at Waseda University in 1972, he earned a Bachelors Degree from Earlham College in Japanese Language and Area Studies, and a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Missouri. His career has encompassed many platforms of communication. Currently he is a Professor and a Co-Director of Japan Studies at the International College of Liberal Arts (iCLA) https://www.icla.jp/en/ at Yamanashi Gakuin University. He is the author of several books in English on Aikido and Shodo, and has written a number of books in Japanese; including two books which became number one bestsellers on Amazon in Japan, one on the Art of World Class Presentations, and the other on Mind Mapping and Creativity. He was the first person to be certified as a World Class Speaking Coach by Craig Valentine, who is the 1999 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking. William is a weekly commentator on Japanese television on Yamanashi Broadcasting's Tetete TV, and has appeared seven times as a documentary reporter on Japanese martial arts and traditional culture for NHK World's Journeys in Japan, a program which is broadcast worldwide and viewed by over 100 million people. Speaking on Budo and Education, he was the Keynote speaker for the All Japan Kyudo Federation, sponsored by the Nippon Budokan.
In his career, he has also worked as a professional translator and journalist, and was the Japan Director for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), working on business, government, and trade association assignments. He has been a guest Lecturer on talent dynamics and team building for multinational and Japanese corporations, for MBA Programs, Japanese universities, and professional associations. William currently serves as a Director for the Mandala Chart Association and for the Japan Creativity Society.
For the Samurai, retirement was never an option. In this same spirit, and now deeply honored to receive the Scottish Samurai Shogun Award, William hopes to help strengthen the bonds of friendship and exchange between Eastern and Western cultures, and deepen the appreciation of the philosophy and practice of Japanese Budo Culture.
Affiliations above include the following:
Professor at iCLA (International College of Liberal Arts) Yamanashi Gakuin University)
Aikido at Aikdio Yuishinkai
Shodo at Zen Nihon Kyouiku Shodo Renmei
Nanba at Nanba Jutsu Association
Director at Mandala Chart Association
Adviser to Japan Creativity Association
Adviser to Birth Color Academy
Certified Coach of World Class Speaking
Founder Dragon Gate Nanba Arts Association
iCLA (International College of Liberal Arts) Yamanashi Gakuin University
iCLA (International College of Liberal Arts) was founded in April 2015 as the International College of Yamanashi Gakuin University. It has a rigorous academic program in the Liberal Arts, and a strong Japan Studies Program with workshops and instruction by world class professors. William Reed is a co-Director of the Japan Studies program at iCLA, and has introduced many of the teachers of the Japan Studies workshops, as well as teaching many subjects in this field himself. He is also leading the initiatives introduced on this website, as well as many of the promotional activities for iCLA.
Learn more about iCLA from our website: https://www.icla.jp/en/ (English) and http://www.icla.jp/ (Japanese)
as well as our promotional video: 8 Reasons to Study at iCLA
Check out the videos the iCLA YouTube Channel.