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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Yamato damashii
Literally, "Japanese spirit"; Yamato damashii is also written º. This term is often contrasted with "Chinese Learning" (karasae), that is, knowledge and scholarship imported into Japan from China. Yamato damashii refers to an inherent faculty of common-sense wisdom, resourcefulness, and prudent judgment that is characteristic of, and unique to, the Japanese people. It also refers to a practical, "real life" ability and intelligence that is in contrast with scholarship and knowledge acquired through formal education. It is a term used to express such ideas as the essential purity and resolute spirit of the Japanese people, the wish for the peace and security of the nation, and the possession of a strong spirit and emotion that will meet any challenge, even at the expense of one's own life. Yamato damashii is synonymous with Yamato gokoro (lit. "Japanese heart").

— Fukui Yoshihiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
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