View Full Version : giwamonken in chinese

5th April 2002, 01:53
I am curious about the chinese pronunciation of "giwamon ken" which is obviously japanese. I am also curious about the kanji.

Ted Taylor

5th April 2002, 04:31
Gassho, Ted.
I can't help with the Chinese pronounciation, but the kanji for Giwamonken is as follows:

Robert Liljeblad
5th April 2002, 07:18

Draeger refers to Giwamonken in "Modern Budo" as the Chinese style of I-ho-Ch’uan wich also would be the “Righteous and harmonious Fists”.

Is this right?

My reflection is that the Nippon Shorinji Kempo part in this book is full of errors.


5th April 2002, 08:43
Gassho, Robert.
The "giwa" part of "Giwamonken" certainly means "righteous and harmonious," and the "mon" implies a student who stands at the gates and knocks. This is derived from an ancient tradition whereby a prospective student would go to a teacher's house every day and ask to be admitted to the teachings, and the teacher would turn them away. So the student goes back the next day, and the next, until the teacher is finally convinced of the prospective student's sincerity, and admits them to the teachings. Real hardasses would make students wait years before starting to train them.
The "ken" part is the same as "kempo"; "fist".
I haven't read this book you mention, though.

11th April 2002, 04:02
thanks for the info. I guess I am most curious about the history of the Chinese version of giwamonken. I am vaguely familiar with chinese styles (intellectually) and have never heard anything about
i-ho chuan. Any info out there?



11th April 2002, 05:44
I don't want to come over as all domineering, but Ted, please sign your posts with your FULL NAME!

Robert Liljeblad
11th April 2002, 06:29
Hi agin,

So Doshin was appointed as the 21 th Master of the Northern Shaolin Yihemen Quan (Giwamon ken) in 1936 by Wen Tai Zung the 20th Master of the style.

I understand that the 19 th Master was called Huang Longbai.

According to Dreager Chinese sources states that Wen Tai Zung was a master of the I-ho-Ch’uan style. That I-ho-Ch'uan is chinese for Giwamon ken is nothing I'm sure of, just something Dreager states.

Does anyone else have more information about Giwamon ken?


27th April 2002, 01:27
I was checking through some old notes, and I found that Shorinji is also related to Byakuren (White Lotus ) and something called Pashi. Any info on these?

Ted Taylor

27th April 2002, 06:55
The Byakuren (White Lotus) school of Kung Fu no longer exists as a separate entity, but its body of techniques have been incorporated into Shorinji Kempo. Its distinctive feature is that the blocking limb is used to make the counter-attack (Tsubamae gaeshi, chidori gaeshi, etc.)

2nd March 2003, 18:30
Hi there,
Giwamonken in Chinese pronounciation is Yihemenquan, also called Yihe Quan (Yiho Kuen, in Cantonese). As far as I know, “I-ho chuan” is an incorrect writing, or maybe a transcription system I don´t know. Its meaning is in fact “Righteous and Harmonious Fists”. Apparently, this style is the same as Meihua Quan (Plum Blossom Boxing).
As for White Lotus style (Bailian Quan), I have found almost nothing about it. In my opinion it´s an extinct secret style developed in White Lotus society (Bailianjiao), based on Lohan Quan (a Shaolin style). It also might be related to Hongqianhui (Red Spear Society), a rebel group which Chen Liang (first So Doshin´s Chinese master) belonged to. Hongqianghui members underwent a 128 days training...
On the other hand, maybe So Doshin called Shorinji Kempo techniques groups with Chinese secret societies´ names. For example:
Bailianjiao = White Lotus Society = Byakurenken
Yihe Quan = Righteous and Harmonious Fists = Giwaken
Sanhehui = Three Harmonies Society = Sangoken
Hongwangzihui = Red Swastika Society = Komanjiken
Tiandihui = Heaven and Earth Society = Tenchiken
Who knows?
By the way, I also think Draeger´s book is full of errors and evil intentions about Shorinji Kempo.
As regards “Pashi” or “Bashi”, it migth refer to “Baji Quan” style or to certain terms of “Xingyi Quan” style: bashi chui (eight forms beating), bashi gong (eight movements method), bashi (eight postures), shuang bashi (double eight postures), Jingang bashi (Budda´s Warrior eight forms), longxing bashi (dragon style eight forms)... In fact, So Doshin could have learned some of these forms from Wen Taizong or other Chinese masters.
Do notice about “Xingyi Quan” terms “jingang” (kongo, in Japanese), and “longxing” (So Doshin said that he was taught “Longxing Zhuji” or dragon techniques).
Rogelio Casero

3rd March 2003, 13:24

Where do you find so much of this information?! Most of my searches on the internet come up with very little, and i would love any tips on how to find this depth of information more easily.


Rob Dawson

3rd March 2003, 18:43
Hi again,
Rob, my sources are very varied. I have read hundreds of martial arts magazines and books, I have consulted many books about Chinese and Japanese history, language and culture; I have visited a lot of sites in the web, and I have talked about this matter to many martial arts experts. I have been writing each little clue I discover for years, in this way I have made up my hypotesis about this matter. Even so I think I have no more than a lot of speculations about Shorinji Kempo roots.
Rogelio Casero

tony leith
4th March 2003, 10:24
The hints at the possible origins of Kempo nomenclature in Rogelio's posts is very interesting. However, I wonder how productive it is to expend too much energy on trying to trace Kempo's Chinese and Japanese lineages, given the paucity or non existence of hard documentary evidence (as Mizuno Sensei pointed out, for the excellent reason is that the Chinese schools were secret societies aprt from anything else). The fact that martial arts knowledge is transmitted directly from master to student means that the only other source of information might be living witnesses, but after this perod of time that would seem to be unlikely. We might be better off putting our efforts into the future of Kempo rather than its past, though I would commend Rogelio for his efforts (my knowledge is basically what's in the Fukodukohon).

Tony leith

Iron Chef
2nd October 2003, 21:58
Originally posted by Robert Persson
Hi agin,

So Doshin was appointed as the 21 th Master of the Northern Shaolin Yihemen Quan (Giwamon ken) in 1936 by Wen Tai Zung the 20th Master of the style.

I understand that the 19 th Master was called Huang Longbai.

In 1936 how many years had he been in China? How old was So Doshin in 1936?


4th October 2003, 09:51

My understanding is that Pashi is a small section derivative of the Indian Martial art of Kalari.
It consists of the pinning techniques used to hold an a opponent, usually fixing them to the floor, though not always as some of them are best described as tori waza, arrest holds, where the opponent can be controlled, via pain compliance and still move under their own steam.
I might be wrong though.


6th October 2003, 09:03
yihemen quan was used in the yihemen movement, more known as the "boxer rebellion"
peasant were recruited to fight against the occidental invader. yihemen quan was suported by meihua zhang.

see my post on "more information on so doshin studies in china"

the result, anyway, they were disband, outlawled after the occident country ally together to stop the threatening movement.
heads of leader were chop down and exposed to the public.

so doshin came after and met one of the remaining member of yihemen quan, master of meihua zhang.

6th October 2003, 09:21
this will interest you


6th October 2003, 09:46
Mei Hua Zhuang is an ancient school of Chinese boxing which existed as early as the Han dynasty (B.C.E. 206 - A.C.E. 221).
Anybody believe this?

Kari MakiKuutti
6th October 2003, 10:07
Cleary written historical records show the liniage of Mei Hua Zhuang from the early 1500's. Only a select few ( about two per century) become advanced enough in the Mei Hua Zhuang society to advance to that list.

If there are only two masters per century they must be quite long-lived to make it any kind of a lineage.
Seems to be good for your health ...

Kari Mäki-Kuutti

David Dunn
8th October 2003, 18:23
Originally posted by Iron Chef
In 1936 how many years had he been in China? How old was So Doshin in 1936?

Sorry Chef, meant to respond earlier. That, er wassisname, got in the way. Work.

So Doshin was born in 1910, and first travelled to China in 1928. Hence he had been there eight years in 1936. I'm not sure where the year 1936 came from. !!!udokuhon says simply "after many years of training..." Kaiso was in Japan until 1947, so almost 20 years in total.

Originally posted by Ade My understanding is that Pashi is a small section derivative of the Indian Martial art of Kalari.
It consists of the pinning techniques used to hold an a opponent....

Ditto, meant to comment before. I'm not sure of this, but I think 'pashi' is generic term for katame waza, gyaku waza, nage waza etc, roughly what we call juho, rather than an actual school.

10th October 2003, 17:57
In a previous post I said “Bashi” could refer to Baji Quan style of Kung Fu (Pachi Chuan), or to some drills or techniques of Xingyi Quan called “bashi”. Recently I found out about a northern style of Kung Fu called Ba Zhi, which consists principally of ground techniques. Actually we don’t know what was So Doshin refering to when he mentioned the word “Bashi”. It would be very important to know the “kanji” for this word in order to know its meaning. However I don’t think Pashi like an Indian martial art.
So Doshin always talked about Bashi at the same time as Nafa, and Nafa isn’t a style, but a kind of techniques which consists in grappling, joint reverses and so on. Nafa is also known as Qinna (Chin Na) in Mandarin, and Kumna in Cantonese. This could point out that Bashi isn’t a style either, but a kind or system of techniques. In any case I had never heard of Shorinji Kempo techniques corresponding to Bashi techniques.
On the other hand Giwamonken is Yihemen Quan or Yihe Quan in Chinese. Yihe Quan was a secret society and also a Kung Fu style (Meihua Quan or Plum Blossom Boxing). If Wen Taizong, So Doshin’s master, was a member of Yihe Quan society, then So Doshin could learn any Kung Fu style, since masters of different Kung Fu styles belonged to this society like Cheng Tinghua, an outstanding master of Baguazhang (Pakua Chang). If Wen was a master of Yihe Quan style, then So Doshin learned Meihua Quan.
However, why did Wen tauhgt to So Doshin Lohan Quan, Wuhua Quan and Dragon style, if these techniques don’t belong to Meihua style? This could point out that either Wen wasn’t a Meihua master or he added other teachings to his Meihua style.
I have read in other Shorinji Kempo thread that Wuhua Quan (Five Flowers Boxing) is the same style as Meihua Quan. I’m afraid not, unless So Doshin wish to refer to “Wushi Meihua” (Five Forms of Meihua). Number five is central in Meihua Quan style.
By the way, there are several Meihua Quan styles, and they are named in several ways: Meihuazhuang, Mei Quan, Wushi Ganzhi Meihuazhang, Fuzi Quan, Yihe Quan, etc.

Rogelio Casero

10th October 2003, 18:25
very interesting,
for me, i think so doshin was taught in china mainly yihemen quan and byakuren ken, the other style are either is own symbolic creation, or part of ramdom teaching of his master.
so doshin also said that at this time, many form did not have any names or real structures, so i think his masters didnt realy bother to know wich form belonged to wich art. this is so doshin who classify and put the form into different "ken" later.

11th October 2003, 19:45
Oh, I forgot to tell about another detail. Wen Taizong belonged to Qinzi faction of Yihemen Quan. Anybody knows what Qinzi is? Is it a substyle? Was it a revolutionary cell belonging to Yihe Quan? If al least I could know the “kanji” for this word…
As for Shugyosha post, Chinese styles don’t stress on sparring techniques as Japanese styles do, but on concepts, kinds of energy, solo forms, sparring drills, etc. Accordingly there are no sparring techniques having a name as in Japanese classic styles of Jujutsu. It had to be very difficult for So Doshin to learn Chinese styles, since its learning is too much chaotic and esoteric for a Japanese (I have done a couple of them after doing Shorinji, and I was confused). I think So Doshin could take Chinese elements from several styles and put them in a Japanese shape.

Rogelio Casero