The Samurai class were abolished and along with it the wearing of the katana and the top-knot hairstyle. Reforms would sweep the nation. The traditional martial arts or Bujutsu, would also experience many changes as its usefulness is questioned by a more progressive society. To practice martial arts as Budo is to take a different path and develop one’s character as well as one’s skills. The sword and zen are one. Today, the growing internationalization of Budo which includes Karate, Kendo, Judo, Aikido, Shorinji Kempo and Kyudo will bring more changes as Japan sees it’s role as gatekeeper slowly slipping away.
Perhaps the most contentious issue is the sportification of Budo and the culture of ‘winning at all costs’ that this inevitably creates. Which brings us to the question we must all ask: How do we maintain the traditional values of Budo under these circumstances?