Jujitsu or Jujutsu?

I have been accused of being somewhat pedantic and I guess I am, and in that light I want to get things right. For instance, I want to use the most correct Romanisation of kanji characters. When it comes to deciding whether to use Jujitsu or Jujutsu in writing on the topic there is always the toss up between what is correct and what is popular. In this case, as with much in life, what is popular is not what is correct.

So what is Jujitsu or Jujutsu? If you asked most people vaguely familiar with this martial art to translate the works in English, then they would say that it is the gentle art or gentle method. But if you search “jitsu” using www.chinalaguage.com (which provides translations in Japanese also) you would not find any reference to “Art” or “Method”. Jitsu really means truth or light and not method or art. However, if you were to search for the kanji associated with the “gentle art” you would find that the Japanse word jutsu.

The trouble is that the correct pronunciation for “ju’ is joo, while the correct pronunciation of “jutsu” is jitsu. In addition, the correct pronunciation for “jujutsu” is joojitsu. You can then see how it is that the most popluar rendering of the spelling is “jujitsu”.

If that is the case, and since I have already stated that I am rather pendantic about the correct Romanisation of kanji, then you might ask what is the reason for us using term Atemi-Jujitsu and not Atemi-Jujutsu. Well there are two reasons. The first is that it is how the founders of this system spell Atemi-Jujitsu. And the second reason is that since Jujitsu is the most popular spelling it is also the most propular spelling used when people search for information on the art, and I obviously want people to read our blog. It is one small compromise we have made in order to increase readership of our blog.

Source: Philip’s post on www.jujutsu.co.za

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