Riki ai funi

Riki ai funi 力愛不二 the second characteristic of Shorinji Kempo.

One of the characteristic philosophical assertions of Shorinji Kempo is that strength and love stand together (riki ai funi). According to Kaiso (the founder): “Strength without love is nothing more than violence, and love without strength is powerless.

In other words, the ideas of love and strength are commonly thought of as opposed concepts, but the slogan “Strength and love stand together” proposes their harmony. Kaiso once said: “If people don’t agree with our way of thinking, we should try to convince them. If they used violence to get their way, then I think we should respond with violence in return. This is an extreme way of putting it, but if the potential for such action were not part of what we train ourselves in, then Shorinjikempo would be meaningless.

Upon reading these words, one might make the mistake of thinking that Kaiso condoned using the brute force to make people do as we want them to. Such is not the case, but what was Kaiso trying to communicate to us?

Soon after the founding of Shorinji Kempo, Kaiso and a clergyman fell into disagreement over the question of strength and love. The clergyman argued: “Your attitude of solving problems through force is incorrect. Even if the person you’re dealing with acknowledges neither law nor principle, every problem in life can be solved as long as there is love.

Kaiso, however, disagreed; “Yes it’s very simple to say that it’s foolish to fight and there is no excuse for being violent. That sounds fine. But some people don’t care how good that all sounds, and they are where the problem is. With people like that, the only good way to respond is with force of one’s own.” He continued: “I’m not saying that the solution is to make people into good fighters, but when a person is making trouble for others, then someone has to help out. In order to do that, that someone has to be strong enough to put a stop to the problem.

One could say that Kaiso didn’t encourage fighting as a solution, and yet he most definitely affirmed the need for strength to act. When confronted with a disagreeable or wrong situation, one wants to be able to state one’s own thoughts without reservation. To be able to do that, one must be backed up with a balanced strength sufficient to overcome the strength of one’s opponents. Courage, love, brute, force; none of these alone is sufficient to the task.

This is riki ai funi.