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Hare-Yama Info



Entrance to Hare-Yama Ryu


Hare-Yama Ryu is our home of oriental arts, in particular Japanese arts. We work towards adopting and adapting these art forms into our Western lifestyles without loosing any part of the ideals and standards set by their originators. This means respecting the traditions and philosophies of these art forms without changing them to our Western values.

Our name Hare-Yama Ryu, the Helderberg Ryu, comes from the beautiful mountain that graces our northern skyline in Somerset West, our base in teh Western Cape, South Africa. It is a symbol for the Goju philosophy of our Ryu.

Hare-Yama (like all mountains) stands rooted solidly to Mother Earth, yet stretches to the skies, giving it a view to infinity (beyond the mundane), and proximity to the heavens and source of infinite wisdom. Within its energetic microcosm, worlds co-exist and interact in harmony, in ongoing natural cycles of growth and decay. Its face changes with the days and seasons, and it is subject to the full effect of the elements of nature, yet Hare-Yama retains a steadfastness that has survived for eons and will continue to survive many more. (Read about the geological history of Hare-Yama)

Our deep respect for nature and the infinite number of interactions of nature prohibit us from becoming involved in those things that will erode that respect. Our philosophy is captured in the message below, presented to us by Yamaguchi Saiko Shihan, a highly respected Japanese Master and Grand Master of a variety of arts and skills.

Hare-Yama Ryu is involved mainly in the art forms of Bonsai, Karate-do, Tai Chi, Ceramics, Japanese Garden Design, Suiseki, Haiku, Brush and Ink Art, and Floral Art.

 Saiko Shihan Message



Saiko Shihan Message English



About Goju


A simple definition of Goju is Hard (Go), Soft (Ju).

Yet hidden within these words is a world of experiences, actions, reactions, knowledge, views, thoughts, learning, and all things that guide our lives, or emanate from our interactions with all else around us.


The mountain is an excellent example of Go and Ju. Its solid unmoveable foundation allows it to reach ever skywards in million-year ticks of the geological clock, yet within its soft folds, it protects an entire world of changing life that breathes to the fast moving rhythms of the skies and wind and seasons and day and night.

Yet in time, the softness of the rain erodes the hardness of the mountain, and day by day the hardness of the mountain influences the softness of the rain, in an interdependence that demonstrates in all Go there is Ju and in all Ju there is Go.


And so we seek to experience and learn from all aspects of life from Go to Ju, realising the relevance of each to each situation.


Another example, Body is essentially Go, and mind is essentially Ju. Yet a Ju Body is agile and dynamic while a Go Mind can be resolute and unmoving. To find the correct mix for each situation is the essence of life's learning.





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Last updated 2010-12-23 09:12