Esoteric practices, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and incantations served to create a mystical aura about martial arts that made it interesting and exciting, causing people to want to learn more about it. In China such an idea was used by several rebellious sects of the Shandong region to recruit the less well off, upset with their current livelihood, for members. However, in Japan, martial arts cultivation tended to be for the wealthy and people of lineage as an educational tool, where the secret esoteric practices created a sort of fraternal society.
Focusing on the province of Shandong, in China, the creation of a mystical authority surrounding martial arts practice brought more followers to certain rebellious sects, including the White Lotus. Because the inhabitants of many areas of the Shandong region frequently were afflicted by many natural disasters, including droughts and floods (p. 40,sbpc), the people were left with an unconfident feeling regarding their future livelihood, and left open to the ‘salvationist’ messages of the heterodox sects of the region. Described as meditational sects, groups like the White Lotus, created a convenient vehicle for likeminded people, upset with their current quality of living, to amass. Unlike the sutra-recitation sects, which were populated by the more well to do and literate (p.43 sbpc), the meditational sects tended
Creating a mystical authority about martial arts practice brought more common people of rural areas.
- Shandong was an area of recurrent uprisings led by sects, such as the White Lotus.
o A possible reason for such unrest could be that the inhabitants of this area were afflicted by many natural disasters, including droughts and floods (p. 40)
• Such disasters left the people feeling unconfident with their livelihood, and open to the “salvationist” messages of the sects.
o Meditational sects, like the White Lotus, created a convenient vehicle for a group of likeminded people, upset...