|Finally found one, looks like Tatsuo's penmanship, maybe! AJA is Advincula Sensei.|
The current translation of the ken-po goku-i is numbered from 1 to 8 but is that something Tatsuo Sensei applied in his English translation, i.e. when presenting early practitioners the silk kanji copy and its accompanying translated copy?
I am not completely sure that Tatsuo actually gave translated copies of the goku-i to those early practitioners as I cannot find one on the Internet but do not want to assume it was not done because of it.
I have a theory that it was the American practitioners who created the English version and then like a lot of military minded folks just numbered it. I can attest that there is no numbering on the silk kanji copies. I can also attest that the translation of the characters, simplistic, do not equal the entire English words in the translations.
I am guessing and/or theorizing here but when you translate the characters the terseness of the ken-po goku-i is more pronounced. It then muddies up the waters as to what they mean, may mean, or do mean as to Tatsuo Sensei's view of the document. This is where translations, especially by folks who have no real background in the Okinawan and Japanese philosophies, come into question. Then we have to view the present validations as coming from a variety of validated sources as also in question for they all seem to differ yet all seem to believe their version is the one true one.
Lets look at the start of the characters as translated literally, hopefully, where we start on the right side. It says, "person - heart - same - heaven- earth." Then Americans, theory here again, adjusted it to fit our needs and be more palatable to our minds and philosophies, i.e. "A person's heart is the same as heave and earth."
There seems to be a good deal of assumptions in the translations. Even when some questioned those closest to Tatsuo for a translation may have simply said yes, that is it due to language barriers and a lack of understanding, etc. between cultures.
I am not saying that Google translate is the official and fully vetted place to translate English-Japanese characters but as a way to test I put in the actual English and got a lot more in the translation to Japanese/Chinese characters than what appears on silk certificates, etc. I do see the characters within the totality of the translation but would not want to assume that it is correct yet do accept that it backs up the question as to both translation to English and the overall meaning Tatsuo Sensei was trying to convey to mostly foreign practitioners whose philosophies and cultures differed like night and day.
It does make for great discussion and research.
I personally can say from the more terse translation that it does seem to say that a person's heart is the same as heaven and earth but then again that is my American mind perceiving it literally and since characters can mean many things and also mean things depending on how they are used, where they are used, by whom they are written and used, etc. may not mean what I think they do.
Example is the reference to "heaven" when I found that in the ancient Chinese classics their interpretation or meaning of "heaven" does not come close to the one we use here, i.e. religious place all good people go to be with God, etc. I also found that the reference to "earth" does not necessarily mean the ground on which we all stand at this very moment.
A good deal of questions do jump up as this topic is analyzed, discussed, and studied. Regardless of its connections to karate or to some other philosophical connection. Who knows, Tatsuo Sensei may not have meant it to be connected to his system of Isshinryu but merely wanted us to have it so we may go on to fully understand Okinawan religious, philosophical and cultural beliefs and way. I have heard that stated many times that Tatsuo wanted Americans to understand and know Okinawans in this way.
If it is not truly connected with Isshinryu Karate practice and training then it must be something like I describe, maybe? Speculation will go on forever; Tatsuo Sensei is no longer able to provide us guidance or even answers, he is gone. So on we speculate!
Lastly, numbering them seems to be truly what was added by Americans or whomever translated it. I do know that in the many studies I have done to date of ancient classics that numbering them would put limits on it as to understanding and meaning to any one individual. I would tend to remove the numbers so the translations/characters would then stand on their own, alone, or can be combined in any number of ways as used by each individual in accordance with their practice, studies, beliefs, and overall philosophies.