Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pushing vs Pulling

There is an old Japanese saying, "If pushing doesn't work, pull." It's similar to the one I've been repeating to myself for three or so years, "When in a real hurry, take the long way around."

Indeed, Ben tells me there are a lot of Japanese tools that work when you pull, rather than push. Japanese saws cut when pulled and Japanese planers shave when pulled. Japanese knives when used on meat and fish, particularly the long skinny sashimi knives, cut when in a gentle pulling motion, so no use trying to chop the delicious fish. Same with Japanese swards, so you need to get pretty close to cut someone.

With Japanese brooms one is meant to gather the dust at your feet, and we don't have the equivalent of what we call "deck brushes", the kind you push away the dust. And the traditional carts, from just transporting things to a small shop/eatery, we pulled, not pushed.

I've been catching up with Connie Rose's personal blog, thinking I should be able to use this mentally to my advantage. Not sure how just yet.

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