hara (stomach,nelly,viscera,womb,abdomen)

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Jan 17, 2012 12:41
"Hara" is an important concept in Japanese traditional popular psychology and interpersonal relationships.
In addition to referring to actual body parts,the word "hara" is used in number of Japanese idioms having to do with emotions, thoughts, intentions, or character.
For example, when a person is angry, it is said that his "hara stands up"(hara ga tatsu).
When one tries to probe another's plants, intentions, or thoughts without verbal communication, one "gropes around," " reads," or " gauges" the other's hara(hara o saguru).
A person having a frank talk with another "cuts his hara open" (hara o waru). A wicked man's hara is "black" (haraguroi). Haragei, or "belly play," is supposed to be a way to reach mutual understanding without direct verbal communication. These and other expressions using "hara" indicate that the abdominal region has traditionally been considered the focus of emotions, thoughts, and intentions.
In the practice of Zen meditation and the martial arts, the student concentrates on the center of the abdominal region(seika tanden) to become at the same time relaxed and alert.
"Harakiri" testifies to their belief that "hara" is the locus of life and character.