Giri (義理) is a Japanese word that is most encountered in the study of martial arts. Giri means roughly duty, or obligation, in English, but as is often the case I believe there are important nuances that are difficult to convey. If the senpai–kōhai relation is a snapshot of vertical hierarchy (senior-junior, teacher-student) ) that emphasizes respect for authority, or the chain of command, albeit temporary, as long we are engaged in relationship, Giri is a long-term responsibility that we carry for ages.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy
Giri is usually understood as a sense of loyalty, duty or obligation to repay favors or pay back debts. It’s not an obligation that the other party will expect and enforce but instead more like a series of implicit promises that you made to yourself. This mutual trust between individuals makes it possible for them to build strong relationships which are built on respect and understanding. The idea of Giri is often used to explain the deep connections between people, especially in Japanese society.
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” – Brene Brown
In addition to this, it’s also important to consider that Giri can be seen as a form of honor and respect within any relationship. This means showing appreciation for the efforts made and valuing each other’s time and resources. By adopting a sense of Giri, it’s possible to create strong bonds that will last for a lifetime. It is believed that relationships built on Giri are essential for any successful enterprise or endeavor.
Giri has become increasingly important in modern society as people strive to build meaningful and lasting relationships with others. By understanding this concept, we can all look to create stronger and more meaningful connections with those around us. Giri is an integral part of Japanese culture and values, and it should be embraced in order to foster strong interpersonal relationships.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
Overall, Giri is a concept which emphasizes the importance of having mutual respect and trust with those you share close relationships with. It also encourages individuals to appreciate one another’s values and contributions.
Chibariyo ~ C.Borkowski