Zen and Tea Learning

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The student-teacher relationship is based on the Confucian ethic.

The Japanese character for benevolence.

On - Benevolence

The Japanese character for obligation.

Giri - Obligation

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Lecture Notes

In this way of thinking, people in a superior position in the social hierarchy (rulers, teachers, parents, bosses, senior students and employees, older siblings, etc.) are obliged to protect and nurture their juniors. They create on which may be translated as kindness, goodness, favor, mercy, or benefit. Individuals in a junior position (commoners, students, children, workers, younger siblings, etc.) owe their seniors faithful service, loyalty, respect, and gratitude. They feel giri, moral debt. obligation, or duty. The essence of these relationships are that they are reciprocal and morally required. By behaving in certain mutually beneficial ways, people in diverse hierarchal positions create ties which bind the entire social structure together.