Translating "as taught by, according to, following (the teachings of)"

I’m trying to translate the sentence:

“I practice traditional iaido, as taught by the founder of iaido, sensei Hayashizaki Shigenobu.”

[Not because it’s true, unfortunately, but because it uses the grammar I’m interested in.]

I think I’ve got most of it worked out, but I’m struggling with the “as taught by” part.

After searching for similar sentences, I’ve come to the tentative conclusion that I want to use によって, but I’m not sure if I’ve got that right.

Does the following make sense?


Breaking it down:

“Hayashizaki Shigenobu, the founder of iaido”

“which was taught according to [him]”

“I practice [that kind of] traditional iaido”


[1] Is this an appropriate use of によって?

[2] Is the past tense appropriate here? Hayashizaki Shigenobu is dead, but the premise here is that his teachings live on.

[3] Would it be more natural to split this into more than one sentence?


I think your use of によって is correct here. I am actually wondering if you have used 教授 correctly, though. Can it be suru’d like that? I don’t think so. Also when I read Kotobank about it, it keeps talking about teachings at daigaku. Maybe the meaning is limited to those kind of environments.


maybe you should also consider に従って as is used when following instructions or specific methods. :+1:

Two sentences I imagine make sense here.

1st About Iaido’s founding father.
Then second one: founding fatherの教えに従って+ you practice Iaido. :+1:

That’s how I would put it.


Thank you, both of you!

Hmm, you might be right. However, I have seen this used in reference to martial arts, for example on the Wikipedia page for Iwama style:


“Iwama style is a common name for a set of techniques taught by Morihiro Saito, the personal pupil of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Iaido.”

Ah, that’s very intersting; in an earlier verstion, I actually used:

“Traditional iaido, in accordance with the teachings of Hayashizaki Shigenobu-sensei”

I think I went for によって because I got the impression that に従って had something to do with following commands, rather than simply emulating somebody, but I could be wrong about that.

In essence, I want “as taught by X” with the nuance of

“using X as a role model”

rather than

“as demanded by X”.

教えに is very interesting; it does seems like the most straightforward solution to a lot of these quandaries.

That is very logical. However, I wonder if changing the order like that would also shift the focus. Here, the reason I mention Hayashizaki Shigenobu is because I am talking about my (hypothetical) self.

I imagine that there is an implied 私は at the beginning; if I had to cut down on detail, I would simply say


while the rest is really just background information.


Yeah, に従って implies been a somewhat submisive state and following things to the tee. Which if you follow a particular doctrine and want to express that you have been rigorous about it should be ok.

You might not want to imply any of the above so you can use a different expression too.

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なになに師匠の教えのもとに。。。how would that sound?

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Yeah, I’m thinking it might be the difference between “What would Jean-Luc Picard, my role model, do?” and “What does Captain Picard, my commanding officer, command me to do?”

Probably not quite so black-and-white, but along those lines.

It would be useful distinction in a religious context; some religious figures are meant to be emulated (because they showed the way to a good life), while others are obeyed (because otherwise you’ll go to hell). Sometimes both.

That’s a very interesting example; I hadn’t thought of using もとに.

I guess that might be particularly useful if the one who is emulated only laid the foundation of the art, but it has been greatly expanded since then.

(I believe this is indeed the case in iaido, although I need to read up a bit more on that … which will be great practice, because Hayashizaki Shigenobu doesn’t have an English Wikipedia page, so I’ll have to read the Japanese one.)

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oh, is not that black and white. に従って can be used to follow (obey) your instinct or to act according to your possition, social status, etc. I would think of it more as to “stick to something” :+1:

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That’s very useful; thanks!

Does it carry a connotation that sticking to that principle or example is a goal unto itself?

Fair-weather fan: <X>によって<Y>
“I do <Y> the way that <X> does”
This is a fairly neutral statement; this person doesn’t always do what <X> does, but they liked the way <X> did <Y>, so they follow that example.

Purist: <X>に従って<Y>
“I do <Y> because <X> did it”
… and if <X> jumped off a bridge, I would also jump off a bridge.

[Again, very exaggerated, of course.]

Edit: Perhaps the example above is so exaggerated as to not be useful.

Perhaps a better example would be that the purist is dedicated to mastering <Y> the way that <X> did it, not necessarily out of a dogmatic belief that <X> is always right, but because they think there is some value to mastering this particular technique (perhaps to use as a stepping stone in their training).

For example:

“I am practicing the Eight Principles of Yong. I am following the instructions closely, not necessarily because I think they are perfect, but because I believe that doing so will help me become a better calligrapher.”

I would put it on the purist side of the spectrum… it means obey after all …:man_shrugging: . Just is not always direct orders given by others.

to have some reference here are the proposed related english phrases mentioned in the Kenkyusha’s English-Japanese Dictionary for the General Reader for に従って:

In accordance with, according to, in compliance with, in concordance with, consequently with, in line with.

There’re a lot of similar expression actually, indeed is a wide spectrum, some similar ones refering to agreement with something, or according to something: と一致して, しだいで, によって. Also there’s に応じて (more on the “upon request of” side of the spectrum).


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Just curious, are you studying Iwama style?

I’m not, but a friend who asked for help with a translation does :wink:

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