Ichigo-kata: introduction

Ichigo-kata (苺方 ichigokata, lit. way of strawberry) is a typology system that you may already be familiar with if you have involved yourself deeply with The Functions, short for a series of eight "cognitive functions" that supposedly describes someone's cognitive processes. Sites like cognitiveprocesses.com or careerplanner.com promote typing using these functions to determine one's psychological type, which coincidentally uses the same names for its types as Myers-Briggs. Both of these sites and many, many alike do two very fundamental things wrong: 1) they focus on visible, identifiable traits as opposed to the hidden process behind it 2) their types share names with those in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, creating confusion between an easily observable, testable system and an abstract, intuitive system. Sites like mbti-notes try to establish rapport between the Functions and Myers-Briggs, creating a mess of both systems in the process of doing so and distracting away from the comprehensiveness the Functions would otherwise be able to provide.

Ichigo-kata assumes that people value four of the eight functions (4の要認知機能 yon no youninchikinou) and that any display that would indicate otherwise is merely mimicry, known as the Imitative Attitude (模態 motai), deception referred to as the Deceptive Attitude (伋態 kibitai), or genuine yet always-to-remain-underdeveloped use of an unvalued function, called Unvalued Development (未要養 miyouryou). A reportedly rarer display is the Dynamic Attitude (動態 doutai), where one seems to "switch" in an oscillatory manner between two ichitypes; this is not the case and is generally attributed to the Deceptive Attitude, but if this dynamism permeates their entire sense of being, it is fair to categorize their type into the Dynamic Attitude. A common phenomenon seen among typologists using the Functions is the justification of "unusual behavior" (usually observed as the Imitative Attitude) by naming that it is not four functions that people use, but all eight, which is a confusing and misleading claim such people are forced to make because their definitions of the Functions are too rigid to encompass the infinite sides to people's cognition. If it were in fact eight functions that people used, then the need to distinguish "valued" and "unvalued" functions would be less necessary than the need to gauge the strength of each individual function, and doing so would erase the boundaries necessary to cast people into their types in the first place; what you see would be what you get.

This is why ichigo-kata also assumes that the model that suits cognition as we know it best has only four functions, in which the model follows a similar "stack" to Harold Grant's in From Image to Likeness: A Jungian Path in the Gospel Journey. The order of each type's functions have been adapted into ichigo-kata's 16 types, but ichigo-kata applies exactly the correct amount of rigidity to its model to create both coherent differences between the types while including everyone's cognition in the picture. "Less rigid function typers" or "non-function typers" (異教徒 ikyouto) would criticize this model for purposefully constraining its idea of the extent of people's cognitive abilities, but this could not be further from the truth. Despite only four functions being valued, recognizing how one's abilities may hardly differ from another while having a completely different type is pivotal to understanding the essence of ichigo-kata. Where the eight definitions of the Functions are generally constrained to various literal, tangible details that were born out of trends and stereotypes in typing people, these definitions in ichigo-kata are only constrained to the following words: sensation, intuition, thinking, feeling, valued, unvalued, external, internal, primary, secondary, tertiary, and nursery.

To understand ichigo-kata, all one needs is a thorough understanding of what each of those words represent. This means letting go of definitions you'd once used for Si that represent stability, security, or familiarity instead of what Si truly represents: sensation directed inwardly. To this end, ichigo-kata demands that you are able to envision the nearly boundless ways of "identifying" a function, then closing in on the dynamic it shares with other functions to create an image of the whole who embodies these functions in a way that makes the most sense. Hence, these are ichigo-kata's function definitions:

Extraverted intuition: externalized intuition
Extraverted sensation: externalized sensation
Extraverted thinking: externalized thinking
Extraverted feeling: externalized feeling
Introverted intuition: internalized intuition
Introverted sensation: internalized sensation
Introverted thinking: internalized thinking
Introverted feeling: internalized feeling

The only boundaries that truly exist here are those laid down by the boundaries a person is naturally bound to; it is restricted to what a person has done, is able to do, and will do. Using the model will not restrict, but rather frame someone's cognition into a sortable category. To put the differences into perspective, let me highlight what isn't ichigo-kata:

"They intrinsically enjoy debating ideas, exploring various interests and they view almost everything in life as a challenge. They are constantly thinking about what to do or experience next, but have a difficult time sticking with just one idea or plan long-term. " — Heidi Priebe on Thought Catalog
In this context, specific references to what Ne users do do only demonstrates that the essence of the function isn't being described here. With the word "intrinsically" in mind, there is a "must" involved here that does not necessarily relate to "extraverted intuition."

"Although it’s referred to as “Feeling”, Fi is not internal emotions, but rather values that come from within. FiNe’s might experience a deep well of emotions, but this is not the root of Fi. It is a decision making-process that is very interested in determining its own moral code and what the FiNe’s gut instinct tells them is right, which is often based on how they would like to be treated themselves." — excerpt from typeinmind.com
Feeling does not (just) mean "values" or "moral code" and this sort of thinking is how constraints are placed on these types that disallow certain people from being able to relate to certain aspects of their "cognitive type." Introverted feeling is feeling of which that is directed inward.

Se gets energy and enjoyment from directly interacting… — excerpt from psychologyjunkie.com
"Enjoyment" is the big red word here--why "enjoyment"? It's another restrictive constrained based on trends and observations; ichigo-kata takes extraverted sensing for what it is, and constraints like these are only built around the person who is being described, provided they demonstrate it.

Get ichigo-kata yet?

type 1
extraverted intuition - introverted feeling - extraverted thinking - introverted sensation
type 2
extraverted intuition - introverted thinking - extraverted feeling - introverted sensation
type 3
extraverted feeling - introverted intuition - extraverted sensation - introverted thinking
type 4
extraverted thinking - introverted intuition - extraverted sensation - introverted feeling
type 5
introverted feeling - extraverted intuition - introverted sensation - extraverted thinking
type 6
introverted thinking - extraverted intuition - introverted sensation - extraverted feeling
type 7
introverted intuition - extraverted feeling - introverted thinking - extraverted sensation
type 8
introverted intuition - extraverted thinking - introverted feeling - extraverted sensation
type 9
extraverted sensation - introverted feeling - extraverted thinking - introverted intuition
type 10
extraverted sensation - introverted thinking - extraverted feeling - introverted intuition
type 11
extraverted feeling - introverted sensation - extraverted intuition - introverted thinking
type 12
extraverted thinking - introverted sensation - extraverted intuition - introverted feeling
type 13
introverted feeling - extraverted sensation - introverted intuition - extraverted thinking
type 14
introverted thinking - extraverted sensation - introverted intuition - extraverted feeling
type 15
introverted sensation - extraverted feeling - introverted thinking - extraverted intuition
type 16
introverted sensation - extraverted thinking - introverted feeling - extraverted intuition
type 0

Note that even though this is the list of types themselves, there are ways of describing "states" of being that may relate back to a different particular type, and these relationships will be described using terminology that had been mentioned before:

In relation to the Imitative Attitude: if someone appears (a more cursory glance) to be a certain type that they are not, you may notate this as ymx or x@y(short for yにx模態する, where y represents the appeared type and x represents the true type).
In relation to the Deceptive Attitude: if someone deceives you into being a certain type that they are not, you may notate this as ykx or x!y (short for yにx伋態する, where y represents the façade type and x represents the true type). Note that this is much rarer than the former and usually requires the person to be knowledge of ichigo-kata to begin with.

In relation to the Dynamic Attitude: if someone oscillates between two types, you must see which type maintains dominance, be it purely mentally or displayed overtly. You may notate this as ydx or x/y (short for yにx動態する, where y represents the temporary type and x represents the true type).
Do not confuse this with the Deceptive Attitude.

Some examples:
Jun Togawa is a 3@1, Carl Jung is a 6@8, Shakira is a 3, da Vinci is a 2, and Bach is a 6.

Getting a slightly better idea? Wonderful.

lily ives