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Kevin Wilbanks
10-24-2002, 10:52 PM
Ze'ev,

Do you actually wear green hakama at your dojo, or is that just artistic license with the avatar? I always wished that dark green hakama were acceptable.

ze'ev erlich
10-25-2002, 01:43 AM
Kevin,

we wear black or dark blue Hakama.

In the early years or O-Sensei's Aikido people used to wear all kinds of Hakama.

... you gave me an idea ... but I think I will keep using my black Hakama.

ZE

Chuck.Gordon
10-25-2002, 01:54 AM
Ze'ev,

Do you actually wear green hakama at your dojo, or is that just artistic license with the avatar? I always wished that dark green hakama were acceptable.
The idea of ONLY blue or black hakama being 'traditional' is a fairly new thing. The idea of a white keikogi or judogi is also pretty much a new thing.

You can, BTW, get hakama in many colors (Mugendo even can get you some very snazzy pinstriped numbers -- VERY traditional, VERy formal ...) from places like:

Mugendo Budogo: www.budogu.com

Seidokai Supply: http://sdksupplies.netfirms.com/

Both offer good quality stuff and provide excellent service.

I let folks wear pretyt much what they want, color-wise, and as long as it's not eye-damagingly ugly ... :eek:

I've threatened for years, to find someone to make me a hakama in the Gordon tartan.

Chuck

Bronson
10-25-2002, 02:48 AM
I've threatened for years, to find someone to make me a hakama in the Gordon tartan.

You can get a pattern at Round Earth (http://www.round-earth.com/index.html)

Bugei Trading Co (http://www.bugei.com/index2.html). Also has some nice striped hakama. I wish we were allowed to wear them.

Bronson

Kevin Wilbanks
10-25-2002, 10:01 AM
I've seen those striped ones and more colorful ones in catalogs. I've seen people wearing some 'unusual' ones in Iai clubs, but never in Aikido. I think allowing very dark red/maroon, and very dark green wouldn't be that much of a stretch, and wouldn't turn the dojo into Cirque du Soleil, but I'm not in a position to do anything about it right now.

Erik
10-25-2002, 12:53 PM
I've seen those striped ones and more colorful ones in catalogs. I've seen people wearing some 'unusual' ones in Iai clubs, but never in Aikido. I think allowing very dark red/maroon, and very dark green wouldn't be that much of a stretch, and wouldn't turn the dojo into Cirque du Soleil, but I'm not in a position to do anything about it right now.
I've seen dark green and maroon but it's pretty rare. Don Angier gets pretty colorful as well.

I think this is another one of those things that became a 'tradition' by happenstance and no one really thinks about it and so it stays on.

aikigreg
10-25-2002, 01:12 PM
I just got a nice new Bujin design hakama. I'm going to bleach my crappy old one and tie dye it :D

Sensei will probably call me up as "All time uke" on Nikyo day, but only after he's done laughing :D

Hanna B
10-25-2002, 01:19 PM
I've seen brown hakama. Perfectly accepted in some dojos.

Wormwood
10-25-2002, 01:34 PM
I just got a nice new Bujin design hakama. I'm going to bleach my crappy old one and tie dye it :D

Sensei will probably call me up as "All time uke" on Nikyo day, but only after he's done laughing :D
Sounds like great fun! Would be even better if you had an old gi you could ti dye as well to complete the uniform. :)

Nathan

Jim ashby
10-25-2002, 01:41 PM
Hi Chuck. One of our senior instructors has a Black Watch tartan hakama. Still hasn't worn it on the mat though!!

Have fun.

Anne
10-25-2002, 05:25 PM
er, ok...Ever since I started sewing hakamas myself, I also came up with different color approaches...The best one so far has a navy blue lower half that gradually changes to a very beautiful turquoise up to the belt region. And yes, I do wear it to classes ;D

Anne

Suru
10-25-2002, 07:29 PM
Since the first day I trained aikido, I dreamed of wearing a white hakama with a red "rising sun" on each side. Now that would be bad ass.

Drew

Amendes
10-25-2002, 11:34 PM
I herd somewhere that the Osensi let students wear multicolored Hakamas during the war because of material shortages.

Also some of thesse hakams were passed down from students fathers and fathers fathers etc..

I don't know about tye dyed hakamas however, but let me know what happens.

I know at our dojo were wear black, and blue is resticted to shodan and up and even that blue is so dark that youd swear it was black.

Sensi probably has the brigtest blue of anyone and evem then it is still pretty dark.

jaxonbrown
10-26-2002, 11:37 AM
cool

mine's going to be camo

like rambo in a 'kama

sweet

Kevin Wilbanks
10-26-2002, 01:42 PM
OK. I now see the wisdom behind the current conservative color scheme. I changed my mind. Black and blue are just fine.

Anne
10-26-2002, 02:29 PM
Lol....

The first time I wore the navy/turquoise one to class I got all kinds of comments. From "Now THAT'S really brave" to "I didn't know there were still Hippies left" :D But people got used to it and I'm easy to spot everytime I wear it.

Anne

faramos
10-26-2002, 06:28 PM
A few things about hakama and aikido-

During the Meiji Period of Japan (beginning in 1868), owning a hakama wasn't necessarily standard for people. I was usually reserved for those that could afford them or have them passed down from father to son. Often times they were decorated in the color of their daimyo (clan). In keeping with a humble spirit it they were often very colorful, bright, with patterns, but never more elaborate than their masters. If in fact someone owned a "better" hakama, it was not uncommon to be excommunicated, or, more realistically, Executed.

In keeping with this spirit Osensei made it a point to let people use their hakama's, but reminded them that they were property of their ancestors such that they should be very thankful to own one and be pleased with whatever was available to them.

During and after the war, many families lost or were forced to tear apart their hakama's for various reasons. With textiles being scarse, aikidoka often used what they could to make hakamas, such as parachutes, trash bags, and other materials. This was a crash course in humility for most at the time. It is often the reason many schools do not subscribe to hakama- to create no major financial dilemma, as well as to show humility training "bear". Also, as there are no more true samurai anymore, there is no real reason to show loyalty to a clan.

In terms of martial standing-

For as long as the existance of martial arts in Japan, grey hakama's have always been reserved for doshu and other high ranking lineage. Case in point was the great Kisshomaru Ueshiba. During Japan's final civil war shogunate soldiers were often uniformed in grey patterned hakamas (still this did not prevent their demise). This uniform is still considered a family treasure for many. Other considerations were/are that for hundreds of years the rarest color of all in Japan was blue or black. To own blue, black, or any dark textile in Japan meant something of high value. Red hakama's were not shunned upon, but were usually worn by priestess's whereas priest's wore white.

So, colors and designs have great signifigance in hakama tradition. Also, they have been a great tool in the ego and honor of aikido. Still, whatever choices people make about their hakama's, training is always about aikido.

;)

Frank

"The only person I need to be better than is the man I am today." - Col. Sherman Potter::circle: :square: :triangle:

Chuck.Gordon
10-27-2002, 05:24 AM
A few things about hakama and aikido-
Some intersting info here, what's your source or sources?
During the Meiji Period of Japan (beginning in 1868), owning a hakama wasn't necessarily standard for people.
Nor during most of Japanese history. Hakama were dress cothing, more or less. Most of the common folks simply couldn;t afford such fripery most of the time and the middle clas didn't really exist for much of Japanese history.

And during Meiji, especially, the Japanese, especially the trendy and wealthy, were often known to throw away their traditional clothing in favor of Western duds.
... father to son. Often times they were decorated in the color of their daimyo (clan).
I've heard this, but have also heard that it's a colorful bit of romanticism. The Japanese, as far as I know, didn't really twig to the idea of 'uniforms' till Meiji, and the introduction of Western military standards. And then, the uniforms they chose for military, schools, etc, were modelled on Western patterns and styles.
If in fact someone owned a "better" hakama, it was not uncommon to be excommunicated, or, more realistically, Executed.
Very curious as to the source and research on this.
In keeping with this spirit Osensei made it a point to let people use their hakama's,[QUOTE]My understanding, from reading and conversations with folks who read and speak much better Japanese than me, is that Ueshiba, in fact, _required_ hakama for many years. What changed this was World War II.

I've also been told that one of the reasons aikido folks use primarily blue or black hakama is that after the war, material used for blackout curtains ws plentiful and it was usually dark blue or black (logically). This was used to make hakama when there was no 'proper' hak available ...
[QUOTE]Also, as there are no more true samurai anymore, there is no real reason to show loyalty to a clan.
The samurai as a class declined during the Meiji era, well before WW II, but many families preserved their link to their legacies (sometimes despite government pressure to do away with such 'traditional follies' ...).
For as long as the existance of martial arts in Japan, grey hakama's have always been reserved for doshu and other high ranking lineage.
Sorry, I can't quite parse this. Are you aying that grey is reserverd only for the Ueshibas since times of old or for heads of ryuha generally? Undertanding here, that aikido as a discrete system is less than, what, 60 years old? Before that, Ueshiba the elder was part of the Daito Ryu of Takeda Sokaku and before Ueshiba split with Takeda, there was no aikido. (Except for maybe the guy who created Korindo Aikido before Ueshiba coined the name for himself; that's a different tale, but one with similar roots).

I've heard that within the Aikikai, specifically, grey is sort of informally reserved (no written or specific guidance, just force of habit that has become a neo-tradition) for the current headmaster of the organization (Moriteru right now).

In other ryuha, this is simply not so. I know that the head of Kashima Shinryu, for instance, wears a very simple white keikogi and hakama, much the same as the other high-ranking folks in his system. I've seen pics of other headmasters in everything from all-black to pinstripes to some very-nearly plaid patterns.
years the rarest color of all in Japan was blue or black. To own blue, black, or any dark textile in Japan meant something of high value. Red hakama's were not shunned upon, but were usually worn by priestess's whereas priest's wore white.
Hmm. Doesn't jibe with what I've heard and read. Blue and black were not rare, but extremely commonplace.

Yes, red was reserved for certain (I'm not sure priestess is the right word, but will suffice) temple maidens and had connotations of purity, etc. Still worn today in certain Shinto shrines, I beleive.
So, colors and designs have great signifigance in hakama tradition.
I think only in retrospect and with a very romanticize filter ...

Chuck

Katie Jennings
10-27-2002, 08:02 AM
(One of our senior instructors has a Black Watch tartan hakama. Still hasn't worn it on the mat though!!)

Who??? Trying to imagine any of them in one..

Katie :eek:

faramos
10-27-2002, 03:07 PM
First I'd like to point out that alot of what I've discussed can be found in several books pertaining not to aikido, or to martial arts, but to textile and artwork before and during the tokugawa period. Other sources have been my Japanese art, history, design, and martial arts teachers. Another is a very good Japanese artist friend who I own much history and creative understanding to. All of whom I consulted before ever buying a hakama for aikido. In fact much of it can be found in more books pertaining to artwork than any other type. To date, I'm still researching more about hakamas.

One case discussed is that more elite Japanese often did away with their hakama during Meiji. This would be difficult be it that in the years prior to the restoration the country went through a strong "rangaku" period where commoners made an attempt to seem more sophisiticated by wearing more elaborate clothing. During the late 1600's and into the mid 1700's many commoners were taking liberties in that they were attempting to look more sophisticated in public. Therefore, it wasn't uncommon for less that elite to wear shabby hakama's or other less than perfect garments. During/after meiji the use of non western garments still prevailed under certain circumstances. Those being that the influence of clothing did not really take place until much later because the influence of western clothing was not apparent until after the great parade of the Meiji emperor over the 3 great island at the time. It was during this tour that much of the western clothing influence came about and appeared acceptable.

As far as uniforms went, during the last great civil war there were no true uniforms worn by soldiers in Japan, but there was clan sponsorship of mercenaries, much of which made up the last samurai warriors. It is true they were not necessarily uniformed in color, but most who fought were expected to be identified through one, if not several, garments. This was due to the fact that the commonly previous way of identification was to wear only a small, identifiable, armband. Anyone in hand to hand combat would have a difficult time in this system. Of the last dueling samurai, many that were seeking western influence were dressing much more uniformily that later became the standard for all side. And as far as owning or wearing a "better" hakama than your daimyo head, humility was the greatest of all factors in sevice of samurai. Any samurai who owned or had made a much more elaborate hakama or kimono, knew that their image should in no way interfer with the image of their lord. Execution was in fact carried out by those that went against the image of their lords, in word, garment, or action; and, is quite well documented from the 1500's through the 1600's, diminishing into the 1800's.

In terms of colors, the use of black and blue in garment wear was not necessarily commonplace during the tokugawa and early meiji period. Main due to the fact that although it was possible to have garments indigo dyed and stained, not many that had made commonplace clothing like hakamas could afford indigo, much less, a decent amount of natural ink (usually biological). With commoners not possessing the textiles or materials to create dark garments, these items were rarer than believed. Silk on the other had was obviously reserved for the upper class. Furthermore, it was extremely rare to find dark clothing ink, such as blue, since it was mainly imported from China and Korea. Whereas black, ink often found itself being used mainly for hair and cosmetics. Still today, it is not umcommon for traditional Japanese dancers and actors to use these products for their shows.

True, red and white hakama's are worn for shinto purposes and are often interpreted this way. Yet their political siginifigance lies in the fact that these men and women bore a highly important social role. During the tokugawa period these men and women served as census registrars and community heads. As it was law for all individuals to register their families and wages with the shogun bi-annually, this was done at local shinto temples where the image of the state was projected through the dress as well as demeanor. For the sake of the state's public image, it was necessary to demonstate uniformity during the post Hideyoshi period of the early 1600s.

Finally, the grey hakama tradition is one that I'm still not sure about. My source there has studied more than one martial art, both of which find their founders and doshu in very humble dress, wearing greyish, or poorly dyed hakamas. I would point out that photographs of the late 1800's and early 1900's of traditonal Japanese garbs are very formal, and it wasn't uncommon for those to be photographed to have more than one set of traditional formal/informal clothes.

In conclusion, the realism that is pointed out about romanitic Japan is creditable. Yet the idea to keep in mind is the romanticism that Japan held about itself throughout history as well as today. Much of the history of Japan in all its forms can be attributed to this self-romanticism, which is why the color and signifigance of hakamas is so important to understanding who, what, where, when, and why people owned them. Color may be one way to romaticize garments in Japan's history, but color also serves the purpose of teaching us about why we wear items like hakamas today.

Cheers,

Frank

Anne
10-27-2002, 04:22 PM
Hey, wow, keep it coming :D

Anne

Hagen Seibert
10-27-2002, 05:11 PM
Our girls are allowed to wear a dark red hakama. Nice!

Anne, bitte lege doch Dein blau-türkises Teil nächstes mal bei Shishiya in München an !

;-)

Hagen

Edward
10-27-2002, 11:41 PM
Before that, Ueshiba the elder was part of the Daito Ryu of Takeda Sokaku and before Ueshiba split with Takeda, there was no aikido. (Except for maybe the guy who created Korindo Aikido before Ueshiba coined the name for himself; that's a different tale, but one with similar roots).

Chuck
I think the guy you are referring to, Hirai Minoru, founder of Korindo aikido, is a controversial figure himself. He was a student of Osensei at the Kobukan and he was assigned by Osensei to represent him at the commission which suggested the name of aikido to replace the older nominations.

So your information that he "created Korindo Aikido before Ueshiba coined the name for himself" is incorrect, I am afraid.

Here is the biography of Hirai Minoru at aikido journal:

"HIRAI, MINORU

(b. March 1903). B. Okayama Prefecture. Strong background in iaido. Entered Kobukan dojo in 1939 and became General Affairs Director in January 1942. Sent as representative to the DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI in October 1942. Played major role in name change from AIKI BUDO to aikido. In July 1945 received the rank of HANSHI from the DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI. Established the KORINDO dojo in Shizuoka in October 1945. In September 1953 he established the KORINDO dojo in Tokyo. In January 1954, combined Shizuoka, Okayama and Tokyo dojos and established the NIHON KORINKAI. Nihon Korinkai Hombu Jimukyoku, 3-6-23 Shiba-koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105 Japan (03)431-7211."



Years after the death of Osensei, it is not surprising that Hirai claimed that he discovered aikido even before Osensei, and that training with Osensei just confirmed his ideas. But somehow it does not surprise me that many teachers, mostly students themselves of Osensei, claimed the same thing. I see a pattern here and it is so easy to claim anything after it has been there for years and say I discovered it first, but to prove it is a different matter altegether.

PeterR
10-28-2002, 12:27 AM
Hi Edward;

Well Chuck did say maybe. As far as I understand it the term Aikido was meant to cover a type of Budo separate and distinct from exsisting forms such as Judo, Kendo, etc. That at least was the intent of the DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI which was the arbitrator of such things. And here of course was the rub. The Ueshiba family prefer to think that the term was specifically created for the unique Aikido developed by Ueshiba M. whereas there is quite a bit of precedence of several other jujutsu forms which don't quite fit into the Judo category because of their "Aiki" nature having equal claim to the name.

Daito Ryu sure does and you can find several groups of same which use Aikido in their name.

Korindo Aikido being another I suppose.

Please remember at the time the size of Ueshiba M.'s organization was really not that large is was really only with the efforts of his son, post WWII that it really took off. Definately not the size and prestige that would have a National Organization create a whole new class specifically for.

Anyway, I think it is pretty clear though that Ueshiba M. did not coin the name so much as agree to it. Personally I think Aikido should be reserved for the students of Ueshiba M. and therefore Daito Ryu and the art of Hirai Minoru (who apparently was a master in his own right when he joined Ueshiba M.) should not. I of course have a vested interest in including the style of Kenji Tomiki however the Ueshiba M. family prefer to only include the style headed by and controled by them. Point being - drawing the line is really not simple and depends on where you sit.

Cheers

Peter R.

Edward
10-28-2002, 01:14 AM
Anyway, I think it is pretty clear though that Ueshiba M. did not coin the name so much as agree to it. Personally I think Aikido should be reserved for the students of Ueshiba M. and therefore Daito Ryu and the art of Hirai Minoru (who apparently was a master in his own right when he joined Ueshiba M.) should not. I of course have a vested interest in including the style of Kenji Tomiki however the Ueshiba M. family prefer to only include the style headed by and controled by them. Point being - drawing the line is really not simple and depends on where you sit.

Cheers

Peter R.
Hello Peter,

Nice to hear from you again.

I basically agree with all the points in your post but I have some reservations regarding the following:

It seems that Hirai Minoru prior to becoming a student of Osensei was indeed a master of Iaido and Jojutsu, but not in Jujutsu as he himself mentions in an interview with aikijournal. Therefore I would consider korindo aikido as an offshoot from Osensei's aikido. He himself may have claimed that he had discovered aikido principles even before joining Osensei, but this does not change the facts that he was not only a student but the General Affairs Director of the Kobukan dojo.

As for Tomiki Sensei style, like most other students, had a strong background in another MA, Judo in this case, and this influenced the direction into which he further developed his style. My personal opinion is that (and you will see quite a change from my past position on this subject:) ) as long as an art can prove a direct lineage to Osensei and credit him for founding the art, then I don't see a reason against using the aikido appellation.

Of course Tomiki aikido's competition is still a controversial topic and an infringement to Osensei's Taboo about competition, but the fact that Tomiki Sensei was indeed at the time one of the best students of Osensei and that the picture of Osensei is still being bowed at at the Shomen of every Tomiki dojo is an irrevocable proof of their appartenance, despite the fundamental differences.

Cheers,

Edward

PeterR
10-28-2002, 01:48 AM
Nice to hear from you again.
Always a pleasure.
I basically agree with all the points in your post but I have some reservations regarding the following: <massive snip>
I really don't know much about his background and as you know, no matter who, whether intentional or not, recollections can be quite self serving. I wont argue with what you surmize.
....and that the picture of Osensei is still being bowed at at the Shomen of every Tomiki dojo is an irrevocable proof of their appartenance, despite the fundamental differences. For info's sake.

We acutally don't bow to anyones picture. There is a Omoto-kyo shrine high on the front wall. Also on the front wall, to the side, are large pictures of Tomiki, Ohba with purple trim since the dojo was theirs and they are dead and a couple of pictures of Ueshiba M. with both men. If anything we be to the shrine but that has absolutely no religious signficane to most practicioners. That said. Ueshiba M. is respected as the founder of Aikido and the teacher of Tomiki K. and Ohba H..

We don't see Ueshiba M. as Kami.

Edward
10-28-2002, 02:36 AM
We don't see Ueshiba M. as Kami.
Neither do we.

Osensei and Kisshomaru Doshu pictures are placed separately well apart from the Kamiza.

However, we do bow to the picture of Osensei, but as far as I know, not as Kami but as founder of aikido.

Cheers,

Edward

Chris Li
10-28-2002, 05:58 AM
Neither do we.

Osensei and Kisshomaru Doshu pictures are placed separately well apart from the Kamiza.

However, we do bow to the picture of Osensei, but as far as I know, not as Kami but as founder of aikido.

Cheers,

Edward
Now here's the tricky part - basically speaking, everybody becomes a kami after death. Even Kenji Tomiki :).

Best,

Chris

Ta Kung
10-28-2002, 08:26 AM
As far as hakama colors go, I'd sure like a transparent one. That would rule! :)

/Patrik

Edward
10-28-2002, 08:46 AM
Now here's the tricky part - basically speaking, everybody becomes a kami after death. Even Kenji Tomiki :).

Best,

Chris
I guess this would be true not only in shintoism but also in probably all other major religions. We all become spirits after death, right?

PeterR
10-28-2002, 06:38 PM
I guess this would be true not only in shintoism but also in probably all other major religions. We all become spirits after death, right?
Oh oh threads a wandering.

This is a question I've had for a long time. I understand Ueshiba M. was enshrined in a ceremony of more significance than what is usually performed for newly dead relatives for example. How much of a deification was this.

We bow to the kamiza and not to the pici but just to quickly point out I did not mean that if you bow to the picture you are worshipping Ueshiba M. Just that at Shodokan Honbu we don't bow to anyones picture - I think much like Edward describes his dodjo. I wonder Chris if there really is a connection in Shinto between picture and worship.

Chris Li
10-28-2002, 08:39 PM
Oh oh threads a wandering.

This is a question I've had for a long time. I understand Ueshiba M. was enshrined in a ceremony of more significance than what is usually performed for newly dead relatives for example. How much of a deification was this.
I don't know the details of his funeral, but Shinto funerals are generally much more complex than Buddhist ones, which are far more common in Japan. Of course funeral ceremonies vary from region to region, with the status of the individual, and so on. With M. Ueshiba's religious bent I would be surprised if the funeral were not significantly more complex than your run of the mill affair.

On the other hand, I wouldn't characterize any of the Shinto rituals for the dead that I know of as "deifications" in the sense that people in the west would think of a "deification" - the Japanese concepts of kami and religion are fairly different.
We bow to the kamiza and not to the pici but just to quickly point out I did not mean that if you bow to the picture you are worshipping Ueshiba M. Just that at Shodokan Honbu we don't bow to anyones picture - I think much like Edward describes his dodjo. I wonder Chris if there really is a connection in Shinto between picture and worship.
Not really, not that I know of. People put pictures of the dead in Buddhist household shrines, but even that is just aesthetic, the actual spirit is encased in a seperate vehicle.

Best,

Chris