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Ron F.
01-22-2001, 12:12 PM
I am trying to get a copy of a tape by John Stevens called “Kototama: The Secret Sounds of Aikido”. This was produced by Arete Press and sold through Aikido Today Magazine. They have stopped production, and do not have any. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can find a copy of this tape?

jvdz
01-23-2001, 05:47 AM
Or you could buy his books instead:

The essence of aikido; wich is compiled by John Stevens. This book contains lots of Osensei's spiritual legacy

Budo; wich I don't have but it also covers alot of spiritual aspects of Aikido.

Maybe there are more books wich cover the spiritual aspects of Aikido, but I personally think The essense of aikido is the most comprehensive one.

Good luck!

Ron F.
01-23-2001, 10:19 AM
Reading about this is quite interesting, but I want to hear how the Kototama sounds.

- Ron

jvdz
01-25-2001, 01:48 AM
Do you know the set of videotapes of Osensei? I believe there are 5 volumes.
On one of those you see Osensei sitting in front of a Shinto altar doing kototama. When he is doing kototama, he "sings" in a high tone, and fast. John Stevens sensei "sings" slower. Others "sing" with a lower tone, so it's a bit different for everyone (I think). Anyway, I believe kototama is very personal. To me it doesn't matter that much how it sounds,only the tempo makes a difference.
The most important thing is the name of the deity..

JJF
01-25-2001, 03:07 AM
jvdz wrote:
On one of those you see Osensei sitting in front of a Shinto altar doing kototama.


Excuse me for beeing off topic here - but what exactly is Kototama ? I would really appreciate some background info.

Sincerely

jvdz
01-25-2001, 04:38 AM
Hi, Jorgen,

Koto means language, or speach; tama means spirit.
(Maybe I mix up the two, but I'm not Japanese, see.)
Anyway, it litterally means language of the spirits (deities)
And you're actually making contact with those deities (kami, in Japanese), by calling (singing) their names. And that's where a kototama stands for: a deity.(for example: Ame no murokumo kuki samuhara ryu o (kami) or Aiki o kami)

The deities part: maybe A Japanese person could clarify that better than I can.(Jun, you're Japanese right?)

By the way, for more precise information on this subject I recommend those two books I mentioned earlier.

[Edited by jvdz on January 25, 2001 at 07:17am]

akiy
01-25-2001, 10:09 AM
jvdz wrote:
The deities part: maybe A Japanese person could clarify that better than I can.(Jun, you're Japanese right?)
Yes, I'm Japanese, but since I really have no knowledge (nor real interest) in kototama, I can't say much on the subject.

I haven't read the aforementioned two books, but I have heard Masahiko Nakazono's book and Bill Gleason's book on kototama referenced often in regards to this subject.

-- Jun

JJF
01-26-2001, 03:32 AM
Thank's Jan and Jun!

It was something along the line of what I wanted. Just a basic idea of what the subject was.

By the way Jun: Thank's for at great site. I spend far to much time here.

Richard Harnack
01-27-2001, 06:15 PM
If you can find Nakazono's book, it is very informative, much more than either Steven's or Gleason.

You may want to check to see if the Koto(d)(t)ama Institute is still in existence. If so, they had tapes and programs on Kotodama.

tedehara
01-31-2001, 01:18 PM
Richard Harnack wrote:
If you can find Nakazono's book, it is very informative, much more than either Steven's or Gleason.

You may want to check to see if the Koto(d)(t)ama Institute is still in existence. If so, they had tapes and programs on Kotodama.

Inochi: The Book of Life, by Sensei Masahilo Nakazono (1918-1994). This book presents the ancient principle of Kototama. The 50 life rhythms, where the 5 mother sounds combine with the 10 father rhythms to produce life, are explained fully. The practice opens one up to the highest human capacity. The three orders of society are delineated and explained in detail. This is a softbound book (1984). Includes illustrations and sound charts. 119 Pages -- $12

You can buy this and 4 other of Nakazono's books at: http://www.kototamabooks.com/

The Kototama Institute closed about 10 years ago, but one of his students are keeping his books in print.

Nakazono Sensei studied Aikido with O Sensei. He was also a student of George Ohsawa, the founder of macrobiotics, and Sakai Sensei, who taught the spirit of finite form, Jizo Bosatsu.

[Edited by tedehara on January 31, 2001 at 12:27pm]

Richard Harnack
01-31-2001, 06:16 PM
I contacted them after I posted and Ted is correct.

I have requested their full catalogue of books for our store here in St Louis. They have informed me it is on its' way.

Good luck on your search. I'll let you know when everything is in.

AikiTom
02-04-2001, 03:33 PM
jvdz wrote:
Hi, Jorgen,

Koto means language, or speach; tama means spirit.
(Maybe I mix up the two, but I'm not Japanese, see.)
Anyway, it litterally means language of the spirits (deities)
And you're actually making contact with those deities (kami, in Japanese), by calling (singing) their names.

I believe this interpretation is not correct - you have the two words right but the combination wrong.
I've had an interest in kototama for at least 10 years, and have read a lot of the English writing on it.
The correct definition is "spirit sound." It's not language of the gods or spirits, but rather the belief that every sound has a spirit, and corresponding influence on reality. That is, there is belief that by uttering certain sounds they can manifest (produce physical results) in the material world. There are sounds that correspond to specific Aikido movements, etc.
The belief that a word (sound) has a power and can have a physical manifestation is part of many religions, and an often-cited Biblical reference is "In the Beginning was the Word" and all that goes along with that.
I think Shingon Buddhism and Hinduism also have similar usages of word-sounds.
If you're interested in the sounds that Stevens Sensei does on the tape, they're all contained in written form in the appendix to one of his book on Aikido. I have it, but I'm not sure which one, since I have several books by him.
Good luck in your search!

jvdz
02-11-2001, 01:19 PM
AikiTom,

Thanks for your comment.
I haven't really studied kototama that much. I only looked for little things I wanted to know.
I guess I've got some more reading to do..

Thanks again.

Dan Hover
02-11-2001, 06:53 PM
Ron the tape is an accompaniment to the written kototama which is included at the end of The secrets of Aikido, written by Stevens. Published by shambhala. Worth borrowing...