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Ghost Fox
12-03-2004, 08:49 AM
I know that when O sensei lectured he would describe some concepts in terms of kami. Does anyone know if there where particular kami associated with particular waza.

Just wondering.

Don_Modesto
12-03-2004, 03:40 PM
I know that when O sensei lectured he would describe some concepts in terms of kami. Does anyone know if there where particular kami associated with particular waza.

Just wondering.

Don't have it before me, but I think Gleason talks about some in his Spiritual Foundations of Aikido. Peter Goldsbury has also mentioned gods Osensei took himself to be an incaranation of in his posts on occasion; you might do a search of his posts here and on other boards.

Good luck with your search; let us know what you come up with.

Tadhg Bird
12-05-2004, 03:48 PM
I was once praying to the Kami of Aikido, not knowing a specific name or anything, and I got the impression that O Sensei IS the very same kami now.

I like to think he looks over all aikidoka, and we can all look forward to a "visit" with him during our career.

Dan Hover
01-24-2005, 01:14 PM
ghost, in reply, yes, yes I do. and had you listened to some of my lectures while teaching you would know as well

malsmith
01-24-2005, 01:38 PM
im a little confused, most people say aikido is not a religion, but praying to a god of aikido sounds pretty religious to me... could someone explain this contradiction to me?

James Young
01-24-2005, 03:57 PM
To answer Mal's comment aikido is considered by most not to be a religion, however, most people will recognize the fact that aikido was most definitely built upon religion, most specifically Shintoism and Omote-kyo, in which O-sensei was a follower of. However, the fact remains that most of the aikido practiced today, both in Japan and out, is focused on the more secular aspects of the art (i.e. martial art techniques) and not the religious ends which O-sensei "preached" about. However, I agree that when people proclaim the goal of aikido to be "to become one with the universe", and other such statements, one would be led to believe aikido is more religious in nature than not when followed to that degree.

Even though most aikido practicioners choose to practice aikido not as a religion it doesn't hurt to understand how some of the exercises one may do in the dojo have connection to or origin to certain religious beliefs and exercises. A lot of the misogi exercises fall in this category. For instance the torifune (funekogi) and furitama exercises are good examples. Here is a link over to that topic on an Aikido Journal forum thread that may interest Damion:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4248&start=15

Tadhg Bird
01-24-2005, 04:43 PM
im a little confused, most people say aikido is not a religion, but praying to a god of aikido sounds pretty religious to me... could someone explain this contradiction to me?

Well I would not say I am "most people", I often find myself in that thin slice of the pie-chart labled "other". Even saying that, I do not think of Aikido as a religion, though within Aikido if one wants to go there, there are many practices that can be for the polishing of the spirit

IF Aikido were a religion some of these practices would be compulsory, as it is, if one chooses, they can see and practice Aikido as a physical practice, and leave the other stuff out. However even having said that, I think even pure physical practice will introduce students to the underlying philosphy.

O Sensei did say, "Aikido has no form - it is the study of the spirit." but then again, what would HE know about Aikido? ;)

I mentioned praying to the Kami of Aikido, but that is a practice that is compatible with my religious practice outside of Aikido -- I did not see it as a religious practise OF Aikido. I don't think it a neccesary thing for all Aikidoka to do. Even O Sensei wanted his students to follow thier own religious paths, and not copy his.

Aikido is not a religion, but if you are the religious type, Aikido will benefit your religious practice.

malsmith
01-24-2005, 04:43 PM
thanks james! that was really helpful!

John Boswell
01-24-2005, 04:52 PM
Can't say I consider O'Sensei a god or kami or even god-like. However, being the "good" catholic that I am (not really, but I was raised to be such) ... I do consider O'Sensei to be : O'Sensei. Also known as: Great Teacher.

When we do our bow-in before class and after, I speak to him directly in my mind and I ask for his guidence in this day's class/lesson. If you consider "Saints," these were people who were once mortal and went on to become something more. The Church believes saints to assit God in performing miracles. Only through documentation and varification by the Church of 3 miracles can someone be "cannonized" or considered a Saint.

Now, the Church hasn't done this with O'Sensei. Doesn't matter to me. I put him on par with the saints and truly, I expect nothing from him. I give him the respect I believe he has earned and ask for guidence. If I should get it, and I most likely have in subtle ways, then I truly have something to be greatful for.

In the process of working on this reply, I just remembered that in my last class, I injured myself in a very stupid way. Suffice to say, it hurt and my instructor told me to go ahead and hit the lockers as class was ending anyways. I don't remember if I bowed out. In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't. That is a regreatable action and despite my injury, feel it was disrespectful to not bow out to the kamiza where O'Sensei's picture hangs. Guess I owe him an apology for that.

Anyhow, to each their own...

Jerry Miller
01-24-2005, 09:56 PM
Can't say I consider O'Sensei a god or kami or even god-like. However, being the "good" catholic that I am (not really, but I was raised to be such) ... I do consider O'Sensei to be : O'Sensei. Also known as: Great Teacher.

When we do our bow-in before class and after, I speak to him directly in my mind and I ask for his guidence in this day's class/lesson. If you consider "Saints," these were people who were once mortal and went on to become something more. The Church believes saints to assit God in performing miracles. Only through documentation and varification by the Church of 3 miracles can someone be "cannonized" or considered a Saint.

Now, the Church hasn't done this with O'Sensei. Doesn't matter to me. I put him on par with the saints and truly, I expect nothing from him. I give him the respect I believe he has earned and ask for guidence. If I should get it, and I most likely have in subtle ways, then I truly have something to be greatful for.

In the process of working on this reply, I just remembered that in my last class, I injured myself in a very stupid way. Suffice to say, it hurt and my instructor told me to go ahead and hit the lockers as class was ending anyways. I don't remember if I bowed out. In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't. That is a regreatable action and despite my injury, feel it was disrespectful to not bow out to the kamiza where O'Sensei's picture hangs. Guess I owe him an apology for that.

Anyhow, to each their own...

Nice post John, I am a backslider myself and I found myself agreeing pretty much with your thoughts. The dojo is a special place. I guess you could look at is a well. Come as often as you want and drink as deep as you would like.

Rupert Atkinson
01-25-2005, 01:57 AM
I once saw a Japanese statue/figure - can't remember where - of a man standing with one hand pointing straight up to heaven and the other stright down to earth and I thought - Tenchi-nage! I have done my own tenchi-nage like that ever since :)

ian
01-25-2005, 06:35 AM
I expect Ueshiba felt aikido was an expression of a spiritual reality; however adopting anyone else's beliefs is dangerous and superfluous. Unless you understand the symbolic meaning of a lot of religion, all they remain are symbols.

Ueshiba was an Omote-Kyo follower, and although he interpreted aikido in these terms he taught aikido and not omote-kyo. Personally I think, any religious connection with aikido may be useful for interpreting the physical aspects of aikido, but if you want a religious aspect you need to learn omote-kyo.

I also believe that understanding in aikido becomes self-evident if you train enough and with good instructors, so you don't need to throw a layer of religious stuff on top.

Ben Joiner
01-25-2005, 07:37 AM
Interesting posts, however it was the initial inquiry which perked my interest, and we seem to have strayed from that particular leafy by-way and found ourselves back on one of the many discussion superhighways that seem to criss cross these forums. Top of the page anyone? :D

justinm
01-25-2005, 09:17 AM
In the process of working on this reply, I just remembered that in my last class, I injured myself in a very stupid way. Suffice to say, it hurt and my instructor told me to go ahead and hit the lockers as class was ending anyways. I don't remember if I bowed out. In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't. That is a regreatable action and despite my injury, feel it was disrespectful to not bow out to the kamiza where O'Sensei's picture hangs. Guess I owe him an apology for that.

Anyhow, to each their own...
I have often trained on my own at home, and I bow at the start and end of my training, although on my own and in a garden/room with no kamiza. It make the training a more spiritual event for me, and feels right.

It may not even manifest itself physically to anyone watching - I am not sure if I always actually physically bow, but it happens in my head (heart).

Justin

SeiserL
01-25-2005, 09:59 AM
IMHO, I think that "God" in the Judeo-Christian sense if different that "Kami" or spirit in the Shinto/Omoto sense. Apples and oranges. I don't know of any specific kami-waza association, only that the waza should be natural and aligned with the spiritual tenets. O'Sensei's waza often came from his mediataive state while training.

Pray to whom or what you please, but train hard with an open heart and mind.

John Boswell
01-25-2005, 10:31 AM
I know that when O sensei lectured he would describe some concepts in terms of kami. Does anyone know if there where particular kami associated with particular waza.

According to the doka that O'Sensei wrote, Izu and Mizu are the Kami most frequently mentioned. I'd recommend going to Google and typing in: O'Sensei doka... and just reading what you find.

Tadhg Bird
01-25-2005, 10:39 AM
IMHO, I think that "God" in the Judeo-Christian sense if different that "Kami" or spirit in the Shinto/Omoto sense. Apples and oranges. I don't know of any specific kami-waza association, only that the waza should be natural and aligned with the spiritual tenets. O'Sensei's waza often came from his mediataive state while training.

Pray to whom or what you please, but train hard with an open heart and mind.

I think the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god could be counted in the number of Kami. With a figure of 8 million, the G-d represented with four Hebrew letters should certainly be among them. I think the kami of shinto incorporate every spirit from the creator, to the simple essence inhabiting a pebble.

O Sensei's non-exclusivity of gods, and a reverence for them all is in my opinion a great example, and one I try to follow. There is a quote from the Art of Peace, "The Art of Peace that I practice has room for each of the world's eight million gods, and I cooperate with them all. The God of Peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land.". But I think this story from Andre Nocquet that I read a long time ago (and found again thanks to wonder of google!) illustrates it better.


[One day] I said to Ueshiba Sensei, "You are always praying, Ueshiba Sensei. Then aikido is a religion." "No, that's not true. Aikido is never a religion, but if you are a Christian, you will be a better Christian because of aikido. If you are a Buddhist, you will be a better Buddhist." I thought it was an amazing response. I really liked his answer. Since he was a Japanese I was afraid he would say that Christianity was nothing. Ueshiba Sensei had a great deal of respect for Christ. I was living in a four-mat room in the dojo and he would knock on the door and enter. He would sit down beside me and there was a portrait of Jesus Christ. He would place his hands together in a gesture of respect. I asked him one day if there wasn't a similarity between his prophecies and those of Christ. He answered, "Yes, because Jesus said his technique was love and I, Morihei, also say that my technique is love. Jesus created a religion, but I didn't. Aikido is an art rather than a religion. But if you practice my aikido a great deal you will be a better Christian." Then I asked, "Sensei should I remain a Christian?" He replied,

"Yes, absolutely. You were raised as a Christian in France. Remain a Christian." If he had told me to stop being a Christian and become a Buddhist, I would have been lost. My heart was full of Ueshiba Sensei because he had a vision of the entire world and that we were all his children. He called me his son.


So who is the Kami of Waza? Whatever spirit that moves your heart and body, THAT is the kami of waza.

Qatana
01-25-2005, 11:30 AM
But Jeseu Didn't create Christianity. He was just a nice Jewish boy who had some good stuff to teach. It was his _students/disciples/uchi-deshi_ who created the religion.

I prefer to think of aikido as a Spiritual Practice, rather than a religion. Religions have Rules, practices have "suggestions".

saltlakeaiki
01-25-2005, 04:07 PM
Sorry, but just had to make a small correction to the Freudian slip-esque misnomers above.... the religion O'Sensei followed is Omoto-kyo (Teachings of the Great Origin), not Omote-kyo (do the followers of Omote-kyo not do urawaza? :))

Dave

senshincenter
01-25-2005, 05:47 PM
Some added information that some might find interesting or helpful

* Izu and Mizu in Omoto-kyo are not kami in the more common sense though I would not be surprised if some religious thinker(s) somewhere may have understood them as such. More correctly, these things are noted as the Izu-Spirit and the Mizu-Spirit. Theologically speaking, they are the two aspects the Creator (Absolute) Divinity (see below) divided into in order to begin the process of Creation. The Izu-Spirit and the Mizu-Spirit are the soteriological application of Yin/Yang theory that Onisaburo (co-founder of Omoto-kyo and mentor to Osensei) propagated. The Izu-Spirit and the Mizu-Spirit are two aspects of the human soul/being/spirit. When these aspects are in harmony with each other, the human spirit reaches a perfected state known as the Izunome Soul. According to Omoto-kyo doctrine, the Izunome Soul is the spiritual state of perfection that all human beings are naturally moving toward (even if that perfection takes several lifetimes to occur). Interestingly enough, the symbol for the Izunome Soul is the Cross - which most likely comes from a European influence.

* Though I am sure that there have been attempts by interested parties to proclaim that Omoto-kyo is a type of Shinto, scholars refer to Omoto-kyo as New Religion. This is not to say that there are not Shinto elements in Omoto-kyo, but it is to say that there is so much more involved that it would be totally misleading to refer to Omoto-Kyo as just another school of Shinto. New Religions, generally, are quite eclectic in nature. Hence, it is not surprising to see aspects of Shinto in Omoto-kyo. Omoto-kyo, once Onisaburo became firmly involved, was heavily involved with the world religion movement that was gaining momentum in certain parts of Europe and the United States at or near the beginning of the 20th century. Central to this movement, and which lends itself to the eclectic nature of a New Religion like Omoto-kyo, was the effort to see a common thread through all religious traditions. Thus, though it would have been nearly impossible for Onisaburo and/or Osensei to escape the cultural influences that Shinto has had on Japanese history as a whole, it is probably more accurate to understand Omoto-kyos take on the kami of Japan as simply being just another example of the common thread that runs through all religious traditions. This I offer here in opposition to suggesting that the presence of kami in Omoto-kyo is evidence that it is a type of Shinto.

* While one could rightly argue that the kami of Japan are not best understood as equivalent to the Judeo/Christian/Islamic God and/or the same sense of the divine, the Kami of Omoto-kyo, the Kami that Osensei speaks of when he is speaking in the abstract singular, etc., is indeed the same divinity of the Judeo/Christian/Islamic traditions. In Omoto-kyo, this divinity that is, as Onisaburo describes him, the ultimate presence which is the original Spirit of the entire universethe one and only God boundless and absolute, without beginning and without end, has a few names but is often called Kunitokotachi-no-mikoto. If you have a copy of the black and white documentary Aikido, you will see a picture of this divinity on Osenseis desk Onisaburo drew that picture.

Thanks,
dmv

saltlakeaiki
01-25-2005, 06:00 PM
Your post reminds me that there seems to be some disagreement on the pronunciation of the name of this man who was the head of Omoto-kyo (some may note my endless preoccupation with language :)) All the English books I've seen have it as "Onisaburo", while my wife insists that she hears it only as "Wanisaburo". If I recall, the first character is "king", so I'm guessing that the reading "wa" somehow derives from Chinese "wang" (although I don't have my Nelson handy to check whether this is a valid Japanese reading :))

Is there a consensus somewhere on this name? Are both readings considered acceptable? If not, where did the "wrong" reading come from (whichever one that is)?

Thanks,
Dave

Don_Modesto
01-25-2005, 06:11 PM
Some added information that some might find interesting or helpful

Thanks, David, it was.

Can I ask, did you get this info from text in vernacular or is there a source in English for these more detailed aspects of Omotokyo?

I've read Nadolski's The Socio-Political Background Of The 1921 And 1935 Omoto Suppressions In Japan, but that's the best I've found on Omoto per se.

Thanks.

senshincenter
01-25-2005, 07:03 PM
Hi David,

I'm sorry, I have never heard of that reading - though I have often experienced disagreements pertaining to the readings of proper names in my studies of Japanese religious history. So I wouldn't say who or what is right as much as I would say, every source I have ever seen reads the name "Onisaburo".

Hi Don,

Yes, there are texts that can be seen in English. In fact, it seems that more and more of Omoto's texts are being uploaded onto the Net - which is in keeping with its long standing tradition to make use of the latest technology. :-) If you go to the Omoto-kyo site (try a google search - it should come up) - you should be able to see most of this stuff for yourself (at least the stuff pertaining to doctrine). I've seen other stuff in various acamdemic journals on Omoto and/or on New Religions with a mention on Omoto - so there is stuff out there. That's probably your best bet - if you have been unlucky so far - try going through the "New Religions" rather than straight through "Omoto" - that has a lot of stuff in many languages published already. If I could help you find something in specific, let me know and I'll try my best. If I may - Just remember, there our competing histories and interpretations in Omoto - complete with big time power struggles. What's "official" is up in the air and probably was for a very long time (depending upon what one is wishing to delineate).

thanks,
d

Charles Hill
01-25-2005, 07:40 PM
Hi Dave I,

It is my understanding that the official, correct reading (whatever that means) of the first character is Wa, but the man himself, and thus those who knew him personally used "O." I kind of use it as a means to tell how much various Japanese writers on Aikido really knew about this part of Aikido history. Some of O`Sensei`s deshi write "wanisaburo" and I take that to mean that they didn`t hear about the man from O`Sensei himself, rather they read about him in a book and just figured the reading was such. Those who write "Onisaburo", I figure actually might have talked directly to O`Sensei about his beliefs. A kind of litmus test if you will.

Charles

Peter Goldsbury
01-25-2005, 08:32 PM
I tried inputting the name in Japanese on my computer. Deguchi came up immediately, but I had to input Onisaburo character by character. For what it is worth, the books I have which were written by Deguchi in Japanese, which include titles such as V̌ (Shingetsu no kake = The Light of the New Moon) and O (San Kagami = Three Mirrors) all give his name as Onisaburo.

Actually, the name is really old fashioned, rather like Kisshomaru and Kisaburo. Out of the hundreds of Japanese students I have taught over the years, far less than 1% had a first name with more than two Chinese characters.

Finally, David's observation about Ueshiba, Deguchi and Shinto is very much to the point. I have come to Deguchi's writings from studying Japan's new religions in general, as well as from aikido, and they are far more eclectic than is generally realised, especially by those who want to characterize O Sensei's thinking as Shintoist or Buddhist.

Best regards,

Don_Modesto
01-25-2005, 11:27 PM
....try going through the "New Religions" rather than straight through "Omoto" - that has a lot of stuff in many languages published already. If I could help you find something in specific, let me know and I'll try my best.

Much obliged.

mathewjgano
02-22-2005, 12:38 AM
im a little confused, most people say aikido is not a religion, but praying to a god of aikido sounds pretty religious to me... could someone explain this contradiction to me?

I think Aikido, as a "way" of life; principle of nature; etc. can easily cross over into religious terms. Ki is described as the life essence, among other things, so this is easily taken in spiritual terms. Anything spiritual can be said to be religious, even if it's a religion of one individual that no one else exactly shares. Long story short: it is what you make of it to a large extent.

guest89893
02-22-2005, 02:22 PM
But Jeseu Didn't create Christianity. He was just a nice Jewish boy who had some good stuff to teach. It was his _students/disciples/uchi-deshi_ who created the religion.

I prefer to think of aikido as a Spiritual Practice, rather than a religion. Religions have Rules, practices have "suggestions".

Just like Christianity, Aikido was codefied by just a few students/disciples/uchi-deshi. Perhaps in both we follow the paths as best we can walked by both founders and we end up better than we started. Jeshua often spoke in parable/story form and this was certainly subject to interpretation -which explains why there were more than 4 gospels actually written. O-Sensei also seemed to speak in ways that spawned/spawns many interpretations. Which explains why there are many "styles/schools of thought" in Aikido.

So perhaps one rather pat and easy answer to the original question: What Gods &/or Kami are connected to which WAZA?" is all of them. For myself it is in the dance up to the temple that expresses my thanks and perhaps offers illumination.