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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,681,974


In General The way of the samurai is found in death Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #34 New 12-17-2010 10:31 AM
The way of the samurai is found in death The way of the samurai is found in death
Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure (Hidden by the Leaves)

To die when it is right to die, to strike when to strike is right
Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: the soul of Japan

Tranquillity is courage in repose
Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: the soul of Japan

14 December is the anniversary of the revenge of the 47 Ronin (the Chushingura). Death is natural, a part of life. The samurai prepared to face death with equanimity. Thinking about death I looked back on the deaths that have affected so many of us. Some great aikido teachers died in 2010.

Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei died in July 2010.

Seiichi Sugano Sensei died in August 2010.

Kanshu Sunadomari Sensei died in November 2010.

Robert Aoyagi Sensei also died in November 2010.

I trained with all of them. All these teachers were great budoka and they were gentle and kind. In my memory they are all smiling.

Bushido: the soul of Japan: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12096

Check out the ‘Readers also downloaded' link at the bottom of the page too for other books related to Japan or to military strategy. On that page I noticed The Religion of the Samurai by Kaiten Nukariya and the Art of War by Sunzi (Sun Tsu). All books on Project Gutenberg are no longer covered by copyright and are in the public domain and can be downloaded free.

Background on the Hakagure http://www.hyoho.com/Hagakure1.html

Account of the revenge of the 47 Ronin (link in the first paragraph) by J. Noel Chiappa. I couldn't help feeling that Oishi's wife had a valid point...

http://www.thetokyootaku.com/2009/09/sengakuji-temple/ the tokyootaku blog post about the Chushingura and Sengakuji

powerful photo of Samurai helmet - face mask by Marshall Astor http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeontheedge/246608863/ photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeont...ith/246608863/ used under creative commons licence

© niall matthews 2010
Views: 6281 | Comments: 12

RSS Feed 12 Responses to "The way of the samurai is found in death"
#12 12-20-2010 06:42 AM
niall Says:
By chance I just read about a new movie about the 47 Ronin: Saigo no Chushingura/The Last Ronin. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0101217a2.html. Even today the story resonates in Japan.
#11 12-20-2010 04:29 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Chris. Sugano Sensei was very quiet - perhaps he was shy. And he had great dynamic technique. He was a very kind person like all of these great teachers. I saw that Gayle Fillman Sensei also died in December 2010. I didn't know her but it sounds like she affected a lot of lives too. Yes, ichi go ichi e...
#10 12-20-2010 04:19 AM
niall Says:
Right, Graham! This is a very interesting subject. The most important thing was their service to their lord. And a romantic gesture - attacking hastily and perhaps dying without success - might be beautiful but it would be meaningless. So normal concepts of name and honour (and marriage!) were unimportant compared to that ultimate (and successful!) sacrifice for honour.
#9 12-20-2010 02:49 AM
chris wright Says:
Many great teachers, that have passed on this year, our thoughts go out to their families and loved ones. I had always wanted to train with Sugano Sensei.... Life is so precious, we must cherish our friends, families and teachers. 'Ichi Go Ichi E'
#8 12-20-2010 02:11 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Yes they waited one year and half to kill Kira and then they submitted to the justice and were forced to commit seppuku according to spanish Wikipedia..
#7 12-19-2010 10:53 PM
Reading the blog account of the story, it seems that the 47 Ronin put revenge above the code of honour - i.e., they chose to pretend that they wouldn't adhere to the code and immediately try to kill the man - because they knew they'd fail, and die in the attempt -, but instead, would wait, so they could be sure to kill him (while accepting that they'd die - but after being successful)...? (Btw: I watched some clips of Sunadomari Sensei - I really like his aikido: reminds me of Endo Sensei's.)
#6 12-18-2010 10:16 PM
Thank you Carina/Niall: the links are interesting - there's a glowing review of the book from George S Ledyard, so i'm further encouraged in my optimism. I'll let you know if I get it. :-)
#5 12-18-2010 09:19 PM
niall Says:
Thanks Graham. The wikipedia page has links to a couple of interesting interviews. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanshu_Sunadomari
#4 12-18-2010 01:05 PM
guest1234567 Says:
I hope you'll get it
#3 12-18-2010 08:19 AM
Kanshu Sunadomari died last month? What a shame. I've had this book in my Amazon wish list for a long time, and been waiting for some money to finally buy it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Enlightenment-Through-Aikido-Kanshu-Sunadomari/dp/1556434871/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292681840&sr=8-1 Having read your blogs, and posts here, Niall, I don't doubt that it is quite the read...I asked for it for Christmas, so maybe i'll finally get it next week...
#2 12-17-2010 06:52 PM
niall Says:
Thanks Carina. Yes, thetokyootaku's post about Sengakuji is very interesting. Sunadomari Sensei had his own style - the Manseikan in Kyushu - so not many people who trained with the Aikikai teachers will know about him. He showed me the fourth way of doing tenkan I described in the tenkan thread.
#1 12-17-2010 02:46 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Nice of you remembering all this kind teachers Niall, they sure are looking down at you when you are teaching and are smiling because of your learning from them and making sure you are following their path beeing just that kind of teacher to your students as they were for you. When I were in Tokio I visited Sengaku and felt that is was a sacred place.

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