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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 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: 1,009,073


Entries for the Month of December 2010

In Miscellaneous Ever green Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #35 New 12-24-2010 02:00 AM
Ever green The pine tree lives for a thousand years
The morning-glory for but a single day
Yet both have fulfilled their destiny

quoted in D T Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture

Change your Christmas trees into Kadomatsu!
When I heard my doorbell and opened my door
There stood Santa
With a pistol in his hand

Kurisumasu Tsurii O Kiritaose!

Kadomatsu means gate pine. In Japan kadomatsu arrangements of pine and bamboo and plum are placed in front of doors for the new year. Pine means long life and good luck, bamboo means prosperity and plum means strength or courage. There are different layers of meaning too. Pine can also mean youth or happiness. Bamboo can mean resilience. Or honesty - when bamboo is cut it is hollow and hides nothing. The plum in Asian culture symbolizes winter but also that the spring will come. There was a discussion about some of the meanings after they appeared in one of the poems of O Sensei, the founder of aikido: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19040.

The kadomatsu in the snow is almost like a Christmas tree. The evergreen pine tree is a universal symbol of renewal. It's a good thing to remember. To be ever green. Always fresh. Always young.

I wish you happiness for the season and for the year ahead. And may you stay forever young.

Great version of Bob Dylan's song Forever Young by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam:

Kadomatsu on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadomatsu

cool ...More Read More
Views: 4513 | Comments: 24

In General The way of the samurai is found in death Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #34 New 12-17-2010 09:31 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
...More Read More
Views: 4466 | Comments: 12

In General The blind swordsman Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #33 New 12-10-2010 09:12 AM
The blind swordsman Darkness is my advantage
(the blind swordsman) Zatoichi

I'll just watch for now
(the blind swordsman) Zatoichi

I saw one of the old Zatoichi movies last week. It was a great movie. Zatoichi is a blind man who travels around Edo period Japan. He makes a living by giving massages and gambling. Only samurai were allowed to wear swords and Zatoichi carries an innocent-looking pilgrim's stick. It is actually a shikomi zue - a cane sword. He always protects children and women and people who need help against injustice.

For a budoka the swordfight scenes are very interesting. Sometimes he waits full of intense concentration listening for a whisper of an attack. Then in an instant he spins and slashes - nearly always drawing and holding his blade in a reverse grip (an icepick grip with the blade facing out). Spinning through a group of attackers he looks something like some old movies of O Sensei. Gozo Shioda Sensei gives a similar impression of ceaselessly spinning in old videos when he is attacked by several people at once. So maybe there is a lesson there for us against multiple attackers. Always be in motion - turning and entering, entering and turning.

There are other interesting concepts in Zatoichi. Ninkyo is the concept of chivalry promoted by the forerunners of the yakuza gangs - with the idea of caring for the poor and the weak. Bushi no nasake is the idea of a samurai's compassion - especially looking after the weaker members of society. But in the Zatoichi ...More Read More
Views: 5182 | Comments: 7

In Techniques koshinage koshi waza hip throw Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #32 New 12-03-2010 04:15 AM
koshinage koshi waza hip throw There is no point in destroying your uke because then you will no longer have a training partner.
How to Do a Hip Throw (o-goshi) by eHow.com

"So I said can you show us some hip throws?
And he said no, but I can show you some cool pins..."

Koshinage is the name used for all hip throws in aikido. In judo hip throws - koshi waza - are a category of throws.

In aikido there are two basic types of koshinage.

old-style koshinage
In the first type of koshinage at the instant of the throw the uke is at ninety degrees to tori. There is not really a comparable throw in modern judo but the equivalent right-angle body position appears in kataguruma (uke is loaded onto tori's shoulders rather than the waist).

Tori breaks uke's balance and then rolls uke approximately over the line of the belt off to the side. The hip movement in this throw is much less pronounced. This throw is the traditional aikido koshinage and O Sensei can be seen doing it in old photos and film. The older generation of Aikikai teachers sometimes used this technique. For example Sadateru Arikawa Sensei did this version.

O Sensei doing koshinage (from the aikiweb forum discussion below): http://img248.imageshack.us/i/koshiuz9.jpg

If you look at the animation of kataguruma you can see the similarities with traditional aikido koshinage.

judo-style koshinage
In the second type of koshinage uke is behind tori at the moment of the t ...More Read More
Views: 7735 | Comments: 27

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