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Old 08-18-2005, 08:36 PM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,219
Re: Lack of Spiritual teaching in Japan?

Ani Forbes wrote:
I am a little new to Aikiweb, so I was surprised how much the spiritual aspect of aikido is discussed. I've lived and practiced in Japan for about 8 years, and there is almost no discussion of the spiritual aspect of Aikido. I'm wondering if this is just a matter of Osaka Aikikai not emphasizing it, or is this true for other dojos in Japan. I asked my good friend who just recently started practicing about a year ago (by my introduction), and she said it's possible that because Japanese people are so familiar with Shinto rites, that it may make people feel uncomfortable, whereas in foreign countries the meaning behind misogi, for example may not seem as inherently religious. So I wonder, for people living outside of Japan, how much spirituality is discussed during training? If you are interested in the spiritual aspect, was it mostly by reading books that you learned about it? For those living in Japan, do have the same experience?
I suppose that it depends on what you mean by "spiritual". I think you might find this a feature of Aikiweb and other websites rather than of aikido generally. In my experience of residence in Japan since 1980, aikido is hardly ever discussed in explicitly spiritual terms, though over the years I have discussed concepts like seishin and jishin with a number of Japanese shihans, all 9th dan, incidentally.

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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