Thread: Budo, Bushido
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:32 PM   #20
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Re: Budo, Bushido

Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
I know that. So there is no difference if you send your kids to a Christan church, a KKK campus, a communist party, a buddha temple, a islam fighter cell, or a strip join every sunday morning? Ideas just ideas, right?

There is good idea and bad idea and evil idea. Good ideas don't generate good deed always. But evil ideas for sure generate less good deeds.

O'Sensei was a soider during Japanese invasion of China. I'm not surprised about his political views during that time. Did he still hold this meiji idea in his late life? Did that happen before his "enlightenment" or after?
O-Sensei was a "soldier" in the Russo Japanese War. He did visit Manchuria which was a Japanese puppet state but wasn't officially connected with that effort. He did accompany Deguchi to the mainland, hoping to assist him in his mission to set up a spiritual kingdom there. Whereas the goals of this enterprise were clearly Utopian, in typical japanese fashion, no one asked the locals if they were enthused about the idea of said Utopia being set up in what had been their country...

It is my belief that it was the Japanese defeat in WWII that changed his thinking although there are indicators that he didn't agree with the path the Right wing militarists from earlier on. It is absolutely true that he counted a large number of extreme right leaders as friends. Also typical Japanese fashion, when there was dis-agreement he absented himself in Iwama rather than have a direct conflict and falling out with these people.

The belief in the unique character of the Japanese people and the sense of mission it gave many of them is an idea that is found in many cultures. If you look at the Center for the New American Century you can find precisely this mindset at work in our onw context.

In O-Sensei's case I believe that his take on this was always more benevolent than what many of the militarists took. I think he saw the Kannagara no Michi giving the Yamaato Daishi a unique character which made the Japanese special. I don't think that meant he saw the Japanese as superior and therefore it was ok to kill or enslave the peoples of the other countries in Asia... But there is no doubt he was friends with folks who took the idea of their superiority to that extreme.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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