Chhi'mčd Künzang wrote:
David, do you not see that you've done it yet again? When you write 'original translator', you suggest that your text is also a translation - even though you have just told me that you rejected the word 'translation' to describe the process.
In my view what he has done is neither a translation nor a "transliteration" but a constructive criticism of the English translation he used as his reference point, with additional reference to some portions of romaji provided in the original translated text. His point is that that the existing translation in English leaves somehting to be desired, and he critically approaches those questions with his suggested changes.
I agree with him that an overly literal rendition of Japanese into English results, at worst, in a broken, pidginish translation, and even when done at a very high level (as he contends was the case of the original translation into English), may miss key aspects of the cultural allusions necessary to support the meaning (both Japanese and English).
David's effort is a valid criticism of the translated English. The best response would be a parallel criticism of the original English translation by a Japanese-speaker with reference to the original kanji/kana text. I have enough knowledge of kanji to analyze those key references, but only a rudimentary grasp of either system of kana for a complete translation. And in any event, native knowledge would be necessary to parse references such as "saniwa", in proper context.
As I have said, I find it to be an important insight into O-Sensei's thought, and worth the effort because of the way it bridges seeming gaps between different systems of ethics/religious practice, without syncretizing them, as Omoto did. If the original Japanese supports David's critical reading, it would make aikido even more approachable than it already is in a variety of places around the world.
Does anyone have the original kanji/kana version to make available to Jun for publication here? That would be a more productive use of our time than criticism of the criticism of the translation. The point of the primary text can get lost in a morass of layered references.
Jun, if you are listening, can we put out a general call for that.?