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Old 08-28-2006, 07:39 AM   #13
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: Article: An Aikido Journey: Part 10 by Peter Goldsbury

Hi Peter,

Something that occurred to me while reading your comments actually surprised me a bit...I remembered the 'age mate' traditions I was exposed to in East Africa, and noted some similarities between the ideas contained in sempai / kohai relationships. It would seem that many 'traditional' societies have much stricter rules about how people in the society relate to one another. Codification of these rules seems to vary...but they often seem to be under-pinning the society in interesting ways.

In East Africa, the 'age mate' system, for lack of a better term just now, binds together people who go through similar rites of initiation at the same time, and the bounds formed tend to reinforce the structure of the society. One of the noted problems in East Africa is that colonialism destroyed and / or warped this system (through banning / modifying / pushing underground the circumcision ceromonies), throwing whole societies off-kilter. It is to be noted that Japan avoided colonialism, and as a traditional society pushed head long onto the contempory scene, it was able to hold on to many facets of its past in some form of it's own choosing.

It would seem that having that choice has made Japan somewhat unique. Any thoughts on this?


Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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