Re: iwama note, censored?
Mr Homma appears to rely very much on instincts gained from having to survive in a country as a non-native. I also have developed such instincts, but I have also come to realize that it is unwise to trust these instincts entirely, especially at the expense of making efforts to understand the value system of the 'adopted' country.
My 'adopted' country is Japan, of which Mr Homma is a native and the language of which he speaks as a native, so he should have an intuitive understanding of the value system that I am still struggling to comprehend, especially in relation to individual / group values, which lie at the heart of the deshi / master relationship as this is understood here.
I am curious why Mr Homma did not do what I usually do, which is go right to the top and communicate these concerns directly to Doshu or to Isoyama Hiroshi Shihan, who is the effective head of the Ibaragi Dojo and also has impeccable 'Iwama' credentials. If he is not prepared to do this because as a Japanese he has to respect the deshi / master relationship, then I think he has less grounds for writing such a hand-wringing article bemoaning the fact that foreign deshi have gag orders. They are after all deshi and he should know what they are supposed to do.
Like Mr Homma, I am effectively wearing two hats: Japanese and UK. I, too, think it is wrong that members of different dojos cannot communicate with each other. Well, it does not happen in my own dojo, nor does it happen at IAF meetings. If ASU or Iwama members want to attend the training courses at such meetings they are welome and if there is a problem, the buck stops with me.
I am wearing two hats, but, as I stated earlier, I am living in Japan, and if I want to maintain good relationships with others, including my own teacher, there are certain things I have to do. I am not going to have an open breach with him simply because he strongly dislikes people training with other organizations in Hiroshima. With most of these organizations I am not missing too much, but I regret not having trained with Nishio Sensei. However, to have done this, I would have had to make a choice: Nishio Sensei or my own teacher. I made the choice and this had certain consequences.
So, I would offer a challenge to you guys in the US who think it is wrong that members of one of the oldest and largest the large Aikikai organization cannot attend seminars in other organizations. If this is the case, change it.
Best wishes to all,