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Old 01-15-2008, 05:02 PM   #17
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 6

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
This is really quite an astonishing assertion. As astonishing in its own way as would be an assertion that fascist influences on Spanish followers of Josemaria Escrival in the period between the Thirties and the re-establishment of democracy following the death of Generalissimo Francisco Franco can not be denied but are not at all connected to their involvement with Opus Dei.
I don't know where to begin. I demur on any opinion about Opus Dei. While Catholic, I have no brief for or against the group. I find the Spanish Civil War much less apt for comparison. I find no evidence that the Falangist government ever suppressed Opus Dei, or for that matter, any organ of the Church.

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
... each offered an ostensibly "spiritual" rationale which was congruent with the goals and methods of a more secular authoritarian and militarist movement ...
And yet congruency is not identity -- as the prior and later conflict between Omoto and the government easily demonstrate.

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
This offered the opportunity to attract and utilize "spiritually inclined" individuals who were more responsive to an apparently religious discourse than a secular political discourse to contribute to the larger authoritarian project that was under way.
Is there any evidence that the government subsidized the Mongolian effort? I have read of none.

Ueshiba's most prominent government contact was Takeshita and he notably retired two years before the Mukden bombing in Manchuria, and the closely following May 15 assassination that marked the final turn toward military extremism. Takeshita introduced him to Gonnohoye, who as Prime Mminister, was a noted liberal, strongly suggesting Takeshita's influence and interests did not run in the circles farther right. Presumably, he would not act as patron to someone so distant from him in political views.

Takeshita spent his retirement heading sports groups, with obvious affinity for what Ueshiba was already doing. The closest he came to directly aiding the militarist effort was in a speaking tour to the US in 1935 (before Nanjing) defending the actions in the Sino-Japanese War as opposing Communism. While one might take this one amiss, Takeshita had a history of bringing budo, including judo and aikido to the US. His presence here to make such a diplomatic gesture, is hardly evidence of his being part of the extremist cabal.

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
I would argue that the more meaningful distinction between the two is the ultimate sense on the part of the Japanese government that Deguchi's own ambitions made him an unreliable ally at best, and an affirmative threat at worst.
Again, what evidence is there that Deguchiwas seen as any kind of ally by those like Konoe, much less Tojo? Maybe Deguchi was viewed, by some, as Lenin famously phrased "a useful idiot," but hardly more than that, and certainly not after 1921.

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
Had Opus Dei come to be seen by Franco as a direct threat, in the way that Oomoto came to be seen by the Japanese government -- or those unelected power brokers directing affairs from behind the black curtain -- as a potential, if not direct threat, I have no doubt that it too would have been subject to vigorous countermeasures.
Speculation. And not very useful speculation, since Franco used the image of sanctity in the Church to try and deny diminish or excuse his own excesses -- Omoto did not and could not possibly not have played any such comparative role, even if it had not twice been suppressed.

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
This is a long way around to say that, far from being "two poles of Ueshiba's life," these can be seen more accurately as mere alternative expressions of a common core, albeit in two languages that are often treated as distinct due to a series of historical accidents and (to follow M.Foucault's line of work) disciplinary imperatives.
State Shinto is the descendant of Atsutane's take on Norinaga's Japanese exceptionalism expressed in the massive and culturally monolithic recasting of the Kojiki. Atsutane's legitimacy as an authoritative interpreter of Norinaga is debatable. The Konkokyo influence on Omoto hews more closely to the Oyomei priniciples that are usually pointed to as implicit in Kojiki-Den, notwithstanding its subsequent uses by Atsutane and his followers to make Norinaga into a stalking horse for triumphal exceptionalism -- and trumping Norinaga's elucidation of "mono no aware." Ueshiaba's writings and those of Omoto are far more in the latter sensibility than the former, to my thinking.

While it is true that both lines of thought spring from that source in Norinaga, they diverged quickly. In its syncretism and universalism, Omoto, Konkokkyo and their Yomeigaku influenced forebears could not be more distinct from what Atsutane and his heirs intended, and achieved for State Shinto. Oyomei adherents beat the Sonno Joi to the punch in uprisings against the bakufu in Osaka by thirty years.

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
In Ueshiba's case, the change after the war, then, would be less the rise of suppressed influences than a necessary shift to a more contemporaneously acceptable language and the jettisoning of a language that had come to be taboo as a result of the loss of the war.
This I take to be the implicit conclusion supported by, if not intended by, Prof. Goldsbury's essay. I think his essay describes a man with a foot in two worlds, which while not initially at odds, became increasingly irreconcilable, and a position which caused much anxiety to someone whose expressed purpose was to find a path for conflict resolved in love.

One may view it as representing the changing perspectives of a legitimately searching mind living through the actual history of a lifetime, or one may view it as the changing rhetoric of an opportunist looking for and taking advantage of the moment. Which one believes probably says more about the observer than the observed.

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
For a more current phenomena with similar characteristics, one need look no further than the Unification Church of Reverend Sun Myung Moon,
The objections I have for comparing Opus Dei in Civil War Spain to the Omoto situation in Pre-and Post WWII Japan, go doubly for anything to do with Rev. Moon or the Unification Church.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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