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Old 01-22-2008, 01:47 PM   #54
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

It is a very tough thing to let go of one's ancestry, one's heritage, one's sense of ... place.

Take, for example, the American Civil War. We have thousands of Americans who delve deeply into reenactments of that period. Some of them have very close ties with those who fought and died. These reenactments are not just idle time killers. Some people put in long hours of sweat and blood to try to get things as close to real as possible. While it is also a social activity and brings people closer together.

Now, imagine, someplace in Japan studying these reenactments and putting on their very own Civil War Reenactment involving only Japanese. While they could get very nearly to perfection in details, history, clothing, and sense of the Civil War, they, nor their ancestors had anything to do with the Civil War.

It isn't a great example/analogy/whatever, but it gives food for thought.

While I understand that non-Japanese can delve just as deeply into Budo as Japanese, Aikido is still relatively new enough to have the kinds of hurdles I illustrated above. This up and coming generation of Aikido teachers are going to have their work cut out for them. Not only are they removed from founder and first generation, but they are going to have to stand on their own without the myriad of support from Japanese instructors as we have now, all the while having to deal with Japan hombu dojos and the Japanese view that the source/center/base of aikido is there.

Really, the one thing I find hopeful about this is that Americans can do what the Japanese choose not to -- Americans can build bridges between organizations, no matter what level of difference (The Aiki Expos are prime examples of this). As long as politics do not interfere. We have an opportunity with the next gen of teachers to bring things together rather than fracture them more. But, will we?

IMO,
Mark
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