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Old 05-13-2008, 10:10 AM   #27
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
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Re: Kisshomaru as Interpretor of the Founder's Words

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Uh...that was kind of my point...
Sure, but where else is one to look for Western perspectives that are uncolored by later historical prejudices, of a time contemporary with O Sensei's formation of his basic thoughts and attitudes?

There are two major sources of bias that do not exist from the point of view of observers earlier than WWII There is 1) the War itself and all its fallout from the Western perspectives, both adulatory as well as prejudicial, and 2) the Japanese "editing" of their own cultural practices following what was, quite frankly, a culturally inadmissible defeat, on top of which was the censorial attitudes of the Occupation itself. Large portions of our concern in this discussion turn on those biases or presumed biases.

In Hearn's case, while he died in the middle of the Russo-Japanese War, it was before Tsushima when they eliminated the Russian Eastern Fleet. His view is therefore also not colored by the ascendant Japanese hypernationalism during the 20's and 30's that tended to increasingly dominate thereafter until the end of the War. Therefore, his views are of great value on common points such as Yamato Damashii, as O Sensei received it in his formative years, and which is a recurrent theme in Budo Renshu, for example.


Erick Mead
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