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Old 07-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #52
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

If there is an issue in this discussion, I think the first signs appeared around Post #27, with the question of the 'inevitability' of what O Sensei called the 大東亜戦争 (Dai Toa Senso: Great East Asian War), and the, much later, corollary: the question of who was 'responsible'.

Such questions underlie two important books on the war. The first is Japan's Imperial Conspiracy, written by David Bergamini and published in 1971. The second is Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, written by Herbert Bix and published in 2000. Both focus on the Showa Emperor and his role in starting the war and also in bringing it to an end.

When I was a university student, history was always taught as 'issues'. I cut my own teeth on the 'issues' of (1) religion and the rise of capitalism in Europe and (2) the role of George III in the loss of the American colonies (as they were at the time). The advantage of this approach is that it lays bare the generally fragile nature of historical judgments. You look at the primary evidence--with all the biases and selectivity--and then see similar biases and selectivity in the 'secondary authorities'--the Bixes and the Bergaminis, who have weighed the primary evidence.

For me one important issue in these early columns is the role of the War (regardless of how it is named) in shaping the history of aikido and in shaping the perceptions of two of the principal actors: Morihei Ueshiba and his son Kisshomaru. The war itself and its 'inevitability' is not the main issue (for me, at least).

Best wishes to all,

P A Goldsbury
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