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Old 08-14-2008, 02:30 PM   #8
John Brockington
Dojo: Retsushinkan/Birmingham, AL
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 65
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 9

Professor Goldsbury-

I agree that one's actions should be viewed in the context of the times, however history is littered with the remnants of those who failed to look askance at their leaders or sources of inspiration. If I should demonstrate obesiance/respect and bow to someone, I feel it is more than a trifling matter to know if this person was really worth bowing to in the first place. And I am willing to not be a moral/historical relativist about it, in saying that a given person probably shouldn't be bowed to, if the preponderance of reasonably objective evidence indicates this.
I can't say that I have seen much in-depth review of Ueshiba in this regard outside of your articles, but it is very easy to find mono-dimensional, idealized or sanitized depictions of him in numerous "creditable" sources. Ernesto is right, these depictions are probably more than enough for many people, but I personally think it is unfortunate. I also don't think it is coincidence that the number of reader responses to the thread about doing aikido with dogs is far greater than the number of responses to your article, which deals with a much more important issue in aikido. Same reason a lot of people who don't usually bow to anyone because it is outside of their cultural context, but will bow frequently and even reverently to someone they know little about, and think nothing of it.

Respectfully,
John
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