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Old 02-17-2009, 07:39 PM   #5
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Aikikai Kagami Biraki Promotions?

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post

I think there are two issues here: a practical issue and an issue of principle.

With respect to the practical issue, you can see the problem very easily if you pay a visit to the Hombu Dojo and (are allowed to) go upstairs to the offices. Doshu's room is at the far end of the corridor, but there are small offices that look out on to the road in front of the building. The impression I have is that people are really stretched. Of the people who run the International Department, one is in hospital suffering the effects of a stroke, another is in his 70s and has virtually retired, a third visits the Hombu only once or twice each week, and the fourth is also an instructor with a regular training and teaching schedule. So I would think that the job of translating all the names into English and posting them on the English-language website is way, way down the list.

However, I think there is another issue, that of principle. Given the fact that in the Aikikai information is always given (or withheld) on a need-to-know basis, and that there is an inbuilt tendency to conservatism and inertia, the need to know has to be argued for and there is no one in the Hombu to do this. In addition, since the names of new yudansha regularly appear in the Aikido Shimbun, which is like an official aikido gazette, it is probably thought of too little importance to put it on the website in addition--the English-language website especially.

However, that said, I have to state that the amount of information given on both websites (it is different in English and Japanese) has dramatically improved over the years. So it might be possible to make a case that dan promotions should be posted on the website as well as in the Aikido Shimbun. However, I think it will take some doing.

Best wishes,

Thanks Peter. As much as folks talk about trying to tie the Aikido community together, I think there's a long way to go. Hombu is the one place one would expect announcements to be made cutting across national and organization lines. At some point, the ASU will list the folks from our own organization who have been promoted but there is almost no mechanism to find out about friends and acquaintances from other organizations who have received promotion, despite the fact that we are all "Aikikai". While it seems logical for folks interested in goings on in Japan to check the Headquarters website, there seems to be little thought that it might promote more of a sense of unity amongst Aikikai members to have Headquarters act as a clearing house for info like this that might me of interest to the larger community. I understand the logistics, of course. But budgets get allocated to the places deemed important. It really would not take that much effort to get a list published on the website. Frankly, having a place where Aikikai ranks were listed (not just the new promotions) might actually save them the time it takes them to reply to inquiries regarding various folks "bone fides" and Aikikai Association. Just a thought...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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