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Old 08-29-2009, 07:03 PM   #49
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Book Discussion

In connection with the final chapter (Chapter 6, pp. 211-230), I recall two private conversations that took place during the last few years.

One was with Fumiaki Shishida over dinner. (Prof Shishida had just previously given a lecture at Hiroshima University about Awa Kenzo, Ueshiba Morihei and Tomiki Kenji.) The topic was the transition of aikido from its its prewar/wartime state to its (future) postwar state and the main issue occupying the minds of Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Koichi Tohei, Kisaburo Osawa, Kenji Tomiki and Shigenobu Okumura was: What to do about O Sensei. It was obvious that there could be no return to the old prewar elitist kotodama stuff, heavily tinged with the values of ultranationalism espoused in the Kokutai no Hongi (banned by the SCAP). So aikido had to be presented as a peaceful art, that anyone could practice. Otherwise it would not survive. Thus choices were made, but I do not think there was ever a reasoned exploration of the consequences of these choices. The issue was how to involve O Sensei, holed up in Iwama with his myriad deities and word spirits, in this presentation. I think there are many reasons for the cultural, intellectual and emotional gap between Kisshomaru and his father.

The other conversation was one of many with Hiroshi Tada. Tada Sensei discounted the 1955 seminar (mentioned on p. 214), but talked of the regular meetings held in the dojo. Clearly, further investigation is necessary.

P A Goldsbury
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