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Old 12-27-2009, 06:14 PM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: Fact or Fiction (of Morihei Ueshiba's Life)

Hello Charles,

Thank you for your response. Here are a few more comments.

Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Thank you Professor so much for your reply.

It is my opinion that through the sharing of information we can get clearer (if not clear) on sources and definitions of terminology. With the question of O'Sensei being a Shinto priest or not, as an example, I immediately started thinking, "What does 'Shinto' mean?" and "What does 'priest' mean?" and " What does 'Shinto priest' mean?" (This all probably means I have too much time on my hands!) Personally, I do not think it muddies the waters so much as it gives a few more angles from which to approach the question.
PAG. Well, "muddying the waters" here means something like, "making clarifications and distinctions that ultimately turn out to be essential." You also need to be aware--I am sure you are--of what has been called the Socratic Fallacy in even framing the questions. I like to drive over the mountains here to Izumo. Like that of the Itsukushima Shrine and the Kumano Hongu, the setting, the atmosphere, is very special. However, in a few days here the same shrines, Shinto shrines across Japan, will have their busiest day of the year, as millions of Japanese do 'hatsumode'. The same Japanese will go nowhere near the shrines on the other days of the year. Does this make them Shintoists' or 'lapsed Shintoists' like we have 'lapsed Catholics'? I do not think so, for I think that being a 'Shintoist' and being a Catholic are completely different.

Charles Hill wrote: View Post
I am enjoying all the thinking these questions lead me to do and with that in mind, I might ask you, does the sanction of the government factor into the question of whether Morihei Ueshiba was a "Shinto priest" or not? This is a rhetorical question (mainly because if I have the chance to ask questions that I thought you might think about and answer I would ask more important things).
PAG. Well, since M Ueshiba was living at a certain time and in a certain place, I would think that the sanction of the government factored into very much that he did and closely affected his relationship with Omoto.

Charles Hill wrote: View Post
To clarify my position on this minor point of whether Morihei Ueshiba was a Shinto priest or not, if one is a fervent Omoto believer (and assuming there is such a thing), the answer is yes. If one is a member of the faculty of Kokagakuin, the answer is likely no. If one is neither, than it will depend on the definitions of the terms.
PAG. But do you find this satisfactory? I certainly did not when I was a raw student, just ten years into aikido training. So I came here to muddy the waters as much as I could and find answers that satisfied me. Of course, I cannot speak for other members of AikiWeb.

Charles Hill wrote: View Post
One of the things I was thinking when I started the thread was the Iwama vs. Tokyo conundrum. My impression is that what went on in Iwama post-war was quite different that what is often reported. But I already know what I think so I wanted to open things up to various things others have heard and what they think about them.

To be very linguistically picky, it is not unanswerable at all. I am asking for things that you (meaning all who read this) have heard and personally believe to be false (and why).

PAG. I think that one of the problems here is actually removing the mud from the waters, for it depends very much on who you (not you in particular) talk to and thus what is reported.

All good wishes for 2010,


P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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