Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18
Many thanks for the detailed response.
Actually, I believed that Ellis was at least attempting to do in HIPS what you suggest, though I think he had no choice but to look at existing schools and figures. He starts off with a basic definition of IP/IS, looks at Chinese origins and possible influences on Japan and then searches for evidence of IP/IS in the skills & thinking of Takeda Sokichi, Takeda Sokaku and Ueshiba Morihei. You have 'three lives', here, but It seems to me that there is no basic requirement that these skills are tied to any particular sword or body art.
What you do have to do in any case, however, is look at the evidence and it is quite possible that this evidence is completely skewed: that the teachers and contemporaries of these three people had no clue at all about IS/IP and therefore did not describe their respective skills in these terms.
Actually, I believe Kurokochi Kanenori and Saigo Tanomo are two very good examples for a martial arts historian to look at. Perhaps Saigo Takamori and Sakamoto Ryoma, as well. Their lives are reasonably well documented and they also left letters and records, but their lives have never been examined with any IS/IP model in mind. The Boshin War and the siege of Aizu-Wakamatsu are good examples of a real war, involving samurai fighting, where the display of IP/IS would have been crucial. There are copious records and the wars were recent enough for real memories to remain among living descendants. So it is quite possible that Takeda Sokaku was telling the truth about Saigo Tanomo.