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Old 12-09-2010, 06:56 AM   #119
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: Golden Center Sword

Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Do you have a link to the original Japanese?
PAG. The original Japanese can be found on pp. 198-219 of a book with the title 『合気道』, a reprint of the Showa 32 (1957) original. This book is freely available in Japan, but, unfortunately, it is one of a number of books published under the name of Morihei Ueshiba that has not been translated into English.

Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I'm not saying this translation isn't accurate, just that many of the critical concepts (like 合気, for instance) really have no exact English equivalents. Moreover, even when a word like "harmony" is an accurate literal translation, the concept is not understood in the same way in the Japanese and American cultures.
PAG. I think this is a point of crucial importance and should be borne in mind in any discussion of Morihei Ueshiba's use of 合気 and 愛気. Rather than in the FAQ 『合気道』interview, Ueshiba's views about 合気 and 愛気 are set out in some detail in a text that has been translated into English, after a fashion. The text is 『合気神髄』 and the English translation is The Secret Teachings of Aikido. This work is actually an edited collection of short articles published under the name of Morihei Ueshiba in the Aikikai's Aikido Shimbun. The articles all have their own titles and there is a whole section, Section 2, with the title 「合気とは愛気である」. The translator, John Stevens, renders this as Aikido is the Spirit of Love and this explains the qualification after a fashion, above. I think that Prof Stevens was set the task of producing a rendering of Morihei Ueshiba's thoughts, but as far as possible divorced from the Omoto cultural/religious milieu in which they were conceived. So he takes enormous liberties with the translation.

So I really believe that to understand Morihei Ueshiba's thinking about 合気 and 愛気, it is necessary to have at least an elementary grasp of the Japanese language and of Omoto thinking.

P A Goldsbury
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