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Old 02-15-2011, 06:19 PM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 19

Hello Fred,

Many thanks for the response.

Initially, I decided to examine seven analysts of Nihonjinron and an early, severely unfinished, draft I sent to Jun listed all seven. However, to avoid burdening Aikiweb readers with a 100-page column, I stopped this one with Takie Sugiyama Lebra.

The person I left out is a very interesting scholar named Eiji Oguma, who at present teaches at Keio University. His book, 『単一民族神話の起源』, which also became a major bestseller here, discusses Yanagita at some length. The book has been translated as, A Genealogy of 'Japanese' Self-Images, and he makes a broad distinction between Nihonjinron as such, which he regards as a strictly postwar phenomenon, and its antecedents, which, of course, go back to nativism.

The interesting question for Oguma, who has written another book entitled 『日本人の境界』, is: how did the Japanese empire-builders square their wartime colonization of Asia with the prewar / postwar doctrine of racial homogeneity?

I think there is a good reason for distinguishing Nihonjinron like this because, in my opinion, it might help to mark off a distinction between the 'self image' of Morihei Ueshiba and that of Kisshomaru--as Japanese. I believe that the postwar Hombu fully embraces the postwar nihonjinron doctrine of Japanese uniqueness--plus the doctrine of Japanese racial homogeneity. However, I am far less sure that Morihei Ueshiba embraced it.

Morihei Ueshiba, for example, gave his demonstration in Manchuria in 1940, but no one realizes the significance of the date (though Kisshomaru mentions it in passing in the untranslated section of his biography). The date was the 2,600th anniversary of the Japanese Empire: the enthronement of the Emperor Jinmu on February 11, 660BCE. Remember that Jimmu was the great-grandson of Ninigi, who carried out the directive of Amaterasu the Sun Goddess to extend the blessings of imperial rule to the remote regions.

Anyway, I am anticipating the content of the next two columns, but I have not forgotten Yanagita Kunio, or for that matter, Tsuda Sokichi.

Best wishes,

PS. I hear you have finished the thesis. Congratulations!


P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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