Thread: kamae problem
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:27 PM   #72
Peter Goldsbury
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Circle Re: kamae problem

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
4. Should people like me settle down and wait on this? The passage talks about 6 directions all through it (though I don't know what it is saying) and mentions internal and external 6 directions. This is so rich and interesting, is it true there are no people already working to publish new translations of passages like this? I know Stan Pranin wanted to do all of the Takemusu Aiki lectures but was stopped at 4. Are there copyright issues fighting against new translations?
Thanks all!
I think you should prepare for a long wait. I have never checked, but I have a hunch that the number of people in Japan who have actually read the published output of Morihei Ueshiba in Japanese is very small. (The Japanese who have come to my house and looked at my own Japanese aikido library have been somewhat surprised and there is usually a rueful confession that, no, they have not actually read Ueshiba's published writings, with the explanation that they are 'difficult'.) The number of people outside Japan must be miniscule.

The publishing firm Kodansha has a long connection with the Ueshiba family and so it was fitting that Kodansha International published the translations of Morihei Ueshiba's writings that have appeared to date. However, Kodansha International is largely a publisher of illustrated coffee-table books on Japan--and in any case is no more. They did not publish academic books and a scholarly edition of Ueshiba's writings, which is what I think is necessary, would not have been profitable. So the translations, or interpretations, of John Stevens fill a niche in the market. They do give some indication of what Ueshiba stated, even meant, but omit the background and anything that could be regarded as 'difficult'. (I have corresponded with the editor at Kodansha, by the way, and so I speak from some experience.)

In any case, there are those who believe that the translations of Prof Stevens do indeed reveal the 'essence' of Morihei Ueshiba's thinking (hence the popularity of selections like Perpetual Peace). As I stated, Stevens caters for a niche in the market.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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