Thread: kamae problem
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:01 PM   #81
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Location: San Diego CA USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Re: kamae problem

Hello Prof G and Josh Reyer, thank you for the excellent replies. I do know of the book Budo (the story of how excited Saito Sensei was when he first saw it is one of my favorites) but regarding authenticity, I was just referring to the discussion of its provenance. Since I haven't read that discussion, I assumed the worst, meaning that I was afraid it was not directly from the founder, but I will set that aside until I read Stan Pranin's comments on that.

Regarding kamae, roppo, and kabuki:
This is very interesting. Earlier I assumed "roppō" was a direct reference to the internal martial arts concept. Now it has been made clear that it could be a reference to Kabuki. (Admittedly there is a shared origin there, but not necessarily identical meanings at the time that Budo was written.) I guess any of these could be true:
- O-sensei was reappropriating a Kabuki term to refer to a specific kamae (hanmi)
- roppō was a term coined in Kabuki (or in the Shinto ritual precursers said to be the origin of the term in kabuki), and O-sensei was writing using that term to refer to an old concept in martial arts
- roppō was a term actually used in martial arts already (separate from Kabuki), like "sanchin," and O-sensei learned about the use of it from Takeda, and was referring to that.

I don't like the first one because in Kabuki, roppo is supposed to refer to a type of walking movement, but in these passages from Budo, it seems to refer to something that is to be paid attention to even apart from movement. So something like the other 2 possibilities seem more likely, which means we are back where we started:
the translations are bad, and also Saito Sensei's comments do not shed much light on the meaning that was intended in the original text.
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