Thread: kotodama
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Old 09-15-2002, 02:38 PM   #15
Ernesto Lemke
Dojo: Seikokan , Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden. the Netherlands
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 150
Netherlands
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Dear Peter,

Elegant and balanced as always.

Interesting you should mention Byakko Shinko Kai. O-Sensei said something along the lines of "Goi Sensei is the only one who can see through me." Apparently, O-Sensei did not think it necessary to engage in physical practice to reach the ultimate object (which I will not try and define). Goi Sensei did not follow O-Sensei‘s path but both acknowledged each other‘s ‘level‘, thereby suggesting that O-Sensei thought budo was merely a means to an end and there could be other, equally valid, means. Does it therefore not seem plausible that a person, even a non Japanese without any cultural understanding of Kototama but with a deep affinity for spiritual matters, could in fact have or develop a similar approach to Kototama? This then might be very different from O-Sensei's understanding, but perhaps an evenly valid approach nevertheless. One that, in the end, might produce the same result and clear the way for the ultimate objective.

Now of course there's always a possible danger of becoming self deluded, but that's for each of us to find out, right? Many of the earth's greats where nonconformists who did IT themselves.

What I, and I think many current practitioners, are wondering is can Kototama practice actually contribute to our aikido practice and if so, how? I was ‘taught' Kototama without any cultural understanding, although I was exposed to a 'cosmic' frame in which to view Kototama, nevertheless, I started to question its practice. Both out of scepticism and curiosity. Reading into history and establishing a cognitive understanding of how Kototama worked for O-Sensei just seemed to arouse even more questions. Merely keeping the faith is a hard thing to do for many and it seems there are no authorities (left) who claim to understand or teach Kototama the way O-Sensei did. (Seiseki Abe Sensei and Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei's names do come to mind but I have no other then merely superficial knowledge of their views).

Best,

Ernesto Lemke
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