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Old 02-16-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,983
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Re: What is up with Bu Jin?

Hello Fred,

In our dojo there is a variety of ways of tying the hakama: there are at least three ways. So our new shodans are faced with the dilemma of deciding which they prefer. My two instructor colleagues tie it inaka style, with the back panel first, though one of them prefers to wrap the front of the hakama over the obi, as the university students do. The students, though, tie their hakama front first. As I do. I have always associated this way of tying the hakama with the Aikikai Hombu. I was taught by one Japanese shihan never to tie the hakama at the rear. He attributed his back accident to the knot from the hakama on his spine. I also have two obi: an ancient judo belt, which I use when I dispense with the hakama for teaching 杖 and 木剣, and a thick wrap-around obi which is called a Fujita obi in the Hombu. In the video you have appended, the instructor appears to leave the ends of his judo obi hanging down at the front. I was taught to thread mine between the top of the hakama, adjacent to the top of the obi, and the front himo of the hakama, positioned below the obi around the hips. The wrap-around obi does not present this problem. All my hakama, in fact, my entire aikido kit, comes from Iwata and if you go to the shop and talk to the kind obaa-chan, you can specify exactly the length of the front himo. So the shop is also a place of pilgrimage, along the route between Shin-Okubo JR Station and the Aikikai Hombu.

Aaah, the joys of discussing 'hakama-lore'. As Mr Ollivander might have said, "The hakama always chooses the wearer, Mr Potter..."

P A Goldsbury
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Hiroshima, Japan
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