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Old 07-25-2012, 09:11 PM   #11
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 895
Re: It Had to Be Felt #24: Chiba Kazuo: "There We Were, Two Handsome Young Men"

Hello folks - I could post in my column #1, but maybe this will help, as there is a debate about content in replies here. First of all, thank you Mark and Janet for "getting it."

Jun moving a post (either on his own, based on the column criteria, or at my request) is definitely NOT ostracism or punishment. It is maintaining the integrity of a specialized section of Aikiweb. Think of it this way: if I grab one of my old philosophy texts that I used in grad school off the shelf and leaf through it, there will be lots of yellow highlights, exclamation points, and marginalia (little notes in the margin). The post that starts this thread and a similar one not-yet-moved in the Kanai thread are of this nature. It is possible that my highlights may be of interest to those trying to trace my process of development in reading Merleau-Ponty or Levinas, but beyond that, it just distracts anyone else when they try to read the book.

Look, I could have started an independent blog, like, for example, Chris Li or Jamie Yugawa's excellent efforts, which can easily be self-moderated. But I wanted to attempt creating an archive here, because there are so many people enthusiastic about the type of individuals who are described in this column. But because it is a discussion forum, people are used to the idea of "liking" a post, of joking in response, or, of course, arguing. Badinage, debate, putting out personal agendas, or what really amount to what would be in a conversation, a nod of approval.

That's what this thread, for example is for. Threads such as this also give those who have not felt a teacher to add their thoughts, and those who disagree with a columnist's perspective (beyond posting their own account), to do so here, where the columnist can, if they choose, engage in debate.

My goal is simple. Imagine ten, twenty, thirty, forty years from now, a person sees that wonderful photo of O-sensei projecting Tada sensei through the air. Or perhaps they read Chris Li's blog/translation. They can go to this archive and read what it felt like to work with Tada sensei. It's my hope that each of these threads will have four, five, ten rich accounts. Consider some of the threads that have been amplified - Saotome sensei's, for example. I can read several of the other accounts, and think to myself, "that's different from what I felt." But whether he simply showed that other writer something different, or it's due to the different physical/martial skills possessed by the writer(s), it's a more complete, fleshed out perspective, that will vitally augment viewing film. Films, alone, don't cut it. Some people look great, when they are not. Others look mundane when they were, in fact, brilliant.

Now, all that said, I will say that I continue to be surprised that someone can read as rich an account as Henry's or Peter's, come to the posting rules and either ignore them or not get them. But then again, this IS a discussion forum, and to have one column with a different "culture" and set of rules can sometimes be difficult - Kuwamori sensei was equally bemused when I walked out the bathroom on several occasions wearing the "toilet slippers," an utter faux pas in Japan (and if you don't read French, that is a VERY good pun).

Ellis Amdur

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