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Old 01-20-2013, 03:43 AM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training

Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post

Anyway, Ueshiba and myself as well were, if incorrect in actual etymology, voicing a cultural shibboleth held in common by most.
Yes. I have had many such discussions with Japanese colleagues and without exception they stressed the eminently peaceful nature of 武, even if they did not always voice the common belief about the relationship between the radicals that make up the character. One of the clearest expressions I have read about the peaceful nature of 武 is the section entitled 「武の精神」, Bu no seishin, in the wartime Kokutai no Hongi tract (p. 52 in the text I have). It contains the same noble aspirations about the peaceful nature of warfare and the ethical obligations incumbent on the warrior as Morihei Ueshiba states in the text I quoted.

Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I believe, by the way, that when kanji were first developed, cowrie and other shells were actually media of exchange - in this sense, 賦 - as shells and war = tribute or levy actually makes sense.
The ancient meaning of the character 貝 is given as 子安貝 koyasugai, cowrie, and the explanation given is that the character was derived from a direct pictograph of the shell, with the following explanation of its provenance, which is more or less as you stated (hence, no translation).


However, 貝 itself is not used to mean 'money' etc and the radical itself has gone through what William G Boltz calls the ‘determinative' stage, when semantic items were added, in order to specify the meaning, as in 財 (ZAI, wealth), 貢 (KOU, KU, tribute), 貨 (KA, goods), 費 (HI, expenses), 貿 (BOU, exchange) etc.

For me the issue is more strictly an issue of linguistics and the relationship of 貝 and 武 in the character 賦 seems less controversial than that between 戈 and 止 in 武 itself.

As for conflict resolution, I once conducted a simulation exercise in one of my cross-cultural negotiation classes and asked the students to describe the unexpressed ‘frame' with which they entered the negotiations (which were diplomatic negotiations over a controversial issue). The Chinese students quoted Sun-Tzu and unanimously stated, ‘Know your enemy.' The American students stated, ‘Enter a courtship' and stressed the importance of ‘win-win' in the negotiations. The Japanese students stated, ‘See which way the wind is blowing and then decide acccordingly.'

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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