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Old 03-22-2013, 12:32 PM   #1
Ethan Weisgard
Dojo: Copenhagen Aiki Shuren Dojo
Location: Copenhagen
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 175
Hakama protocol: left or right leg first?

Hello fellow aikidoka,

I was reading the fascinating book "Mishima's Sword" by Christopher Ross and came across his description of Mishima's preparation for his final stand. He mentioned that Mishima prepared himself for his last day on this earth by stepping into his hakama right foot first. This is explained as being symbolic of wearing the hakama for the last time. It reminds me of "hidari mae" - the wearing of the uwagi with the left side on top of the right, which, as you probably know, is only done once in your life, and that is the last time - unless you are a poor unsuspecting newbie from outside Yamato.

There is a story of a foreign woman being carried out of the Yoshinkan Hombu because she inadvertently had put on her uwagi hidari mae, but this is off-topic.

When researching the subject of which leg to put in first, regarding the hakama, it seems that there are rightist and leftist camps out there ;-)

I thought I would stoke the fire and put this question out there. It also opensfor the many options of alternative approaches, such as both legs at the same time, or both legs in the same side ( this version was done by a sempai in Iwama, after an afternoon of socializing with Saito Sensei in the shokudo - self-inflicted kuzushi being the result).

Looking forward to hearing from you!

In aiki,
Ethan Weisgard
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