View Single Post
Old 08-26-2013, 11:03 AM   #86
ChrisMikk's Avatar
Dojo: Mugenjuku
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 107
Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I haven't read the article, and I wasn't referencing it. There are plenty of Japanese things that haven't been replaced by western counterparts. That doesn't mean that they have a special "Japanese" aura. You haven't done anything here except reassert your initial argument (which I still disagree with).
I didn't use the phrase "special 'Japanese' aura," and I think it is unfortunate. At the risk of misinterpreting what you mean by that phrase, I will point out that you are arguing that Japanese things are not especially Japanese, which I think it is safe to say is objectively wrong as a virtual self-contradiction. As a matter of fact, there is almost nothing left in Japan that hasn't been replaced by a western counterpart. The things are left are most definitely thought of by the Japanese as being Japanese... e.g., chopsticks, Japanese food, Shinto shrines, the Japanese language, futons. Those are examples of things that used in daily life. There are some few cultural artifacts still bumping around like tea ceremony and budo. These are also most definitely thought of by the Japanese as being Japanese. You asserted that the keikogi is chosen by the Japanese for training in aikido because of Japanese pickiness about having proper clothes. That is most definitely not why the keikogi has survived in dojos. The Japanese think of keikogi and budo as complementary parts of traditional Japanese culture, and that is why the keikogi has survived in the dojo.

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
You're defining it that way certainly - but there are also many people who don't. None of the standard definitions of Aikido that I've seen included a cultural dimension.
You are missing my point, which was that unless you specifically define aikido as something that is based on universal principles like spiritualism or combat efficiency, your definition of aikido must contain an element of cultural study whether you recognize it or not. Even just calling it "aikido" contains rudimentary language study.

  Reply With Quote