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Old 01-21-2004, 12:52 AM   #20
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Don J. Modesto (Don_Modesto) wrote:
Hi, Peter.

I'm not sure I understand you here, Peter. Do you mean that "DO" was "invoked" for political reasons with a different, legitimating usage in the case of the GENDAI BUDO circa 1920-30's in the way that "Shinto" was with, say, the Great Promulgation in the 19th century?

More specifically, do you agree with Bodiford's history of Budo which I cited above? If so, do you believe that the name change from aikijujutsu to aikido was part of or separate from this state-initiated process? Hirai was rather cagey on this point in his AJ interview.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Hello Don,

My point in the last two posts was to show that Japanese allows a certain looseness with respect to terms and definitions and you yourself alluded to this in another thread, concerned with the need to use English for scientific research.

Nevertheless, you will find many extremely vigorous opponents of Tonegawa's view in the arts faculties of Japanese universities, especially Letters and Education. In fact I would wager that there are a whole load of research theses being written at this very moment around the country, with the general assumption that the beauty/uniqueness of Japanese lies in the relative untranslatability of its concepts.

As an example, consider a short story by Kobo Abe, entitled "Warau-tsuki". The story is a discussion of a certain person's dream about the "laughing moon", but told as if it were in the third person, reported by someone else. Novelists like Woolf or Joyce have done this in English, but in Japanese there is also the 'pictorial' aspect conveyed by the characters. This is why I mentioned 'Hiroshima-gaku', above. To convey the full 'meaning' of this term, it HAS to be written with "Hiroshima" in katakana, not in kanji.

If you aply this looseness to 'JUTSU' and 'DOU', and take the omote/ura distinction such as is found in Karl Friday's "Legacies of the Sword", you might say, for example, there are DOU, of which the JUTSU elements are the URA aspect and JUTSU, of which the DOU elements are the URA aspect. Now a literary Japanese might find this a "beautiful" description of the distinction and the beauty of the metaphor is that the elements are inseparable and also the same but different. For you and I the result is a kind of conceptual mush, but I suspect that someone like Kano might have found the metaphor illuminating. Kano is said to have compared jujutsu to Hinayana Buddhism and judo to Mahayana Buddhism.

I think Bodiford's discussion on pp.474-485 of "Martial Arts of the World" is quite right, but he does not give much evidence of why it took so long for the Ministry of Education to adopt the ideas of the Dai Nippon Butokukai between 1906 and 1926, or to what extent Morihei Ueshiba was affected by the ideas of the Dai Nippon Butotukai, with their preference for DOU over JUTSU.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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