I'm sure this falls into the catagory of what the KANJI says and not the ROMANJI. As I stated, my students mom, born and raised in Japan - only in the US for a few year - read it as I described, which is how I understood it as well.
David Yap wrote:
I have always read 'Kamae" as posture, e.g zenkutsu-dachi kamae means forward stance posture.
The hanmi posture in Aikikai is actually the shizentai - meaning natural posture - migi with the head and center to the left and hidari the other direction. Shoji Nishio shihan explained that the nage should always face the tori in a shizentai kamae (neutral post). The nage should assume a stance after the attack has been initiated. In theory (with O Sensei's teaching) this sounds correct. Taking a stance before an attack may be construed as an act provocation by the nage.
In karate's kihon ippon kumite (one-step basic sparring), the tori always start in a fighting stance and the nage in a natural stance with his hands down.
Just my two sen