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Old 05-09-2004, 08:56 PM   #14
Big Dave
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Connecticut
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 38
Re: Aikido and Samurai: a few questions

Don_Modesto wrote:
5. Ideally, Samurai were expected to be more than warriors.

DJM: "Samurai" is one class of BUSHI. Some were expected to be more than others. A general charms politicians; a private scrubs toilets.

6. Those who failed or otherwise disgraced themselves were expected to commit suicide.

DJM: Tokugawa Ieyasu failed AND was captured. He didn't kill himself, he rose to become SHOGUN. See Thomas Conlan, The Culture of Force and Farce: Fourteenth-Century Japanese Warfare ( Also, Harold Bolitho, "The Myth of the Samurai," in Alan Rix & Ross Mouer (eds.), Japan's Impact on the World, pp. 2-9. He claims that the samurai were far more intersted in the acquisition of land than in the service of their lord.

7. That while O'Sensei was not of course a Samurai, he studied sword fighting and aiki-ju-jitsu and then modified them to create aikido, a less lethal form of the former arts.

DJM: Many would take issue with the lethality part, starting with the founder.

Certainly many Samurai abused their power and authority, just as those who have great authority today often do. But I think it's important to keep our eye on their ideals, as these ideals are important.

DJM: As well as their transgressions. Remember Fuerbach's contention that we invest our higher values (God) with precisely the virtues we...lack.

It also seems that the mentality of the samurai is very much alive in Modern Japan.

DJM: And Korea, China, Singapore, Brazil, Colombia...

DJM: Interested to hear what you have to say about the sources I listed. Hope this helps.

Thanks Don. I will get back to you as soon as I can have a look at these.... these are exactly the kinds of things I was interested in reading. I am really interested in the contention that Bushido is an invention of the 20th century.
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