Thread: Lineage
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:47 PM   #14
Joe Bowen
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Dojo: Yongsan Aikikai
Location: But now I'm in the UK
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 212
South Korea
Re: Lineage

Greg Jennings wrote:
Of course, but Hombu Dojo is not usually described as the Founder's dojo. That was the Iwama dojo. Kisshomaru Doshu and others really made the Hombu Dojo what it was and is. I'm not putting a value judgment on that. I think none of us would be practicing aikido if not for the vision and skills of the late Doshu.
This actually depends on who is doing the describing. Hombu dojo existed well before WWII. Kissomaru Doshu maintained that dojo after O Sensei went to Iwama during the war. In the '50 and '60's, O Sensei started the 0630 class tradition that continues to this day at Hombu dojo. True, O Sensei build the Iwama dojo and the Aiki Shrine along with it. But, to say Hombu dojo is not "O Sensei's Dojo" is not an accurate statement.

Greg Jennings wrote:
You've glossed over a lot of history and the complications that at least partially set up the situation that you next describe.
Perhaps, but to keep things short, for the sake of the pertinent question, some of details weren't necessary. Did Saito Sensei spend a great deal of time with O Sensei in Iwama? Yes. Did O Sensei charge him with looking after the Aiki-shrine? Yes. Did this mean that Saito Sensei was the true recipient of O Sensei's "Dharma Transmission"? No. Saito Sensei was good, perhaps even one of the best. But O Sensei did not give him the sole charge of Aikido. The legacy and heir went to the Doshu. Does that mean all the dojos should pass to the sons of the Sensei's? No.

Greg Jennings wrote:
That is not my understanding of the causes. Look for the letters by Hitohiro Saito Sensei that are posted on .
I've read the post. I've read the letter. Japanese society is too polite to come right out and say what's going on. So, here's my take. No disrespect intended to any parties involved. M.Saito Sensei died. H.Saito Sensei obviously, and probably not unreasonably so, expected to inherit the legacy of his father, along with the Iwama dojo cho. Since he was probably acting in that capacity while his father was still alive, that seems a reasonable expectation. However, in the Iwama area, you have at least one, and probably more, folks that had been doing Aikido before H.Saito Sensei was born. Isoyama Sensei, who is currently running Iwama dojo, is a 8th Dan, deshi of Iwama from back when O Sensei was there.
Would it be unreasonable, to turn the dojo over to a 5th Dan, (as I believe that was H.Saito Sensei rank when his father died) when you have an 8th Dan willing to assume the position? Not really. Many people talk about conspiracies to oust M.Saito Sensei, and how several folks were looking to usurp the Iwama Dojo from the Saito Family. Nonsense. Don't look past the obvious. If you're the one in charge, even with the family inheritance tradition in Japan, do you choose a 5th Dan over an 8th Dan? You'll probably tell me I'm "over-simplifying". And in a sense your right. But, the Saito family still cares for the Aiki-shrine that's probably the proper responsibility to be inherited.

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