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Old 11-17-2004, 11:01 PM   #29
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
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Re: Aikido and Preserving Ego

Hi Joe,

I have read a lot of Omoto`s own literature and stayed at the headquarters in Ayabe and Kameoka for a short period and I still don`t cleary understand what Onisaburo of Omoto was trying to teach. What I understand seems to fit what I know of Shingon. Omoto has a nice website in English, you might try taking a look.

Okumura, in my opinion, fits in with the group of intellectual shihan that were primarily pre-war. He used to teach the beginner`s class Thursday mornings at Honbu but has long since stopped. I heard that he still occasionally lectures about Aikido theory at the Ueshiba house next door. He would bring in a chalk board into his aikido class and write stuff on the board. He had a very clear curriculum. He was also the only person I ever heard talk about O`Sensei at Honbu.

I agree with you about Zen. The history of Zen in Japan is not a good one, though, and O`Sensei may have been responding to the low quality of teaching he saw. However, Omori Sogen was a contemporary and in my opinion, a great Zen teacher as well as a sword and calligraphy teacher. I think you would find him enlightening.

Charles Hill
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